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Southern Biscuit

2016 Biscuit Baking Contest Press Release:

The International Biscuit Festival has begun accepting recipe submissions for the 2016 International Biscuit Festival Biscuit Baking Contest, to be held May 14, 2016 in downtown Knoxville. The International Biscuit Festival has received national recognition as one of the best food events in the United States. More than 20,000 Biscuit lovers will fill downtown Knoxville to enjoy the Biscuit Baking Contest and other “must see” events of the Festival!

The four categories of competition are Sweet Biscuits, Savory Biscuits, Special Biscuits and Student Biscuits. The Special category is for those Biscuits that are over the top and incredibly imaginative. The Student category features the next generation of bakers and is for entrants 18 and younger. Each category will have three finalists chosen from all of the submitted recipes and those bakers will be invited to bake live in front of our panel of celebrity judges and an audience of Biscuit lovers. The Grand Prize Winner will be chosen from the winners of the four Biscuit categories.

“We are always amazed at the creativity that goes into the recipes we receive. We anticipate the 2016 season to be even more inventive, ingenious and scrumptious,” said Chris Kahn, chair of the 2016 Biscuit Baking Contest.

Submissions will be accepted from February 1, 2016 until midnight on April 21, 2016. Finalists will be notified and scheduled for the live competition at the Festival in downtown Knoxville, TN. 

For more information, read the Biscuit Baking Contest FAQ or contact entries@biscuitfest.com.

2016 Biscuit Bake-Off Recipes


The “Take-All-My-Cares-Away, Almond Caraway!” Biscuit

For the Almond Paste:
1 ½  cups almonds
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 egg white
1 ½  tsp almond extract
¼ tsp salt

For the caraway syrup:
½ cup water
½ cup granulated sugar
4 ½ Tbsp caraway seeds

For the biscuit dough:
2 cups Southern Biscuit self-rising Flour
6 Tbsp butter
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (3/4 cup measured with ¼ cup in reserve)

For biscuit topping:
1 small carton heavy whipping cream
1 Granny Smith apple
1 small packet blanched, slivered almonds
Handful of caraway seeds

For the almond paste:
In a food processor, blend almonds until they become a thick paste. Add remaining ingredients and blend until thoroughly mixed.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the caraway syrup:
Add caraway seeds to the water and bring water to a boil. After water is thoroughly tinted brown (2-3 minutes of boiling), reduce to medium heat, stir in sugar and simmer until very thick, about 12 or so additional minutes.  Allow to cool completely before use.

For biscuits:
Cut butter into small (1-2 cm) cubes and add to Southern Biscuit Flour. Use a pastry cutter to further cut butter into flour.  Work quickly to ensure the butter does not have time to begin melting.  Cut until no butter pieces are larger than pea-sized. Make a well in the center of the butter/flour mixture and
pour in ¾ cup of almond milk.  Stir gently, taking care not to overwork the dough.  Add ¼ cup of almond milk in reserve, if needed.  Dough should be fairly sticky at the end of mixing. Turn dough out onto a floured surface.  Sprinkle a little Southern Biscuit Flour on top and lightly press out the dough.  Fold in half and press out again.  Repeat several times with as light a touch as possible.
Press out dough one last time and begin cutting out biscuits with a small circular biscuit tin (I use a 2 inch-diameter tin). Arrange biscuits in a cast iron skillet with deep sides.  Begin by placing first biscuit in the center of the skillet and place subsequent biscuits next to center biscuit, moving outward in a circle, so all biscuits’ edges are touching one another. Once all biscuits are in skillet, use a well-floured thumb to press a well into the center of each biscuit.  Press each well gently but firmly until you can feel the bottom of the skillet with your thumb.  Press outward gently to make a well that is about 1 inch in diameter, though there is no need to be perfectly exact on this score. Fill each well with prepared almond paste.  Do not quite fill to the brim of the well.
Bake biscuits at 400° for 15 to 20 minutes, turning at 8 minutes if the biscuits appear to be getting unevenly baked.

For biscuit topping:
While oven is heating for biscuits, put slivered almonds on a cookie tray and toast them slightly. 
While biscuits are baking, dice granny smith apple into very small, 1 cm cubes.  Put whipping cream in blender or food processor and blend until crème fraiche is achieved. Allow biscuits to cool for 2-3 minutes when they come out of the oven, then top with crème fraiche.  Sprinkle apples and slivered almonds and (in smaller amount) caraway seeds on top of crème fraiche.
Pour one spoonful of caraway syrup on top of the biscuit/crème fraiche/sprinkles. 
Makes 10-12 servings.

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