09 April 2009

The Best Buttermilk Biscuits. Ever.

Sometimes I really surprise myself. I can't believe these actually came out of my oven. So buttery, so soft, so crisp, so flaky... So... so PERFECT!And actually pretty easy! Please make them! Eat them hot with honey and butter. Or add more sugar and top a cobbler with them. But please do make them, you'll never regret it.

Buttermilk Biscuits
2 c (260 g) flour plus more for work surface
2 teaspoons (10 g) baking powder
1/2 (2 g) teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon (15 g) sugar*
4 tablespoons (50 g) butter, cut into small chunks and chilled
3/4 c plus 1 tablespoon (200 g) buttermilk
5 cm round cookie-cutter or small glass

Preheat oven to 500°F (260°C). Whisk together the 2 c flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Rub and mix in butter with your finger tips until mixture resembles coarse crumbs of varying sizes, but none larger than a pea. (Or pulse in with food processor, just make sure not to over process). Stir in buttermilk until dough comes together in a ball.

Turn dough mixture out onto floured work surface. With floured hands, lightly knead dough only a few times. Gently pat out into a circle about 1 inch (25 mm) thick. Dip cutter or glass into flour and push straight down into the dough but do not twist the cutter. Form the dough scraps into an extra biscuit with your hands. Place biscuits together on a parchment-lined baking sheet so that the sides are touching. Brush tops with melted butter, if desired.

Bake for 5 minutes at 500°F (260°C) then lower oven temp to 450°F (230°C) and continue to bake until they are golden brown, about another 5 minutes.

*For sweeter, scone-like biscuits that make a mouth-watering cobbler topping, use 1/4 c (50 g) of sugar here.