May 6, 2009

Like Buttah

I love buttermilk biscuits.  I don't care if they come from a package in the freezer or if they're the glorious biscuits at Lucile's in Boulder that are the size of a small grapefruit.  I love them.  They're flaky and buttery and they go well with bacon.  What more could you want?

I was sitting around Saturday morning really wanting to bake something before I resumed studying for admin law.  As it turned out, my admin efforts were futile, but my biscuit efforts were not.  

The recipe I used was from Gourmet, via Epicurious.  You can find it here: Buttermilk Biscuits 

Start out by combining the dry ingredients in a flour sifter.  

1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 tbsp sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
Rounded 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
(And powdered buttermilk if that's what you're using) 

Sift the flour mixture onto a piece of wax paper.  

If you don't have a sifter, I would highly recommend buying one.  I got mine for about $5 at Target, so it won't set you back much.  They're really fun, too.  It takes me back to 6th grade home ec when we sifted flour to make snickerdoodles.  I was kind of a rock star in home ec, in case you were wondering.  

Pour it back into the sifter, and sift a second time into a large bowl.  

Cut 1/2 stick of butter into small pieces. 

Use your fingers to mix the butter with the flour until it's a coarse meal. 

Pour in 3/4 cup buttermilk.  

Stir with a fork just until combined.

Turn out the dough onto a heavily floured surface.  I cannot overemphasize the need for lots of flour.  Especially on your hands.  I forgot to flour my hands before I started kneading the dough, and it was a huge pain.  Huge.  

Knead it 5 or 6 times until it comes together.  

Then use a floured rolling pin or your hands to press it out into a rectangle.  

Dip a knife in flour. 

And trim the edges off the dough.  You can skip this step if you don't mind having biscuits that are rough around the edges or if you're going to use a biscuit cutter.  

Slice into 6 pieces, dipping the knife in flour between each slice.  

Place the pieces about 2" apart on an ungreased baking sheet.  

Brush the tops with a little milk. 

Bake at 425 in the center of the oven for about 12-15 minutes or until the tops are golden.  They didn't puff up a whole lot, and I'm guessing I overworked them a little.  Or maybe it was because I accidentally added 1-1/2 tsp baking soda instead of baking powder and probably did not do the best job of scooping out the excess baking soda.  

Transfer to a cooling rack until use.  

I made a couple extra biscuits with the scraps.  And then I ate them.  They were good.  

Just like Cracker Barrel.  

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