This is about... HOMEMADE BISCUITS---YUM!
I LOVE FLOURY THINGS, but SOMETIMES THEY DON'T LIKE ME so much. Seems like just looking at any kind of baked good automatically slaps 5 pounds on my thighs. I'm sure I'm not alone in this, and I'm sure that sometimes just like me, you have to give in---well this is one of those moments. I 've been working way too hard and I DESERVE A TREAT! A FLOURY TREAT! I'm gonna make flaky biscuits, and eat them warm out of the oven, dripping with lots, and I mean lots, of butter and a good sprinkle of sea salt on top. I'LL WORRY ABOUT THE SCALE TOMORROW. The official flour for biscuits is White Lily--a very low protein white flour readily available in the south--but impossible to find up north. Of course I could order it online---but there's no time for that, I WANT THEM NOW! So my all-purpose Hecker's unbleached flour will have to fill in. The other "essential" is lard. And although once thought of as unhealthy, it has come back into favor now. It's the kind of fat that makes a very flaky biscuit. But again, it's not that easy to find up here, so my Land 'o Lakes unsalted butter will do just fine. The one thing you cannot substitute is the buttermilk. Thank god I have that on hand. This is DORIE GREENSPAN'S RECIPE for biscuits. She uses all-purpose flour and butter, so I'm good to go. And because I want them done sooner than later, I made two changes in the recipe. I use a food processor instead of my hands or a pastry cutter to incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients. It's less messy too. And I bumped up the salt an extra 1/4 teaspoon. LESSONS Learned: 1. Make sure the butter and the buttermilk are COLD. 2. DON'T over process the flour/ butter mixture. You want pea size pieces of butter that will melt in the oven and create those flakey layers. 3. DON"T TWIST the cutter. Twisting will seal the edges and they won't rise as well. 4. EAT THEM while they're still WARM from the oven. So time your baking to end when the rest of your meal is ready. If there any leftovers, THEY FREEZE GREAT! 5. DON'T HAVE BUTTERMILK? on hand, you can MAKE YOUR OWN. Just stir one Tablespoon of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice into one cup of 2% or whole milk ( skim won't work), and let sit for 5 minutes.
Dorie Greenspan's BUTTERMILK BISCUITS (slightly adapted)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1½ tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
¾ cup cold buttermilk
MAKE THE BISCUITS:
Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
Add the flour, baking powder, soda, sugar, and salt together in a bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter to the bowl and pulse 12-15 times, until the butter looks like crumbs, some flakes and some the size of baby peas. (Alternatively , you can combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, whisk to combine and then drop the butter in the bowl. With your fingers or a pastry blender, rub it into the flour until you’ve got crumbs—some the size of flakes, some like baby peas.)
Dump the butter/flour mix into a bowl. Add the buttermilk and stir, the mixture will be very sticky. Reach into the bowl and knead the dough gently 3 or 4 times. Turn it onto a floured surface and roll or pat it into a circle about 1/2-3/4 inch thick. Use a 2-inch biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can; ( don't twist the cutter) gather the scraps, re-roll, and cut out more biscuits.
Transfer the biscuits to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake 15 to 18 minutes or until puffed and golden. Cool 5 minutes. Serve split with lots of butter and maybe some jam.
Makes about 10 biscuits. YUM!!