Yes, I was among the 25,000 biscuit fans on Biscuit Boulevard this past Saturday during BiscuitFest 2014 in downtown Knoxville. An entire weekend devoted to biscuits — who would have thought it possible? If you missed it, mark your calendar now for next year! I know that I definitely plan on making this an annual event. (One word of advice: Get there early for the biscuit tasting as the crowd grows quickly, the lines get long, and the biscuits are guaranteed to disappear!)
The International Biscuit Festival was begun in 2009 by a group of local biscuit lovers who wanted to share Knoxville’s Biscuit heritage with the world and since has grown into a nationally recognized food festival (BiscuitFest.com). Sponsored by Food Network, Southern Living, and Blackberry Farm among others, this festival is jam-packed with plenty of food and entertainment along with a good dose of Southern charm. I’m sharing my favorite biscuit moments with you — beware, you may start to drool! Please keep reading…you’ll find a special biscuit recipe tucked in here as well.
The Biscuit Love Truck makes regular Saturday appearances at the Franklin Farmer’s Market and after tasting this creation, I just may need to make a Nashville weekend trip soon! Founded in 2012 by Karl and Sarah Worley, The Biscuit Love Truck has an assortment of menu options that include Nashville’s own hot chicken. Their ingredients are sourced locally as proven by the Sweetwater Valley Farms Cheddar Cheese Pimento Cheese and the Cruze Farm Buttermilk in their BiscuitFest creation. I loved their bacon jam!
Imagine our surprise to see Allan Benton himself frying up bacon samples! Located in Madisonville, Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams and bacon are known for their characteristic flavor and have become a favorite ingredient of gourmet cooks at the finest restaurants across the country.
Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop, a new local gourmet bakery specializing in homemade pies and biscuits, was serving up buttermilk biscuits topped with pork belly and pear moonshine jelly in a pie tin. I think these biscuits could also win the “cat-head biscuit” award — they were huge! (Please tell me that somebody out there besides me has heard this phrase before!)
And the People’s Choice Award goes to…Flourhead Bakery and the Tomato Head’s Ms. Pearl Biscuit — kudos to Mahasti Vafaie and her Market Square staff! The biscuit was light and fluffy, and the combination of Mr. Benton’s bacon, corn, tomato, and basil was delicious!The longest lines were for Tupelo Honey Café and their Peach of a Chicken Biscuit, which was a hearty serving of pulled chicken with peach jam on top of their famous Ginormous Biscuits. Needless to say, we did not leave this festival hungry!
To see more photos from BiscuitFest 2014, please visit Life, Love, and Good Food on Facebook.
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter frozen
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sour cream, and salt in a large bowl. WIth a cheese grater, grate the frozen butter using the largest holes; quickly cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture, a little at a time. Stir just enough so it clumps together and is no longer crumbly. Do not overmix.
On a floured surface, turn out the dough and roll out to a 1-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter, cut the biscuits and place on a sheet pan. Cook on top rack of the oven for 20 minutes, or until light brown, and remove from the oven. Brush the melted butter on top of each biscuit and return to the oven for about 5 minutes longer, or until the biscuits are golden brown.