Sunday, January 1, 2012

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

Happy New Year! I decided to make buttermilk biscuits for brunch today because I have another recipe that I'm making (cole slaw, to go with the pulled pork I'm making for dinner) that calls for all of two tablespoons of buttermilk. That means, I'll basically have an entire quart of buttermilk left over sitting in my fridge. So, knowing I needed to start working my way through that to avoid having it sit in my fridge for three months, I decided to try my hand at buttermilk biscuits for the first time.

The recipe I found couldn't be easier. And what came out was a flaky, fluffy biscuit that basically melts in your mouth. It was also a phenomenal way for me to eat more of the pear butter I made yesterday. As with many baking recipes, I didn't modify anything in this recipe and honestly, it doesn't need any modification. The key to flaky biscuits is super cold ingredients, and handling as little as possible.

Here's the recipe, from Food.com
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour , plus more for dusting the board (if you can get White Lily flour, your biscuits will be even better)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (use one without aluminum)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold
  • 1 cup buttermilk (approx)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450
  2. Combine dry ingredients into the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Chunk the butter up and pulse a few times in the processor until it resembles a course meal. 
  4. Pour mixture into a bowl, add buttermilk and mix until just combined. If it appears dry, add a bit more buttermilk. It should be very wet. 
  5. Turn dough out onto a floured board. Gently pat the dough out until it's 1/2 inch thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently press the dough down to 1-inch thick. Use a round cutter to cut into rounds. 
  6. You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more but they will not be anywhere near as good as the first ones. 
  7. Please biscuits on a cookie sheet with sides touching for soft biscuits. For "crunchy" biscuits place them 1-inch apart. 
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, don't over bake. Makes 10 biscuits.

(You can make these biscuits, cut them, and put them on cookie sheets and freeze them for up to a month. When you want fresh biscuits simply place them frozen on the cookie sheet and bake at 450 for about 20 minutes.)
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