Buttermilk Biscuits

buttermilk biscuitsIt’s buttermilk baking week here at our house, because about a week ago I purchased a quart of buttermilk and promptly forgot what I meant to bake with it. This happens sometimes – I come home from the grocery store with some key ingredient, fully intending to bake something I saw on Pinterest or in a Better Homes & Gardens Facebook post or in a Woman’s Day magazine.

A few days later, I find the ingredient in question and wonder what I meant to make with it…which means I then have to search online, seeking out recipes that put it to use. Which, if I’m honest, usually leads me down into the rabbit hole of recipes one can find on the internet, creating the need for more ingredients that I’ll someday buy and wonder what I meant to bake with them. Anyway…because I had some buttermilk left from this weekend’s pound cake, I decided to whip up some buttermilk biscuits with last night’s chicken-and-mashed-potatoes dinner.

The key to biscuit preparation is to handle the dough as little as possible. Easy handling creates those highly desirable flaky layers that good biscuits always have; a heavy hand will yield hockey pucks. I did have to knead my dough just slightly before i patted it down, and I’m happy to say that I still had some pretty flaky layers. Note: you may also need just a bit more buttermilk if your dough is too dry, but add sparingly. It’s easy to add more liquid, but impossible to take it away.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Preparation

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk and mix until just combined.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and very gently pat it to 1/2 inch thickness – do not use a rolling pin. Fold over 5 times, then pat down again to 1 inch thickness. Using a round cutter, cut biscuits and place about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Re-form the scraps and cut remaining dough, noting that these biscuits will likely be a bit tougher than the first ones.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm.

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