Here's Where the Angel Biscuit Got Its Name

Call it Angel Biscuit or Bride's Biscuit, but you will call it delicious!

Angel Biscuits
Recipe: Angel BiscuitsNo Easter meal is complete without a basket of warm biscuits, especially if you're serving ham. And these bake up so light and fluffy they practically fly out of the pan. Photo: Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Light and fluffy, this combination of biscuit and yeast roll is often called Bride's Biscuits, because they are so easy to make even a new bride can make them. In Biscuits: A Savor the South Cookbook, food writer Belinda Ellis recalls falling in love with these biscuits while attending Carson-Newman College. A talented cook in the college cafeteria was adept at rolling, folding, and baking these tender and flaky "simple angel biscuits," and Ellis would later launch a search to find the biscuit's origin. She writes that "Emory Thompson told me he invented the recipe while working for White Lily," then she met Linda Carman, "…who told me that someone at Martha White claimed to be the inventor." Like many of our favorite recipes, the real origin is lost to history. What remains, though, is a time-tested recipe for an easy and delicious recipe. Here is what makes Angel Biscuits so special:

The Recipe Uses Three Leavening Ingredients

The texture of Angel Biscuits must be tender, flaky, and light as air, which may account for the name. Rolling, kneading, and folding produces lovely layers but often compromises texture. The combination of baking powder, baking soda, and yeast, which is not usually found in Southern biscuit recipes, creates gorgeous height and flaky texture. Some recipes will use self-rising flour; if that is the case, you will only add baking soda and yeast.

The Biscuit Produces Angel Wings

The biscuit dough is kneaded, rolled, and folded before cutting. Folding the dough allows the biscuit to split easily in the middle and looks a little like angel's wings, which is perhaps another source for the name.

Use Only The Dough You Need

You don't have to use all the biscuit dough at once. Refrigerate what you don't use in an airtight container for up to five days. This method allows you to have homemade biscuits even for busy weeknights meals.

WATCH: The Southern History of Biscuits

They Freeze Well

It is best to bake, and then freeze, Angel Biscuits. In Southern Biscuits, authors Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubert claim that freezing an unbaked yeast product may result in a tough biscuit with decreased volume. However, if you really want to freeze an unbaked yeast product, "…add ½ teaspoon more yeast to compensate for any loss of rise from freezing."

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles