Friday, November 2, 2012

What's Baking: Buttermilk Biscuits

To round out our roast chicken dinner on Sunday, I knew I had to serve buttermilk biscuits. I suppose it would have been easier to just bake the kind that comes in a canister, but that wouldn't exactly be the less processed choice. Of course, by the time I had decided to make some biscuits from scratch, I was already headed home from the grocery store. So I turned the car around, purchased a jug of buttermilk, and was on my merry way. With just six ingredients, these biscuits are just slightly more difficult to make than the ones that pop out of the can -- and with a short bake time, you can make them right after you take the chicken out of the oven, so that they'll be done right when the chicken is carved -- perfect!

Buttermilk Biscuits (printer-friendly version)
makes 10-12 biscuits

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the board
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes and frozen
1 cup low-fat buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times to combine the ingredients.
3. Add in the frozen butter cubes and pulse until the flour mixture resembles coarse meal.
4. Add in the buttermilk, and process until the dough just comes together into a ball. The dough will be wet and sticky.
5. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.
6. Use your hands to pat the dough until it's about 1/2" thick. Fold the dough a few times and then press it down until it's about 1" thick.
7. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out rounds. (I apparently lack a biscuit cutter and/or just couldn't find it, so I used the open end of a round glass to cut out my biscuits instead.)
8. Place the biscuits close together (so that they touch) on a parchment- or silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Serve immediately.

(adapted from this recipe)


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