In the 1780's, the Revolutionary War having been won, Patrick Kendrick Sr., his wife and family and members of the Horton family moved 400 miles from Stafford, VA. to the Southwestern part of the Appalachian mountains in the Clinch Valley. The log cabin they built was a part of the home I grew up in during the 1950's and 60's. It's where I developed my love of real food, gardening, raw milk, homemade butter, buttermilk and biscuits. Most of all biscuits.
On Sundays, my grandmother, Corrie, would make biscuits and I stood right there watching her every move. Sometimes she would let me sift the flour and dry ingredients, sometimes I got to stir the dough. Always, I got to taste it. I love raw dough, and can tell from one taste whether the end product will turn out. It all started there with little bits of dough from the blue and white enameled metal bowl that was our "biscuit bowl".
Corrie learned to make biscuits from her mother, and the tradition has been carried forward from mother to daughter or grandaughter. As far as I know, the roots of this recipe probably go back before the 1800's.
Having been interested in cooking, baking and food most of my life, I have modified it to fit whatever diet trend or food focus I was following at the moment -- included (but not limited to), 40-30-30, whole wheat, and low fat. I've used yogurt, cottage cheese and even coconut oil and olive oil. I've even made sprouted lentil flour biscuits.
Right now there's a lot of focus on gluten sensitivity and on the toxicity of regular commercial wheat (Read WHEAT BELLY by Dr. William Davis, cardiologist) which has been genetically altered since the 1950's. Once wheat was called the "Staff of Life. After all the alternations, it is so toxic that it might be called the "staff of disease or death". No more the "Amber Waves of Grain", commercial wheat is now short and stubby having been bred and re-bred - altered over and over to maximize whatever would make more profit.
The original wheat, Einkorn, was what probably assisted our ancestors to move from a hunting and harvesting wild society, to cultivating grains - according to Dr. Davis. Wheat changed little over the centuries. The wheat of the 1940's was much the same as the wheat of the 1840's and the 1740's. It was the wheat with which my ancestors made biscuits.
Today, I took my grandmothers, et all, recipe and made biscuits with Einkorn Sprouted Flour, the original wheat. Memories from my childhood and of Corrie and my Mother telling me just how much of each ingredient to use were so present they might have been in the room. I knew as I tasted the dough that it was going to be something I thought was delicious. How wonderful it was to use. The texture is soft and light like pastry flour, the color a soft gold. I used yogurt as the liquid (viili culture that I made from more milk than cream so that it would be thinner). You can use buttermilk, or cultured milk or even keifer.
Soon you will be able to get sprouted Einkorn Flour from To Your Health Sprouted Four.
Okay, I've gone on long enough, here's the recipe.
The Kendrick Family Biscuit Recipe
3 cups einkorn flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
4 tbl butter or lard
1/8 tsp soda
1 cup thin viili culture yogurt
Preheat overn to 375 degrees.
Step 1. Mix together flour, salt and baking powder. You can sift it into a bowl, or you can just put in the bowl and whisk together well. (If you prefer to use a food procressor, you first put in dry ingredients and pulse a couple of times for 5 seconds each time.)
Step 2. Cut or rub in 4 TBL butter or lard until it's a small seed like consistency. (You can also cut this in with a Food Processor as well.)
Step 3. Put 1/8 teaspoon soda in the bottom of a glass measuring cup. Add the 1 cup of thin yogurt, buttermilk or cultured milk and stir well - until you can see the bubbles on the top, which means that the soda and the liquid have begun to act with each other.
Step 4. Mix the liquid into the dry ingredients stirring to mix well, but not overstirring. (If you use the Food Processor, do not over mix).
Step 5. Turn the dough out on floured parchment paper. Roll out lightly and cut with a biscuit cutter. (Yes, you can use a glass or a mason jar -- only it presses the dough down so your biscuits may not rise as high. Also remember to flour your cutter before each cut.)
Step 6: Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. They will brown lightly on top.
Step 7: Enjoy with butter, honey, jam, or with eggs, sausage and sausage gravy.