We're featuring a classic recipe from the “Knott’s Berry Farm Cookbook” written by Florine Sikking and Judith Zeidler published by the Armstrong Publishing Company in 1976. Many of the recipes in this cookbook are based on original recipes crafted by Cordelia Knott herself.
Were it not for Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant, Knott’s Berry Farm would not be the beloved, world class theme park it has become over the past 75 years. To entertain the long lines of guests waiting for a seat at his wife, Cordelia’s, popular restaurant, Walter Knott began erecting a collection of modest old west buildings that established the basis of Ghost Town.
Let's begin with a delicious and classic side dish from Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant, the Buttermilk Biscuits. This signature side dish pairs well with the park’s very own Berry Market jams, jellies, and boysenberry butter or just plain butter.
- 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons of baking powder (double acting)*
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon solid shortening
- Pinch of baking soda (or ½ teaspoon)
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- Cottonseed or vegetable oil
*Make sure baking powder is fresh. Baking powder loses its effectiveness when stored for a long period of time.
In an electric mixer, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and shortening and mix until consistency of coarse meal. Combine baking soda and butter milk in a separate bowl and beat with a spoon until foamy and thickened. Add butter-milk mixture to flour and beat until well blended. Do not overbeat. Mixture will be sticky.
Turn out onto a well-floured board, sprinkle top of dough with flour and pat until one-inch thick. Pour enough oil into a jelly roll-type pan (approximately 11” x 7”) to measure ¼ inch (or about ¼ cup of oil). In a second pan pour an equal amount of oil. Cut biscuits with cookie cutter or drinking glass and roll each biscuit in the first pan of oil, then place in second pan. (Oil will cling to dough, which is desirable.) Continue cutting and rolling in oil until second pan is filled. Biscuits should be touching each other. Pat top of biscuits with oil from first pan. Bake in preheated 500 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes approximately 18 2” biscuits or 20 1¾ biscuits or 30 1½ biscuits.
Need some extra help? Pre-made buttermilk biscuit mix is available at Knott’s Berry Farm’s own Berry Market located just outside the main gate or the Online Berry Market.