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Buttermilk Biscuits

Saw some very nice buttermilk biscuits at Balducci's a couple of weeks ago for something short of a dollar a piece. My frugal gene (I have one) balked and said "leave this place; go home; make biscuits." Well, I bought them anyway swayed by my instant gratification genes (plural). Breakfast cannot get more better than with fresh buttermilk biscuits and honey.

The hardest part of making these biscuits is finding some buttermilk. Not a big seller these days. I found a half quart. More than enough for the biscuits and for buttermilk waffles next Sunday morning. Recipes abound for this staple--all about the same. Some southern foodies insist that the dough should be rolled out to only a quarter inch, since high rise biscuits are a northern thing. I'm a half an inch roller . . . . so here we have:


Buttermilk Biscuits

Yield: About 16 biscuits with a 2½ inch (70 mm) cutter
See Abbreviations, if needed

2 C AP flour
2 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
½ t salt
8 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces, hold in fridge for Step 4
¾ C buttermilk, well shaken

1. Preheat oven to 450F
2. Place flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a flour sifter
3. Sift all onto a clean working surface
4. Add the cold butter pieces to the flour and cut in (blend in) with a dough blade or large fork
5. The mixture is ready when butter pieces have been reduced to pea size or smaller and the whole mess looks a bit lumpy
6. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and add the buttermilk
7. Fold in the buttermilk with a fork or spatula until a ball of dough can be formed (add just a little buttermilk if too dry)
8. Turn out the dough onto the now lightly floured work surface and knead briefly until dough ball holds together
9. Flatten the ball with the palm of the hand and then roll it out to a depth of ½ inch (not more)
10. Cut out as many rounds as possible, rework the scraps and cut out some more
11. Place all onto a buttered or silicone-covered sheet pan
12. Brush tops with buttermilk
13. Bake for about 12 minutes convection or 14 minutes conventional until biscuits are golden brown


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