After proofing overnight in the fridge, these yeast-raised biscuits are ready to bake first thing in the morning, so they're an easy make-ahead option for breakfast and brunch. Like traditional biscuits, angel biscuits are buttery and tender, but with a flavor and texture closer to a Parker House roll—yeasty and light. Whether stuffed with slices of country ham or a spoonful of jelly, these fluffy biscuits will get your morning off to the right start.
Why It Works
- Instant dry yeast replaces baking powder to leaven these biscuits, giving them a flavor much like classic dinner rolls.
- A long, slow rise helps these biscuits develop flavor and structure.
- A touch of baking soda improves browning and flavor.
- An overnight rise means the biscuits can be baked first thing in the morning, putting breakfast on the table without any fuss.
- Yield:Makes about 14 two-inch biscuits
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:about 10 hours
- 12 ounces all-purpose flour, such as Gold Medal (about 2 2/3 cups, spooned; 340g)
- 1 ounce sugar (about 2 tablespoons; 30g)
- 1/4 ounce (about 2 teaspoons; 7g) instant dry yeast, such as SAF; not RapidRise or active dry (see note and also more info here)
- 2 teaspoons (8g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use about half as much by volume or the same weight kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 5 1/4 ounces cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 10 1/2 tablespoons; 145g)
- 9 ounces milk, any percentage will do (about 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons; 255g)
Sift flour into a medium bowl, then add sugar, instant dry yeast, salt, and baking soda; whisk until well combined (this may take up to 1 minute). Add the butter, toss to break up the pieces, and, using your hands, smash each cube flat. Continue smashing and rubbing until the butter has mostly disappeared into a floury mix, although a few larger, Cheerio-sized pieces may remain. This can also be done with 4 or 5 pulses in a food processor, just take care not to overdo it. The prepared mix can be refrigerated up to 3 weeks in an airtight container, then used as directed below.
Add milk, and stir with a flexible spatula until the flour has been fully absorbed. When the dough forms a rough ball, cover with plastic and set aside at cool room temperature until roughly doubled in bulk, about 2 hours. At temperatures significantly above or below 70°F (21°C), this process will proceed at a different rate, so use the visual cues rather than a specific timetable.
After proofing, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. With lightly floured bare hands, gently pat the dough into a squarish shape about 1/2 inch thick, then fold in half; repeat twice more for a total of 3 folds, using only enough flour to keep your hands from sticking. Finish by patting the dough to a thickness of 3/4 inch. If needed, dust away any excess flour, then cut into 1 3/4-inch rounds and arrange in a 10-inch cast iron skillet. Gather scraps into a ball, pat and fold a single time, then cut as many more biscuits as you can. The final round of scraps can be gathered and shaped into a single biscuit by hand. Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate overnight, between 8 and 12 hours.
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 400°F (200°C). Brush the cold dough with melted butter, and bake until the biscuits are well-risen and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let the biscuits cool about 5 minutes to help set their crumb, then serve as desired, whether alongside soups and stews or split for shortcake or breakfast sandwiches. Leftovers can be stored up to a week in an airtight container. To serve, split the stale biscuits in half, brush with melted butter, arrange on a baking sheet, and broil until golden brown, then serve with jam.