Angel Biscuits

Thursday 25 October 2018

These are not British Biscuits/cookies but rather North American Biscuits, which are very similar to scones, and are a type of bread, ie. a baking powder biscuit.  This is a recipe I have been using for many, many years and is one of my favourite versions of baking powder biscuits, aside from my mother's recipe, which is the absolute best!

These are different than most baking powder biscuits in that, along with baking powder, they also use yeast . . .  quick or bread machine yeast to be exact, and there is no raising time as with normal bread, which makes them truly a quick bread. 

Many moons ago, when I was raising my family we used to spend several weeks every summer at my in-laws home on Prince Edward Island, which is where my in-laws had retired to. It was a nice little community, mostly filled with retired armed forces personnel and war vets.  Across the road there was a couple named Kenny.  Mrs Kenny was Acadian French and she used to make these beautiful "French Biscuits" as she called them.  Very similar to these, but also slightly different.  They were more like a bun than a biscuit and were at their very best on the day they were baked. 

She used to prick the tops with a fork before baking and they had a short rising time. She tried to tell me how to make them once, but she had no measurements for anything.  Like a lot of older cooks, she just used a bit of this and a bit of that.  Every time we were visiting the In-laws, Mrs Kenny would send us over a basket of her French Biscuits and they were always very warmly received.

They were so delicious and I have been searching ever since for an exact recipe for them, and coming up with nothing.  In the meantime I bake these Angel Biscuits every now and then, and dream of those.  Never mind, these Angel Biscuits are delicious, nevertheless!

They are as light as air, lovely and fluffy  . . .  soft as a pillow or an angel's wings, which I am sure is where they get their name from!

They do use white vegetable shortening (Trex here in the UK, or Crisco in North America.)  I have never made them with butter.  Only ever just shortening.

They also use buttermilk.  In North American I used to buy buttermilk by the litre, here in the UK you can only get it in 300ml sizes (about 1 1/4 cups).  Its kind of silly really because I am never able to find something that only uses 60ml/1/4 cup of buttermilk.  Sigh  . . .

You can get it by the litre from Ocado, which is an online grocery shopping site, but it comes over from Ireland. They use a lot of buttermilk in Ireland.  I wish we could get the larger size here without having to do an online shop.  You have to spend a minimum amount to do an online shop, so I do treat myself every now and then, but mostly I just buy the smaller size and end up throwing the excess away in time because it doesn't get used!

Back to the biscuits. These truly are as light as air . . . .

and ultra flaky . . .  seriously tasty!

You can bake them in one of two ways . . .  either spread apart on a baking sheet or crisp sides, or close together in a skillet for softer sides. The choice is yours.  Today I did them in a skillet.

Yield: 10

Angel Biscuits

prep time: 14 minscook time: 25 minstotal time: 39 mins
Light and fluffy, these are baking powder biscuits which also use yeast to help them rise.  A buttermilk biscuit with a delicious difference!


2 1/2 tsp quick acting yeast
(bread machine yeast)
2 TBS warm water
245g of plain flour (1 3/4 cups)
140g cake flour (see my instructions below, 1 cup)
1 1/2 TBS caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
75g solid white vegetable fat (1/3 cup)
(make sure it is cold)
240ml cold buttermilk (1 cup)


Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  You can bake these
either on a baking sheet, spaced apart for crisp sides, or close
together in an iron skillet for soft sides.  In both cases you will want
 to line the pan with some baking paper.  Set aside.

Whisk the yeast and warm water together. Set aside to prove.

 the flour into a bowl, along with the cake flour (for each 140g/1 cup
of cake flour needed, you can use the equivalent in plain flour, with 2
TBS removed and replaced with 2 TBS cornflour/cornstarch), and baking
powder.  Stir in the sugar and salt.  Drop in the cold shortening and
cut it in with two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Pour
 in the yeast mixture and the buttermilk, stirring together with a fork
to make a soft dough.  Knead gently several times to bring together. 
Pat out on a lightly floured surface to 1 inch thickness.  Using a sharp
 round 2 1/2inch cutter and using a sharp up and down tapping motion,
cut out rounds. (Try not to twist the dough and try to get as many cuts
as possible from the first cutting.)  Place on the baking sheet leaving
space in between, or into the skillet, closer together.

 in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes (baking sheet), or 20 to 25
minutes (skillet), until well risen and golden brown and fully cooked
through.  Serve hot wth butter for spread.
Created using The Recipes Generator

These are just so amazingly good.  I had one with my dinner and now I am looking forward to having another one before I go to bed with some peanut butter on it.  I am such a naughty girl, I know!  I just can't help myself, which is why I save these for a rare treat! Bon Appetit! 


  1. Someone gave me a biscuit recipe from the day I will find it:) And share it w/ you..just in case..These look heavenly:)

    1. Oh, I would love to see it Monique! Maybe it is the same. I have been looking for a long, long time! xo

  2. Looks like a great recipe which I intend to try asap!

    A quick internet search reveals that buttermilk freezes well. As buttermilk seems to be quite expensive here, freezing any leftovers would seem to be a good thing - if you have room in your freezer

    1. That's good to know Karen! I am going to freeze my leftovers next time! Thank you! Hope you enjoy these biscuits! xo

  3. These look delicious. We love biscuits with stew. I use leftover buttermilk for muffins or quick bread recipes that call for milk.

    1. We love biscuits with stew also Lorraine! I have never thought of just using it in place of milk. Thanks! xo


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