August 22, 2010

Flaky Buttery Buttermilk Biscuits

When my mom came home from the supermarket with two cartons of buttermilk, I knew right away that I had to make biscuits.

The American concept of biscuits - essentially plain or savory scones - doesn't exist in Europe. Biscuit actually means cookie in French. And not that I ever really had them that often before moving to Europe, but the fact that I couldn't have them there made me want them even more than I would have if they had been available.

I know, it's ridiculous logic. But that's the way it is with things I can't have.

Anyway, so I was looking on foodgawker for the perfect buttermilk biscuit recipes and I came across one that looked pretty damn tasty.

And in fact, it was. The only thing I was a little disappointed with was that my biscuits didn't get as much height as I would have liked. I think it was almost all my fault, but I've tweaked the recipe to reflect good solution to the problem.

I also have two upcoming dinners, so I doubled the recipe, since I wanted to make enough for each dinner. But I think it's a good number of biscuits for a standard recipe so I left the amounts doubled. 10-12 is too few, I think, but if 20-24 biscuits is too much, cut the quantities in half :)

Flaky Buttery Buttermilk Biscuits
adapted from buttermilk biscuits

Makes 20-24 biscuits

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup or 16 tablespoons) butter, fridge cold
1 1/2 cups buttermilk


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Mix together all of the dry ingredients.

Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles pea-sized crumbs.

Make a well in the center of the butter-flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Stir until the flour is just incorporated but the dough is sticky and loose.

Pour dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 1 minute. The dough starts to clump together and be no longer sticky.

Sprinkle the surface with more flour if the pieces of butter start sticking to your kneading surface.

Shape the dough into a ball.

Hit it with a rolling pin, turning it and folding it in half every few whacks. Do this five or six times until the dough comes together.

Roll dough until it is 1/2 inch thick and then fold it in half. Lightly press the dough down to stick the layers together.

Cut out your biscuits from the folded dough using a round biscuit cutter or a glass. I made large biscuits, 2-3 inches across, and mini biscuits 1 inch across. Use whatever size you prefer!

Collect the scraps and without kneading them too much, smoosh them together and flatten them out enough to cut out some more biscuits.

Place on a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat or parchment paper (or grease the baking sheet if not using either of those). Make sure the biscuits are slightly touching so that they will help each other rise up instead of out.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. When slightly cooled, transfer the biscuits to a cooking rack.

Eat one slathered in butter!


Hotcakes said...

ohhhh looks good!

Cole said...

these look delicious! I'm a lover of all bread/carbs. :)