The smell of an Angel Biscuit baking on a winter morning stirs vivid memories for the Stringer family. Minnie Stringer, a member of First Baptist Church for 50 years, carried those hand-kneaded drops of floury dough to every pot luck supper or church picnic, tucking a little slice of salted pork inside. Her blackened baking sheet was always emptied in a hurry.
Her grandson Josh shared a word about the biscuits: “You wanted to be in line towards the front so you could get to the biscuits before they were gone," he said. "She would always make two or three sheetpans full. We'd use them to butter, honey or sop (it's a southern way to clean your plate) - or all three."
The real treat came during round two, according to Josh, otherwise known as dinner. "Still stuffed from lunch, grandma usually pulled another pan of biscuits out of the oven as we headed home and the Angel Biscuits made a perfect vehicle to transport a couple of pieces of ham."
She's gone now, but the Angel Biscuit tradition lives on. Josh said his grandma always said, "There's not a bad one in the whole bunch,"--and she was right. "There's not. Just as long as there's enough biscuits to go around - and there always are."
When the Baptist Church voted to build a new sanctuary in 2004, the ladies of the church collected family recipes, many handed down over five generations, and published them in a cookbook, which is where we found this recipe. The book is still for sale at the church office and the profits go directly to First Baptist Church.
Minnie Stringer's Angel Biscuits
1 package yeast
2 Tbsp very warm water
2 Tbsp sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup shortening
5 cups flour
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Heat the buttermilk to room temperature. Add yeast to the buttermilk. Cut shortening into the flour, then add the sugar. Add the buttermilk a little bit at a time, forming a dough. On a floured board, turn the dough and knead only a time or two. Cut the biscuits and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown, at 400 degrees.