Thursday, March 29, 2012

Good Night, Mr. Scruggs, and thank you for the biscuits

We were sorry to hear the news that Earl Scruggs passed away yesterday; as a family we are big fans of Flatt & Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys, as well as Scruggs on his own after the split. Emily had hoped he would hang on just a few years longer so she could hear him play live! She became a huge fan of the whole band when we started watching the Flatt & Scruggs show in Netflix last year. Here's a short clip of Earl in prime form:

The Flatt & Scruggs show (which was one early version of the Grand Old Opry, sponsored by Martha White Flour) is fantastic -- I'm not sure how much of it is actually available, but there are several volumes available on amazon, and the first 8 volumes are streaming on Netflix.

But to be honest, the biggest impact Earl Scruggs had on our household is in the kitchen. We heard that a biscuit recipe of his had been printed for many years by Martha White, and I finally tracked it down in their cookbook. We made it just for fun...but it actually is the best recipe I have ever used -- just look at the results!

Earl Scrugg's Biscuits

Biscuits are a regular feature on our table; sometimes as a side but honestly, most often as dinner (with sides of homemade sausage and a lot of honey and syrup.)

Earl Scrugg's Biscuits

The recipe has been replaced on their site with a new version that uses crisco and is now just called "famous" biscuits so here's how I make it:

Earl Scrugg's Famous Buttermilk Biscuits

First, melt 2 T of butter and set aside, and preheat oven to 450F

You will need 2 cups Self-Rising Flour OR
2 cups flour + 1 T baking powder + 3/4 t salt
To that add 1 t sugar and whisk (or pulse in a food processor)
Add 1/3 cup butter, chilled and cut up and either pulse in processor or cut in with pastry cutter until the mixture looks mealy.
Add 1 c buttermilk and stir in until it's shaggy looking. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead until smooth (don't be afraid to sprinkle extra flour in there); roll out to 1/2" and then cut into rounds. Place on baking sheet and bake in oven for 12-15 minutes. When golden brown, remove and brush with melted butter. Put on some Foggy Mountain Boys and enjoy.


  1. A+ biscuit. Would make again. Will make again in 18 hours, in fact!

  2. Yay! I hope you listened to some Flatt & Scruggs during dinner, too!


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