Sunday, August 31, 2008

Buttermilk Biscuits

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup vegetable shortening, cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 to 2 cups buttermilk, plus additional for brushing

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Cut in the shortening using a pastry blender or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add 1 cup buttermilk. Using your hands, quickly fold the dry ingredients into the buttermilk until a sticky dough forms. You may need to add more buttermilk.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Gently fold the dough over itself 3 or 4 times to create layers. Press the dough out to 1 1/2-inches thick and cut with a floured 3-inch biscuit cutter. Lay the biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with buttermilk. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until risen and golden brown.


This one comes from Food Network originally, Tyler Florence to be precise. It is a great, relatively simple recipe. These biscuits come out flakey, tender and rich. They are great for strawberry shortcake, biscuits and gravy or just as a side. Here is how you make them. I got these pictures when I was at my brothers for lunch, we had them with fried chicken. First sift together the dry ingredients. Now toss the chunks of shortening in. Mix it together with your hands or a pastry blender, you want it to look like coarse crumbs. Like this. Now add the buttermilk and mix it together till it's a sticky dough. The recipe says to use your hands, but my brother uses a spoon and they always come out wicked good. Now turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Check out the counter, my brother covered the whole thing with a sheet of glass. It is wicked cool. Anyway, push the dough together into a sheet and fold it in half on itself. Then push it down firmly, (but not too firmly, this is what forms the flakey layers) and fold it again. Then again. And maybe again. Then form it into a 1 1/2 inch thick sheet and use a biscuit cutter or drinking glass to cut out circles of dough. When the dough is full of holes, press it together again, form a smaller sheet and cut out more. Do this until the dough is gone. Put them on an ungreased cookie sheet, brush them with some more buttermilk and bake them at 375 to 20-25 minutes. They should rise a bit, be golden brown and look just amazing.


The Brutal Gourmet said...

I have another recipe for these around somewhere which I actually liked better, but I have no idea where I found it or where it went. It used butter instead of shorting, and since the butter gets harder when chilled you could use a food processor to do the initial incorporation of the fat into the flour. I cannot remember if there were any other differences, so I did not gamble when company was coming, but I am going to reconstruct that recipe, and I will get it to you when I do.

Bob said...

Sweet. Is there a reason you couldn't just swap butter for the shortening in this recipe?


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