Recipe: Fluffy, Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

A little while ago, I made these delicious peach cupcakes and used buttermilk as part of the cake recipe. That carton of buttermilk has been hanging out in the fridge since then, just begging me to figure out what else I can use it in. Well, I don’t know about you, but when I hear “buttermilk” I immediately think about buttermilk pancakes and buttermilk biscuits. I’ve got a pancake recipe that I love, but I’ve yet to try biscuits, so that’s what I made this afternoon, working off of Alton Brown’s recipe.

Yields: 12 (one dozen)
Prep. time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 15-20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tbsp. shortening (I used Crisco), chilled and cut into a few chunks
  • 2 tbsp. butter (unsalted or salted), chilled and cut into a few chunks
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled

Directions
Preheat the oven to 450*F. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the chunks of butter and shortening. Using either your hands or a dough/pastry blender (I recommend using the latter because it offers more consistency and you’ll create less heat than if using your hands), rub/cut the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks crumb-like and the pieces of butter and shortening are pea-sized or smaller (do this quickly, as you do not want to let the butter and shortening melt at all). Make a well in the middle of the mixture, pour in the buttermilk, and stir until the mixture is just combined. Place the dough on a floured surface, put a little flour on the dough and on your hands, and gently knead the dough/fold it over on itself 5-7 times (don’t work it too much because it will make the dough tough). Press the dough ball into a 1-inch thick round and use a 2-inch biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits, being sure to press straight down into the dough as you cut. Take the scraps and form them into another 1-inch thick round and cut out remaining biscuits (work these pieces as little as possible, because, as I said, the more you mess with them, the tougher the finished biscuits will be). Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until they are tall and lightly golden-brown on top (about 15 minutes). 
Whether you spread jam on them, drizzle them with honey, or smother them with sausage gravy, these biscuits are sure to please. Buttery, fluffy, and flaky, they’re perfect for breakfast or a light snack (especially when they’re hot out of the oven).
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