Follow my journey from farmer's daughter to line cook in the big city. My story of food activism, rural hardships, urban pitfalls & one hell of a long ride down a gravel road.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Easy & Delicious Buttermilk Biscuits
Fresh, hot biscuits make a wonderful addition to any cool-weather meal. This is the most basic recipe ever and takes only a few minutes to get wonderful results. Please note: this is a SINGLE PERSON recipe so it only makes 5 nice sized biscuits. Feel free to double or triple the amounts if you have a crowd.
This recipe is for savorybuttermilk biscuits. If I want to use these for breakfast or to make shortcakes I simply add a crust of large sugar crystals to the top of the biscuits before I bake them.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
For 5 biscuits you will need:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 T. baking powder
1 t. salt
3 T. very cold butter (REAL BUTTER)
3/4 c. + 2 T buttermilk
First, combine all the dry ingredients and add the butter in large pieces. Make sure the butter is as cold as possible. And, work quickly.
Using your thumb and first finger as if you are going to "snap" work the butter into the flour. Try to work quickly and not let the butter melt. Don't allow butter to remain lumpy in the flour. By "snapping" you will spread the butter into thin sheets & this helps create flaky biscuits. Don't over work the flour as this builds gluten and will result in very tough dough. You want to handle the dough as little as possible but don't be afraid to work the butter in. Lumps aren't good either.
When the butter is properly combined it will resemble slightly wet sand. From here, add the butter milk and mix gently with your hands. Some people suggest using the food processor for the entire process. However, I think this over-works your dough & for me, making biscuits is "hands-on"
Once the buttermilk is incorporated turn the dough onto a lightly floured board. Very carefully, using your HANDS not a rolling pin, pat the dough into a 1/2 inch thick round. The less you work the dough, the better the biscuit.
Use a circle cutter to cut biscuits to your desired size. I usually get 3 biscuits at first. Then, I very gently push the dough back together & can cut 2 more. The 2 biscuits from the 2nd batch will be a little tougher than the first 3 due to re-working the dough, but they will still be tasty as long as you didn't over-work them in the first place. I usually bake them in a 9 inch round pie pan (glass or metal I don't have a preference). I rub some butter on the bottom.
If you want to have a sweeter biscuit don't forget to dust the top with some course large-crystal sugar. Otherwise, pop them in the over for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on top. If you want softer sides on the biscuits bake them touching each other. If you prefer crustier sides bake the biscuits spaced apart.
This literally takes about 7 minutes to make the dough & cut the biscuits. It is well worth the time to have hot, fresh bread with dinner. Enjoy.