Saturday, June 23, 2012

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

I never realized I was such a big biscuit fan up until recently. Last year I had some of the best biscuits and gravy (made with lamb sausage) when I was visiting friends in Chicago. I also was lucky enough to try my sister's cream biscuits, which is a recipe I still enjoy making for myself. When I was reading Fine Cooking and saw their picture of these biscuits, I knew I had to try them. I made these for the first time at my sister's house. Her husband is the ultimate biscuit taste tester since he loves them more than anyone else I know. If a biscuit gets approved by him, it's a keeper. These passed the test.

What I love about food magazines are all the tips they give you along with the recipe. For example, I never knew you should place your biscuits next to each other on the baking sheet so they expand up rather than mostly out. I'd also never heard of chilling your food processor and flour before making biscuits, but I'll take all the advice I can get. The recipe doubles really easily, which I have done before. I didn't have buttermilk when I made these once, so I just added lemon juice to milk and still ended up with great biscuits. I love serving these at a barbecue. They also make a great BBQ chicken sandwich if you have leftovers.

Recipe from Fine Cooking
Makes 6 or 7 biscuits

2 cups (9 oz.) chilled all purpose flour (plus extra as needed)
2 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes, plus 2 tablespoon melted butter
3/4 cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing

Chill your food processor, blade, mixing bowl, and flour. Place your oven rack in the center and preheat your over to 375ºF/190ºC. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In your chilled food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. Add the cold cubes of butter and pulse in 10 second bursts until the butter pieces are pea-sized. Transfer mixture to a cold bowl and pour in the buttermilk. To mix in the buttermilk, move your hand in a circular motion with fingers apart. Mix until just barely combined.

Lightly flour a work surface and place the dough on top. Pat dough into a 1" rectangle. Use a 2 1/2" biscuit cutter, dipped in flour in between each cut. Cut out as many biscuits as possible, making sure not to twist the biscuit cutter when removing the cutter from the dough. Place the biscuits on your lined baking sheet, making sure that they are touching.

Gather the remaining scraps, pat into a 1" rectangle and cut out more biscuits. Brush the tops of the biscuits with buttermilk. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter. Serve warm.

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