Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Buttermilk Biscuits

Hands down, these are my favorite biscuit.  The recipe comes from the Better Homes and Gardens anniversary edition cookbook- if you can get your hands on a copy, I recommend it.  The method is something I've pieced together from too many sources to remember.

The pounding make lots of flaky layers

These rise up nice and tall and taste great.  I like to cut them small- maybe 2 inches?  I always use a tall glass we brought home from The Spaghetti Factory!

Buttermilk Biscuits
Based on BHG Biscuits Supreme

3 cups all-purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup shortening (I never measure- just do 3 good scoops with a soup spoon.)
1 1/4 cup buttermilk*

*You can use 2 Tbsp of lemon juice plus enough milk to equal 1 1/4 cups.  Let it sit for a few minutes to curdle.

Place all ingredients except buttermilk in bowl of food processor and pulse until mixture resembles corn meal, with some larger chunks remaining. Dump into a separate bowl and add the buttermilk all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined- dough will be sticky.

Dump dough onto a floured board and knead once or twice.  Pound flat with a wooden rolling pin or dowel.  Fold in half and pound out again.  Repeat once or twice more.  Lightly rub a little flour on top if these are sticking, but the less flour you add in now the better.  

On the final time, don't pound too flat, and lightly roll to even out top.  I leave these tall.  Taller than my first thumb knuckle.  Cut with a round cutter- press straight down and pull straight up.  (If you twist, you'll bind the sides and they won't raise as tall in the oven.)  Place on a cookie sheet (air-filled is best) just barely touching each other, so they rise up not out.  Pat together remaining dough and pound out and lightly roll again- cut. Repeat until dough is gone  Makes about 12 biscuits.

Bake 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden.

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