Flying Biscuits... Or At Least, Hovering Ones

One of Robert's and my favorite breakfast places while I was at Columbia Seminary was the Flying Biscuit Cafe, home of---what else?---flying biscuits. These are cream biscuits, with a rich, slightly sweet flavor and a tender crumb. I recently went on a search for a copycat recipe, and this is what I found. I can't say they flew, but they definitely got off the ground and hovered over our kitchen before being devoured within a matter of hours.

3 cups all purpose flour (a soft winter wheat flour, like White Lily, is best) 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoon baking powder ¾ teaspoon salt 2 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoon sugar 6 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature ⅔ cup heavy cream ⅔ cup half and half for brushing on top of biscuits 1 tablespoon sugar for sprinkling on top of biscuits
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  1. Place flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut butter into ½ tablespoon-sized-bits and add to the flour. Using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.
  2. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in all the heavy cream and the half and half.
  3. Stir the dry ingredients into the cream and mix with a wooden spoon until dough just begins to come together into a ball. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 2 or 3 times to form a cohesive mass. Do not overwork the dough.
  4. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to a 1-inch thickness. The correct thickness is the key to obtaining a stately biscuit.
  5. Dip a 2 ½ inch biscuit cutter in flour, then cut the dough. Repeat until all the dough has been cut. Scraps can be gathered together and re-rolled one more time.
  6. Place the biscuits on the prepared sheet pan, leaving about ¼ inch between them.
  7. Brush the tops of the biscuits with 1 tablespoon of half and half and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes. Biscuits will be lightly browned on top and flaky in the center when done.