I’m gonna go out on a limb here and toot my own horn. Because it’s my blog and if I can’t do it here, then where?
I make good biscuits.
No, I make DAMN good biscuits.
I didn’t always. When I was first starting out, and actually up until fairly recently, my biscuit recipe consisted of following the directions on the back of a box of Bisquick.
Then one Saturday morning I had my heart set on biscuits and realized I was out of Bisquick. Going to the store was out of the question. I don’t know about you, but whenever I think I’m going to run into the store unnoticed to grab one thing and be out in five minutes, that’s when I run into every single guy I have ever dated (even the ones I thought left the country), that girl who shunned me in high school (hopefully she weighs 900 pounds now and has 12 bratty children), the CEO of my company, and my minister. It was either settle for a slice of whole wheat toast, or make my own biscuits from scratch.
It did involve more than throwing a couple cups of mix and some milk into a bowl, but really it was very easy. And when I pulled that first batch out of the oven, I was surprised by how good they were. I have perfected my technique since then, and now I will share with you my secrets to getting fluffy buttermilk biscuits from scratch:
1. Check the expiration date on your dry ingredients. If you have a container of baking powder that has been sitting forgotten in the back of your pantry for the last six years, throw it out and go buy some fresh or your
hockey pucks biscuits will fall flat.
2. Really cold grated butter makes a huge difference. I like to throw mine in the freezer, preferably overnight, but if you don’t have that kind of time try 20-30 minutes. And rather than trying to cut the butter into your dry ingredients with two knives (I never could get that to work) or a pastry cutter (arm workout) I grate my butter using a box grater, then put it back in the freezer while I mix together my dry ingredients. You could also do this with a food processor.
3. For taller biscuits, don’t roll the dough out to any more than ½ -inch thick. I like my biscuits to look like little top hats when they come out of the oven.
4. Spend a couple bucks and go buy a for-real biscuit cutter. I used to use the end of a drinking glass to cut my biscuits. Then I read that using something with a dull edge pinches the dough together and prevents the biscuits from rising. You need to use something with a semi-sharp edge.
It is so gratifying when you open the oven door to reveal a pan of golden brown, fluffy buttermilk biscuits and watch that quick puff of steam rise as you pull one apart to lather on a healthy swipe of butter or jelly.
The Husband likes to drown his biscuits in sawmill gravy.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter or shortening
- 3/4 to 1 cup cold buttermilk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into mixture until it resembles course crumbs. Add three-quarters cup of buttermilk, and stir until dough comes together and begins to leave the side of the bowl, adding additional milk if necessary.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Lightly knead 10 times. Roll or pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into disks using a 2 to 2-1/4- inch round cutter. Place on a greased cookie sheet about one inch apart.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes 6-8 biscuits.