What's Baking: Simple Buttermilk Biscuits


I made brisket for dinner the other night (recipe to come soon), and while it was cooking away in the oven, I asked a friend (and coworker) what I should serve on the side. (iChat is such a lifesaver during a long workday -- Leroy isn't much of a conversationalist.) Since my friend is from South Carolina, I figured he could provide expert advice on sides for the Southern dish I was cooking. He immediately suggested buttermilk biscuits, so I knew I'd have to bake up a batch. (Once fresh buttermilk biscuits are mentioned, nothing else comes close.) A quick trip to the grocery store, and I had the key ingredient (read: buttermilk) in hand.

Though I've made buttermilk biscuits in the past, more often than not they have turned out as flat, dense discs of dough. I didn't have much time to dedicate to baking up the biscuits (I figured I'd bake them once I took the brisket out of the oven, as it required a 30-minute rest), so I knew I'd need a fairly drama-free recipe to work from. A quick Google search for "easy buttermilk biscuits" brought me to a recipe posted on Completely Delicious. This recipe originates from The Gourmet Cookbook, and it is definitely a keeper. For once my biscuits came out nice and fluffy and full of delicious buttery flavor. Though we typically have yeast rolls on Thanksgiving, I'm thinking maybe this year these simple buttermilk biscuits should find their way onto our holiday dinner table.


Simple Buttermilk Biscuits (adapted from this Completely Delicious recipe)
makes 8 biscuits

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
3/4 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.
3. Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles pea-sized crumbles. Add in the buttermilk and stir until the dough forms into a ball.
4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Fold the dough over itself about six times. Then use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into a 1/2" thickness. Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut out eight biscuits from the dough.
5. Place the biscuits 2 inches apart on the prepped baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Store any leftover biscuits at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three days.

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