October 8, 2015 - New York Times - A Southern biscuit is equal parts comfort and controversy, its quality, authenticity and very classification as a biscuit subject to dispute. Its most crucial ingredient is not flour, fat, leavening or liquid, but nostalgia. The biscuit you ate at your grandmother’s knee is the only biscuit there will ever be. ....Two blocks south of BeeHive Oven stands Pies ’n’ Thighs, a Southern restaurant born in the back room of a biker bar nine years ago and settled at its current address in 2010. (A second location opened in January on the Lower East Side.)
Sarah Sanneh, the head baker, comes from Corona del Mar, Calif. She has Southern roots, but her biscuit recipe was improvised, not inherited. It includes all-purpose flour cut with lower-gluten pastry flour, for airiness; higher-fat European butter, frozen and chopped; and a final brushing with egg and heavy cream.
The resulting biscuits are glories, faintly fissured along the sides, their tops and bottoms gilded like pie crust and close to goldenrod in color. They start to crumble at the touch. Inside, they have layers like a secret dossier. They’re best eaten moments out of the oven, when the liquid in the butter has gone up in steam but still hovers like a ghost.