Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Buttermilk Biscuits

If you know how to make yeasted bread, flat breads and pie dough how hard can it possibly be to make flakey buttermilk biscuits?

That is what I thought when I first set out to find and make the perfect buttermilk biscuits. I should have known something was up when I got to the third recipe and read a disclaimer that said something like:

Once you’ve tried this recipe about a dozen times, you’ll understand the dough and you’ll be able to turn out the perfect biscuits every time.

A dozen times?

Really?

Whatever - I betcha I can do this on the first try.


I learned three things:
1. It may not be pretty but it almost always will taste good.
2. It’s impossible to duplicate a recipe if you refuse to follow it.
3. You cannot judge the success/failure of your finished product against a photograph that showcases food that was made from a recipe other than the one you are using.

Had I known those three tips when I started making the first batch I would say that a dozen attempts is overkill.  If you know how to follow a recipe and know what you are working toward I’m fairly confident you can crank out these delicious, beautiful buttermilk biscuits by the 2nd or 3rd try. So what are you working toward with these biscuits? This recipe will turn out about a dozen crispy, flaky buttermilk biscuits. These aren’t exactly what I was originally looking for, (I’m looking for something more tender) but perhaps this is exactly what you have been looking for. If so, have at it.


Oh and finally - Please be aware that climate, elevation, brand of ingredients, calibration of your oven and fridge, time of day, what you are wearing, how your hair is combed, and whether or not you car is clean or dirty may or may not have an effect on how your biscuits turn out. J

Buttermilk Biscuits
Makes 8-10 biscuits
Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, grated on the large holes of a box grater and then chilled in the freezer
¾ cup cold buttermilk

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk until combined. Toss in chilled butter and coat with flour.
  3. Create a well in the center of the flour and pour in the cold buttermilk. With a spatula gently toss the flour and milk together until somewhat combined. Do not over mix or your biscuits. They will become dense and tough.
  4. Dump the mixture out onto a board or nonstick mat and push it all into a ragged ball.
  5. Pat the dough into a 4” x 7” rectangle and then fold the dough into thirds like a letter. Repeat this step 2 more times (3 times total) doing your best to include all stray crumbs and dough pieces.
  6. Press the dough out to be ¾” to 1” thick. Using a round or square cutter that is 2 ½ inches, cut out biscuits without twisting the cutter. Twisting the cutter could seal the sides and make it difficult for the dough to reach its full height potential in the oven. I prefer to use a square cutter to minimize scraps. Scraps don’t rise as well as the biscuits cut from the first press.
  7. Place biscuits on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat, brush with scant buttermilk and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until raised and golden.
  8. If you would like to freeze the biscuits for later use, after the biscuits have been brushed with buttermilk, put the cookie sheet - uncovered into a freezer for 30 minutes. Once dough is set, transfer the biscuits to a ziplock bag and store in freezer until ready to bake. Bake directly from frozen in a 425 degree oven for 17 – 18 minutes.
Source: Adapted from foodwishes: Beautiful Buttermilk Biscuits (how to video included) with help from Frieda Loves Bread and freezing instructions from Annie’s Eats.


Gwenevere

17 comments:

Molly said...

With all these warnings set up to make me feel better and unafraid, why am I so scared to now try this recipe?!?

Apron Appeal said...

Molly, That is exactly how I felt after reading everyone else's posts. So I figured I better write something similar in order to conform. ;)

Lizzy said...

These look great! I have some buttermilk waiting for these~

Chris's Gourmet Fashion said...

Don't run your own baking down. They look pretty good to me ... hey that's what home cooking is supposed to be about ... great ingredients and taste and above all natural ingredients.

Kathleen said...

What a funny post! I think your biscuits look great girlfriend!

bakerbyNature said...

Buttermilk biscuits are my favorite way to start a morning; or buttermilk pancakes... I am weak for all things buttermilk.

Trac said...

These look great Gwen, I'm going to try these along with the ones I posted, and see what the fam thinks. I love buttermilk too, it does something magical to recipes. :)

Simply Life said...

Yum! those look perfect!

claudia lamascolo said...

this made me smile... and I love those biscuits!

Ben said...

I still have to learn how to bake in Mexico City, elevation 7300 feet above sea level :-/ Hopefully I can make this delicious looking biscuits.

Emily @ Life on Food said...

I just found your blog. These look delicious! I don't tend to make biscuits too often. They are my husband's favorite though.

Apron Appeal said...

@ ben, I grew up in a high elevation and I learned to cook making yeasted rolls. When I moved to the flatlands, there were two things I never knew could be so easy...cooking and running. When you grow up only knowing one thing, you don't realize how hard you really had it. ;)

Erin said...

I LOVE buttermilk biscuits. I don't like breakfast food, but the biscuits are what can get me through! I could eat them everyday! I am going to have to try this recipe and see if I can make it work!

Baking Serendipity said...

Yours turned out really well! I feel a little daunted by this as well, but am willing to bet my husband and I will have no problem shoveling these down a dozen ugly times to make ones that look pretty :)

The Harried Cook said...

Hi :) Thanks for stopping by my blog today & leaving a comment! I love your blog! It looks fabulous and you seem to have some great recipes here... These biscuits look great... Thank you for sharing :) I will be visiting your blog more often!

Roxana GreenGirl said...

Definitely next time I'm going to pay attention how my hair is combed, clearly that's why my biscuits didn't turn out flaky LOL

Jen at The Three Little Piglets said...

That's funny! I hate tempermental recipes where you've got to have a degree in meteorology to know how to make it. But a good biscuit is always worth the trouble - good or bad hair day!

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