Sunday, April 19, 2009

Southern Living’s Best Buttermilk Biscuits

buttermilk-biscuits-m

I've spent countless Sunday mornings in a flour-covered kitchen trying to perfect this elusive delicacy. Like most of you, I'm always careful to use a light hand when working the dough, but Test Kitchens Professional Vanessa McNeil Rocchio and I discovered a secret that makes these biscuits our best ever.

The trick is in the unique dough-folding method, the same one used to make puff pastries and croissants. Folding creates multiple layers of dough and fat, giving rise to a tender, puffy biscuit. Combine the dry ingredients the night before, and refrigerate for an easy, hot breakfast in the morning.

Yield

Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup  cold butter
  • 2 1/4  cups  self-rising soft-wheat flour
  • 1 1/4  cups  buttermilk
  • Self-rising soft-wheat flour
  • 2  tablespoons  melted butter

Preparation

1. Cut butter with a sharp knife or pastry blender into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Sprinkle butter slices over flour in a large bowl. Toss butter with flour. Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender until crumbly and mixture resembles small peas. Cover and chill 10 minutes. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times, gradually adding additional flour as needed. With floured hands, press or pat dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Sprinkle top of dough with additional flour. Fold dough over onto itself in 3 sections, starting with 1 short end. (Fold dough rectangle as if folding a letter-size piece of paper.) Repeat entire process 2 more times, beginning with pressing into a 3/4-inch-thick dough rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches).

3. Press or pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, and place, side by side, on a parchment paper-lined or lightly greased jelly-roll pan. (Dough rounds should touch.)

4. Bake at 450° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; brush with 2 Tbsp. melted butter.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used White Lily Self-Rising Soft Wheat Flour.

Cinnamon-Raisin Biscuits: Omit 2 Tbsp. melted butter. Combine 1/2 cup golden raisins, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, and 1/3 cup chopped pecans with flour in a large bowl. Proceed with recipe as directed. Stir together 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp. buttermilk until smooth. Drizzle over warm biscuits. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Black Pepper-Bacon Biscuits: Combine 1/3 cup cooked and crumbled bacon slices (about 5 slices) and 1 tsp. black pepper with flour in a large bowl. Proceed with recipe as directed. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Feta-Oregano Biscuits: Combine 1 (4-oz.) package crumbled feta cheese and 1/2 tsp. dried oregano with flour in a large bowl. Proceed with recipe as directed. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Pimiento Cheese Biscuits: Combine 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese with flour in a large bowl. Reduce buttermilk to 1 cup. Stir together buttermilk and 1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, undrained. Proceed with recipe as directed. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Southern Living, NOVEMBER 2007

1 comment:

lackoftact said...

I am going to TRY these. I have always wanted to make homeade biscuits, and have never found a recipe that I can do. Mostly my biscuits turn out looking like hard, cracked mushrooms, with doughy centers. Thanks Jan