Angel Biscuits, the Versatile Dough

Angel Biscuits are an interesting cross between a bread bun and a buttermilk biscuit.  I ran across the recipe a few years ago and was intrigued by the list of ingredients.  I had the recipe for some time before I tried it but I was pleasantly surprised by the versatility of the dough.  Made as it was written, it makes a decent enough biscuit, but if you knead the dough a little longer and let it rise for about an hour it makes nice hamburger buns and even great cinnamon buns.  I have read that you can leave the dough in the refrigerator for up to a week and just bake what you need.  But as this recipe makes only about 12-18 biscuits or buns I always bake them the same time. 

I usually mix some whole wheat flour in with the mix just to make them a little more healthy but that's just me.  Feel free to make them using all white flour.  One time I had to make them vegan and I used water instead of the milk and they still turned out great.  It is important if you use water to still use the lemon juice as it reacts with the baking soda. 

Today I wanted hamburger buns so I turned to this recipe.  As I was in a rush, I didn't rise them in the bowl for the first rising but just let them rise on the pan, like the biscuits, to cut down on the time.  They came out of the oven 5 minutes before Don came home.  That's cutting it short but dinner was ready on time and that was my objective this morning.  The buns were more biscuit-like than a bread bun but very good and soft and nice to eat with the veggie burgers I'd prepared.

I made them again this afternoon using the longer process and they were nice and high and lofty--angelic, you might say.  

Angel Biscuits
1 package or 1 tablespoon instant yeast
2½ cups white flour + more to mix in
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup melted margarine or oil
1 tablespoon sugar (brown or white)
1¼ cups warm milk or water
1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar

In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients together including the yeast and stir all together.  Mix the oil, sugar, milk and lemon juice together in a measuring cup or small bowl.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix to make a soft dough adding more flour if necessary to make the dough easy enough to handle.  Turn out on floured table and knead for about 30 seconds.  Roll out ½ inch thick and cut with a biscuit cutter.  Place on greased baking sheet and let rise about 30 minutes -1 hour or until double.  Bake 375 degree oven about 10–15 minutes until golden brown.  Makes about 18 medium biscuits.

To make Hamburger or Bread Buns:
Follow the instructions for mixing the dough but knead for about 4 or 5 minutes.  Grease the bowl and place the dough inside.  Cover with plastic wrap or a clean dish cloth and let rise about an hour.  Shape into buns or roll out ½-¾ inch thick and cut with a large biscuit cutter.   Place on a greased pan and let rise until double, about 1 hours.  Bake 375 degree oven about 10–15 minutes until golden brown.  Makes about 12 hamburger buns.

To make Cinnamon Buns:
Increase sugar to 3 tablespoons.  Mix as above and roll out into a rectangle.  Cover dough with butter  and sprinkle with a fairly thick layer of brown or white sugar.  Sprinkle sugar with cinnamon.  Cover with raisins if desired and roll up like a jelly roll.  Cut buns about an inch thick and place in greased pan not quite touching.  Let rise about 1 hour.  Bake in 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Spread with glaze while still warm.  Makes about 12-15 cinnamon buns.

Glaze for Cinnamon Buns:
Mix 1 cup icing sugar with 1 tablespoon soft butter or oil and 2 tablespoons of water or milk.  Add ½ teaspoon vanilla.  If glaze is too thin add a little more icing sugar.  If glaze is too thick add more liquid a few drops at a time until it is the right consistency

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Even though I won't be using a whisk to make the biscuits it's good for mixing all the dry ingredients together.  Add the lemon juice, oil and sugar to the milk and then add the wet ingredients to the dry.  Mix until a soft dough has formed.

 Knead about 30 seconds for biscuits; 4 or 5 minutes for hamburger buns.
If making biscuits, pat dough out and cut.

 If making hamburger buns or cinnamon buns, let dough rise in bowl for 1 hour or until doubled.

 Pat dough out ½-¾ inch thick and cut with a biscuit cutter.  

Place biscuits or buns on greased pan almost touching.  Let rise until double, about 1 hour.

Bake until golden brown.  Serve hot from the oven for biscuits.  Cool for hamburger buns.

Here are the hamburger buns and a few cinnamon buns made from the scraps of dough.


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