Sunday, November 6, 2011

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

This is a variation on a number of recipes that I have tried over the years.  The two main things to remember with biscuits are: 1) Don't beat them up! There is no need for kneading as gluten is the enemy of tender biscuits; and 2) Freeze your fats! It is important that the fats (butter and/or shortening) don't melt during to mixing phase. All in all, biscuits are relatively easy to make from scratch, plus you can stop buying those pre-made tube things.  Although I do have a recipe that uses those too...

2 cups Flour (Cake or White Lily is best, but All Purpose will work)
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter (cut into small cubes)
3 tbsp shortening (cut into small cubes)
1 cup chilled buttermilk

Heat oven to 420F.

  • Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in lager bowl.
  • Add fats to dry mix, pinching fats into dry mix until mixture looks like crumbs, or holds together when squeezed in your palm. Again the faster you do this the better. 
  • Make a well in the center of flour mix. Pour buttermilk in to center, mix until dough comes together. Should be a wet, sticky dough.
  • Turn dough out onto floured surface, dust top with flour.Gently fold over 3 or 4 times.
  • Press or roll into about a 1 inch round. Rolling Pin optional.
  • Cut with biscuit cutter, a handy water glass or scoop out with ice cream disher. If cutting biscuits, take care to cut straight down all the way through the dough, then twist. Place onto a baking sheet so that biscuits just touch. Press centers of biscuits down with thumb to ensure an even rise.
  • Bake 18-20 minutes.

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