Monday, July 19, 2010

Buttermilk Biscuits

These are my all-time favorite biscuits.   I like them with Crisco, making the biscuits very tender and flaky.  However for a bit denser biscuit with a nice buttery flavor, butter is also great.  Usually I end up using a little of each.  Perfect with a dinner of oven fried chicken, corn, and watermelon or served as a breakfast-for-dinner side. 


Time: 15 minutes prep, 12-15 minutes baking
Makes: about 6-10 biscuits

INGREDIENTS
• 2 cups flour
1 T baking powder
• ¾ t salt
• ½ t baking soda
• 5-6 T Crisco or chilled butter  (or a combination, I like to do 3T of each)
• 1 cup buttermilk*
*(You can use 1 cup of regular milk with 1 T of vinegar added, let it sit for 5-10 minutes to sour or use powdered buttermilk. The amount of liquid also depends upon the humidity. So add it a little at a time. The dough should not be too sticky to handle.  I've also used powdered buttermilk in a pinch with acceptable results.  I do find I use less liquid usually with the substituted buttermilk).

1. Pre-heat oven to 425ºF.
2. In a large bowl stir flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda with a fork.
3. Then using a pastry blender or 2 knives cut in the shortening/butter until coarse crumbs form.
4. Add the buttermilk gradually, tossing with a fork until dough forms. You may not need all the buttermilk, you want to add just enough so it sticks together and is not too sticky. Take care also not to over handle the dough.
5. Put dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly a few times until smooth. Do not overmix. (Dough can be made up to 2 hours ahead, wrapped in plastic wrap, and refrigerated until ready to use.)
6. Pat the dough about 1-1½ inches thick. Then use a biscuit cutter or a glass dipped in flour to cut out biscuits. Gather trimmings and repeat.
7. Place the biscuits about 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

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