Buttermilk Biscuits

January 16, 2008 · 0 comments

in breads and muffins

When I was young, I didn’t like biscuits. How anyone can not like flaky, buttery packets of calorie-laden deliciousness, I will never know, but I suppose I was a strange kid. I would devour dandelion greens, okra and calamari by the bowlful. But biscuits? Nope.  Every once in a while, my grandma (yiayia) would take me to KFC, where I would get my meal and she would order a coffee and a biscuit. Plus, she’d eat the biscuit that came with my meal. Obviously, yiayia knew what was up.  I haven’t been to KFC in ages but I guarantee that if I went today and someone tried to swipe my biscuit, loved relative or not, they would be swatted away–and not nicely.

The only biscuits I’ve made at home before tonight were the ones in a box from Trader Joe’s :) I don’t eat biscuits often because, these days, I could eat a dozen myself and that’s probably something I shouldn’t do. But today I ate healthy and went to the gym, so biscuits were definitely in order. I decided to make the fluffy biscuits from Cook’s Illustrated and they turned out…well, fluffy. And buttery. And good.

Fluffy Biscuits
Cook’s Illustrated
Makes 1 dozen

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup plain cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. table salt
1/4 lb. unsalted, chilled butter cut into 1/4″ cubes
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup buttermilk; additional if needed (I used an additional 2 Tbsp. or so)

Preheat the oven to 450 and position your rack in the middle of the oven.

Mix the first 6 ingredients together in a mixing bowl or the bowl of your food processor. With a pastry blender or the steel blade of your food processor, cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal.

If mixing by hand, stir in the buttermilk with a spatula or fork until the mixture is a soft, slightly sticky ball. Add more buttermilk if necessary. If using a food processor, add the buttermilk and pulse process until dough gathers into moist clumps. Remove and form into a ball.

Lightly flour your hands and divide the dough into twelve equal portions. Lightly bat a portion of the dough back and forth until a ball forms, and then pat lightly with cupped hands to form a rough ball. Place formed dough rounds 1″ apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush dough tops with melted butter. Bake until biscuit tops are lightly brown, about 10-12 minutes.  

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