Countless women (and men, I'm sure) have made batches of biscuits every morning - and some every night. They are 'quick' (non-yeast) breads that in their best form have a great rise, are sturdy enough to hold up to a sausage patty and egg or gravy or, sweetened with a little sugar, a load of fresh strawberries and cream. ...or just a smear of butter and some honey or jam.
|If you don't already have a buttermilk biscuit recipe that you think is perfect, give this one a try.|
For me, I don't stock shortening or lard and I never remember to buy White Lily (or King Arthur) soft, summer flour. I don't even have buttermilk in my refrigerator on a regular basis, but I have discovered powdered buttermilk - a righteous and more than acceptable substitution in baking applications. I've included three other buttermilk substitutions in the recipe.
I cut in the butter (refrigerator cold) with my fingers so that the pieces are not entirely uniform - some little pea-size pieces and others that I've rubbed between my fingers into thin flakes. After I've cut in the butter, I stick the flour and butter mixture in the freezer for about 15 minutes before I mix-in ice-cold water (or buttermilk, if you're using it). There are some other tips and all are in the recipe after the jump.
Baking powder. Must. Be. Fresh. If you don't bake too often, buy the little can and throw out what you haven't used once a year. Just do it. Don't make this recipe or any quick bread or biscuit recipe until you: (a) check the expiration date on your baking powder; and if it has passed (b) buy a new can. The small cans are pretty cheap. I also use 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Too much of either and there's a noticeable 'off' flavor, but 1 1/4 tablespoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda passed my "Super Taster's" (my cooking compadre, Lynn - her palate is more sensitive than mine) taste test.
Biscuit cutters. If you don't have one, don't use a glass - use your knife. The sharp edge of a biscuit cutter or a sharp knife won't drag down the sides of the biscuit. Using a knife to cut your biscuits eliminates the need for re-forming the dough from scraps. Second generation biscuits are never as good as those cut the first time through. Place the biscuits close together on the pan for higher risers and an inch or more apart for crispier tops and bottoms.
RECIPE: BUTTERMILK BISCUITS