Carla Hall's Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe: One of the Most Influential Black Chefs in the South by Ann Marie Patitucci


Carla Hall's Buttermilk Biscuits Recipe: One of the Most Influential Black Chefs in the South

Southern Kitchen named the 20 most influential African American chefs cooking in the American South today. You may recognize some of them because they have their own cooking shows; these cooks are TV stars and household names. Others have dedicated their careers to teaching the next generation of chefs, while others on the list are “changing our culinary scene from behind the line” (Southern Kitchen).

Among the influential chefs named by Southern Kitchen is Nashville native Carla Hall who gained fame on Top Chef. Her cooking talents and outgoing personality landed her a co-hosting spot on The Chew and led to two cookbook deals. Outside of the kitchen and TV studio, Hall is actively involved with several nonprofits, including Chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen Chef Network, D.C. Central Kitchen, and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs.

One of Hall’s top 10 most popular recipes of 2022 was her buttermilk biscuits. On her website, she shares, “I doubt anyone will be surprised about the recipe that stole the second spot for most popular this year. Biscuits are something I am so passionate about making and sharing and I hope that shines through when I share them with you. I love that you all seem just as excited about perfecting your biscuit baking skills as I am about imparting the knowledge I've gained from countless hours in the kitchen creating the perfect recipe and process.”

You can find Carla Hall’s buttermilk biscuits recipe in her cookbook Carla’s Comfort Foods, or right here!

Cuisine: American Southern
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes plus 5 minutes to cool
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen, plus more for the pan
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping the dough
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk

Here’s how to make it:

  1. To make the dough with a food processor (alternate option below): Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda in the bowl of the food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse a few times, until well mixed. Add the shortening and pulse until fine crumbs form. With the machine running, switch to the grating disk attachment. Push the frozen butter through the feed tube.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and toss to make sure all the butter sheds are coated with the floury crumbs form. Add the buttermilk and fold in using a rubber spatula, running the flat of it through the center of the mixture and then around the edge while you rotate the bowl. Continue, being as gentle as possible, until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened.
  3. To make the dough by hand: Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda in a large bowl with an open hand, using your fingers as a whisk. Add the shortening and use your fingertips to pinch it completely into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 
  4. Using a box grater, grate the frozen butter on the large holes into the flour. Toss until all the pieces are coated. Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture. Using your hand, gently mix until there are no dry bits of flour left. The dough will be sticky; do not worry! Lightly coat your work surface with nonstick cooking spray, and then flour.
  5. Turn the dough out onto the lightly floured surface and gently pat into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Sprinkle the dough with the flour, then fold it in thirds like a letter. Repeat the patting, sprinkling and folding twice, rotating the dough 90 degrees each time. Pat the dough to 3/4-thickness. It should no longer be sticky.
  6. Flour a 2-inch biscuit cutter and press it straight down into the dough. Transfer the round to a buttered cookie sheet, placing the bottom side up. Repeat, cutting the rounds as close together as possible and spacing them 1 inch apart on the pan. Stack the scraps, pat to 3/4-inch thickness, and cut again. Refrigerate the rounds until cold, 15 minutes or more.
  7. Bake in a preheated 450-degree F oven until the tops are golden brown and crisp, about 15 to 16 minutes. Let cool for five minutes on the cookie sheet before serving hot.

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Elisa Schmitz
Carla Hall and biscuits? A match made in heaven! Can't wait to try this recipe.
Cassiday
Yes to all the yummy biscuit recipes. We love fresh breads.

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