True Confessions: I am lousy at breads and biscuits. My many, many attempts usually aren’t even edible. Over the years I’ve learned to shy away from such recipes because, well, repeated failure just doesn’t feel good. But after having a scrumptious goat cheese biscuit at a restaurant in Chicago (recipe to come in the spring when I have fresh chives from the garden to add to the recipe) I decided that I just had to give homemade biscuits another try.
The goat cheese biscuits called for ‘self rising’ flour* – something I never used before. So I bought a package and noticed on the back what looked to be an easy recipe for “Extraordinary Buttermilk Biscuits” and it was as if it was calling my name. 30 minutes later I discovered that the recipe was aptly named (although if I were in charge of naming them I probably would have chosen Best Damn Biscuits Ever). A simple pat of butter and a drizzle of honey and I was in biscuit heaven.
A few tips to ensuring buttery, flaky biscuits: 1) Make sure the butter is cold; use right from the fridge. 2) Before adding the butter to the flour-sugar mixture, cut it into small pieces. An easy way to do this is simply cut the butter into 1/2 T. thickness (use the measurements on the wrapper as a guide) and then cut each piece into 4 to 6 pieces.Extraordinary Buttermilk Biscuits (adapted from the recipe from the back of the package of Gold Medal Self-Rising Flour)
- 2 1/2 cups self rising flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into little pieces
- 3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk
Heat over to 450F. In medium bowl, stir together flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender (see below) or fork, cut in butter until
mixture is crumbly. Pour in buttermilk and stir until dough leaves side of bowl. If dough is dry, add an additional 1 to 2 T. buttermilk.
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough just until smooth (a minute or two at most). Roll to 1/2″ thickness. Cut dough with floured 2 1/2″ biscuit cutter**. On ungreased cookie sheet, place about 1″ apart for crusty side, touching for soft sides.
Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Makes about 12 biscuits.
Easier: Use 1 1/4 cups buttermilk. Do not knead dough. Drop dough by rounded spoonful 2 inches apart. These drop biscuits may not look as pretty but they’ll still be delicious!
*I used Gold Medal Self Rising flour. Not only were the leaveners already in the flour but so was the salt. Do not add salt to the recipe or you will have a biscuit that tastes like a salt lick.
**Don’t have a biscuit cutter? No problem. Use the mouth of a glass – it will work just fine.