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Two Peas and Their Pod: Hell's Biscuits

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hell's Biscuits

Last fall I made a trip down to Boulder, Utah. It is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, but a very scenic drive. It was a work trip, but of course I found time to go to the famous Hell's Backbone Grill.

Kalyn, of
Kalyn's Kitchen, did a special post about my trip last year. We were neighbors at the time and I didn't have a blog yet, so she let me be a guest blogger. It was fun!

Anyways, the reason I am talking about Hell's Backbone Grill today is because of their fantastic biscuits. As soon as you sit down they bring you the
most amazing biscuits you will ever lay your tongue on. They simply melt in your mouth!

We had leftover buttermilk in the fridge so I knew I had to introduce Josh to these biscuits! I found the recipe in Blake and Jenn's (the owners') cookbook:
With a Measure of Grace: The Stories and Recipes of a Small Town Restaurant.

The biscuits are buttery, tender, and flaky. The hint of black pepper gives them a nice kick. Enjoy them with homemade jam, honey, or more butter if you wish!

Blue-Ribbon Black-Powder Buttermilk Biscuits

Adapted from Hell's Backbone Grill, With a Measure of Grace

3 T cornmeal
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper

1 tsp. white sugar

1 stick of butter, chilled and cut into chunks

2 cups of buttermilk

1. Adjust oven rack in the center of the oven. Heat to 450 degrees. Grease a 9 by 11 cookie sheet or line with parchment or a Silpat. Sprinkle 2 T of cornmeal over surface.

2. Place flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, pepper, and sugar in a large bowl or in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Whisk or pulse 5-7 times.
3. If making by hand, cut butter in with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles uneven, coarse crumbs. If using a food processor, distribute butter chunks over the dry ingredients. Pulse 10-12 times, then transfer to large bowl.

4. Pour buttermilk over the top of the dough, folding ingredients at edges of bowl into middle using a rubber spatula. Rotate bowl one-quarter turn with each fold until dough is moistened and sticky, leaving few dry patches.

5. Turn dough ball onto lightly floured counter. Lightly dust your hands with flour and gently ease dough into a square shape. With bench scraper or sharp kitchen knife, cut dough in half and stack one-half on top of the other. Repeat three times, flattening, cutting, and stacking. Adding flour if necessary. I had to add a bit of flour:)

6. Transfer stack to baking sheet. Sprinkle dough with remaining 1 T of cornmeal. Using floured rolling pin, roll to one inch thick. Cut biscuits with a knife or bench scraper into 2 by 2 squares. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

I hope you try these biscuits at home! And if you have time please visit Hell's Backbone Grill. Their ingredients are super fresh, they only come from their own gardens, their six acre farm, or from local farmers. For that reason, they are only open Spring-Fall. Call for a reservation. It may be a little town in Southern Utah, but everyone goes to dine at Hell's! The service is incredible, Blake, Jenn, and staff are down to earth and super friendly. This is a one of a kind restaurant.

Hell's Backbone Grill
No. 20 North Highway 12
Boulder, Utah 84716
Reservations are strongly recommended for dinner

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Blogger Prudy said...

We've had that rest. on are list for sooo long and never made it there and we are close! We're in Santa Clara. My parents went this last weekend and loved it. I've even had reservations there that I've had to cancel. That does it-I'm going to try again for this weekend. IN the meantime, i copied down the biscuit recipe for dinner tonight.

6:27 AM  
Blogger Mary Bergfeld said...


I love your blog and those biscuits look pretty darn good, too.


8:06 AM  
Blogger NKP said...

Your biscuits look great. I haven't made them with cornmeal and black pepper before, sounds heavenly.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

I love biscuits! I am excited to try this recipe - they look so delicious.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Mary Ann said...

I will have to try these since my hubby is a southern boy. He is sure to love them and so will we! THey look perfect!

9:42 AM  
Blogger Live.Love.Eat said...

So glad you stopped by. I MUST put you on my blogroll immediately. Those biscuits are to die for, your husband is amazing for baking you those treats. GO YOU!!!!

10:27 AM  
Blogger Allie said...

Thanks for the comment. I love your blog it's full of yummy stuff, I'll be sure to bookmark it. My husband and I just got back from Alaska so seeing your pictures made me miss being there. We went to Utah in May and missed Hell's Backbone which I was really mad about. So now I'll have to try the biscuits and see what I missed out on!

10:50 AM  
Blogger Thistlemoon said...

Really good biscuits are hard to come by! Those look great! :)

11:02 AM  
Blogger Kelley Flint said...

I was wondering what to do with the leftover buttermilk in my fridge. I think I'm going to have to try these out this weekend. They look fantastic.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Beth (jamandcream) said...

These look great. Im writing down the recipe!

11:44 AM  
Blogger Culinary Wannabe said...

I've been looking for a great biscuit recipe, I just can't find anything to compare to grandma's. I will definitely be giving these a try!

1:49 PM  
Blogger vanillasugarblog said...

I have heard of those biscuits!! I can't remember where though. Anyways, they look sooo darn good. I love a good biscuit. That taste when they are fresh out of the oven. Mmmm

2:51 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

I can't say I'm ever going to Utah, but I know a good biscuit when I see one. Those look very flaky and delicious :)

3:43 PM  
Blogger chris+amber said...

You know food! I'm gonna have to give these biscuits a try! Thanks for always sharing new & exciting recipes!

3:50 PM  
Blogger Dee said...

You know, I've never had biscuits before - our biscuits are your cookies :) I am itching to try some. Maybe with some stew :)

6:31 PM  
Blogger Manggy said...

I've only made biscuits once, but I really liked them-- something about the salt (and in this case, pepper) really brings out the flavor of the sweet stuff you put in the middle. Yum! Thanks for the recipe!

6:57 PM  
Blogger The Blonde Duck said...

I haven't been to Colorado in forever! Now I have a reason to go! I miss it! We used to go to Keystone every summer when we tagged along on my Dad's conference.

7:01 PM  
Blogger CECIL said...

That biscuits!!! My mouth is watering! I lived in Kentucky for many years and that's how - I strongly think - all biscuits should look like.

7:46 PM  
Blogger Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

Your biscuits look heavenly Maria. I've never heard of putting cornmeal in biscuits but obviously it's worth a try.

5:43 AM  
Blogger grace said...

biscuits must be buttery, and yours definitely are. i love the addition of pepper. a bit of jelly and i'd be in heaven. :)

7:25 AM  
Blogger Natalie Que said...

Holy Cow, I love biscuits of any kind, but the gourmet melt in your mouth variety are tops! Thanks for posting this, I will probably just have to make it now.

You've been so busy this week!

8:28 AM  
Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

They look delicious! I heard that was a good cookbook. (Wish we were still neighbors. You're going to miss the huge house renovations that start soon on the outside of the house! New deck and a lot of other exciting stuff. I will have a party, but it might not be until next summer.)

8:21 PM  

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