A re-do for updated photography, these have been on my blog for years and are my go-to for biscuits. I made them recently for when my cousins and their kids came for a playdate in the mid-morning. There may have been some cinnamon honey butter (just beat softened butter with a pinch of kosher salt, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and about a tbsp. of honey until smoothly blended) to go along and everyone was happy – kids and mom alike.
If you have perused this site you know that I will make healthy versions of certain recipes, and keep others classic. I think in this case if you start swapping healthy flour or reducing butter, the results aren’t worth the added health. Let’s be real, biscuits aren’t a daily treat or even weekly – when I make biscuits I want them to taste how they should.
These make me think of a summer job I had once, at a beach front restaurant where the food was just so-so (ps I was a terrible waitress). They’d comp the guests a basket of free biscuits to start the meal. Over the course of each shift I would eat too many biscuits to count. If I tried to count for you, it’d be like ten. Ten biscuits. They were just okay as far as biscuits go but even a just okay biscuit is still pretty dang good.
This recipe, from America’s Test Kitchen, is not “just okay”. Nothing “just okay” about them. They’re tender, flaky, buttery and just salty enough. They’d be fantastic with breakfast, as a salad side, with tea (and jam or fancy butter), stew, chili, thanksgiving, Tuesdays, etc. The key is to do less. Work the dough less. You will feel like a frontier woman, it’ll be great.
America’s Test Kitchen
2 c. all purpose flour, plus more for shaping the dough
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 in. cubes
3/4 c. + 2 tbsp. cold buttermilk
1. Adjust oven rack to the middle and preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
3. Cut in butter to dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. To “cut in” means to blend solid fat with dry ingredients. You can use a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingertips. If using your hands, just mash the butter bits into the dry stuff so that it makes smaller butter bits that are covered in the dry ingredients. Keep working the butter through until the mixture looks the same (no large clumps of butter left).
4. Stir in the buttermilk with a rubber spatula until mixture forms a soft, sticky ball.
5. Dump mixture onto floured surface and mash it together lightly with your hands to make a ball. Be careful not to overwork the dough – handle it as minimally as possible.
6. Using a sharp knife, cut the circle into quarters and then cut each quarter into three pieces.
7. Work each piece into a rough ball and place it on an ungreased, unlined cookie sheet (a silpat liner worked as well).
8. Bake for 10-12 minutes (always set your timer for the lesser amount; you can bake more but you can never bake it less), or until light brown.
9. Serve immediately.