Monday, April 22, 2013

Buttermilk Biscuits are DIVINE

One of the main staples of a country kitchen is atmosphere, how you feel when you walk in and sit down. And what better way to establish atmosphere than a heaping pile of fresh buttermilk biscuits right out of the oven.

How do you make them you ask?

Its easy, and then again its not. I had to do trial and error multiple times before i worked out the kinks to figure out exactly what it needed to be perfect. 

These are the basic tips that can give you mountainous flaky buttery biscuits. 

1) Think cold, think FROZEN, the colder your ingredients are the better it will come out. I freeze my buttermilk when i get it so that when im ready to go i just pop them out of the trays and toss them in the microwave until they are just melted enough to work with (but still COLD!), Its also good because it makes your buttermilk last a long time if you don't use it every day. I also freeze my butter, when its time to use it i cut it with a large knife into small bits as fast as i can. Additionally i keep my flour refrigerated, not a necessity  but it doesn't hurt. 

2) Don't touch it more than you have to. I suppose this goes back to number one, but thats how important it is. Cut in the ingredients and use tools instead of hands to incorporate, the heat from your hands can melt the butter. When i cut in my (frozen) butter i barely cut it in enough to be incorporated. you can actually see chunks of butter in the dough and this is good. 

3) Make sure it's rolled THICK before you cut it, at least 3/4 of an inch. If not you wont get that rise that you need for it to be a flaky biscuit. after you combine the wet and dry ingredients do a few quick turns on a floured surface to get it ready to be rolled and cut. 

4) Use a cast iron skillet. Anyone who uses them can tell you, they are magic. They make everything taste better, and no thats not an exaggeration. If you put them on too thin of a surface to bake the bottom will cook too fast and they will be too hard on the bottom.

That's basically it, whether you use this recipe or another if you follow those four tips you will be good to go. 

4 cups of flour
2 cups of buttermilk
4 teaspoons of baking powder 
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1-2 teaspoons of salt
2 sticks of butter (unsalted)

Pre-heat oven to 375
combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl
cut in the butter using a pastry cutter if you dont have one you can use two knives. (if you use frozen butter cut it into small pieces before adding to the flour)
add the buttermilk
Gather ingredients and turn dough onto floured surface
Do a (very) few quick kneads until it is the right elasticity to roll out and cut. 
Roll to 1" thick (very important)
Cut using a cup or biscuit cutter make sure they are large (3 inches across)

Place in cast iron skillet, or pyrex dish if you dont have a cast iron skillet. 

Bake for 20 minutes or until tops are lightly browned. 

Brush tops with salted butter when done. 

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