At 82 years old, there are few things that Joe Cannon hasn’t mastered. All the typical cowboy tricks of course, how to ride a horse, how to move cattle, how to lasso a coyote, how to survive on biscuits and canned plums for a week in the snow when you’re only 8 years old and have been left all alone up a mountain with the herd! But he is also a master of the softer parts of life, like making people feel loved and giving love, and he has picked up an assortment of waifs and strays during his lifetime who needed somewhere to call home. While I was in Arizona, Joe took me under his wing, teaching me a number of important lessons, including how to bake traditional Southern biscuits! Even though his dear wife Daisy Mae was in charge of the kitchen, Joe sure knows his way around it.
2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp butter
Preheat oven to 475F
In a mixing bowl stir the flour, baking powder and salt then add in the shortening, mixing by hand until you make crumbs with the mixture.
Add milk and keep mixing with hands until the dough is sticky.
Sprinkle flour on a hard surface and knead dough until soft and smooth
Roll dough lightly to 3/4-inch or 1 inch thickness then using a cookie cutter of your preferred size, cut the dough into biscuits, re-rolling leftover dough together to keep cutting biscuit shapes.
Place the biscuits on a greased baking sheet and brush the tops with butter
Place the biscuits in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or so until golden brown.
I hope you love your biscuits as much as I did, although I was surprised to find out that they’re not all that different to scones. Somehow eating some home made biscuits beats having scones in a tearoom any day, especially when they’re accompanied by cowboy stories told by the lovely Joe.