Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Southern Style Buttermilk Biscuits

When I moved to Northern California ten years ago, I noticed the biscuits here were different than what I'd grown up with in the midwest (which were southern style biscuits).  Here in NorCal, they make what I think of as "lumberjack" biscuits - they're dense and heavy, a little crumbly like cake.  Biscuits and gravy used to be one of my favourite things to order for breakfast, but I had to quit ordering it out here because I just couldn't dig on the cakey biscuits.

So... like everything else I'm dissatisfied with, I decided to make my own.  It took a couple of tries... but these are the perfect biscuit!  Better than most I've had in the midwest or south (someone's southern grandma is going to skin my hide for saying that).  Fluffy, flaky, buttery layers.  They're awesome.  Justin's been making them on a pretty regular basis... they're not difficult and they don't take much time at all.  The last couple of nights, we've been eating them as maple-sausage egg sandwiches, topped with our neighbour's homemade apple-jalepeƱo jelly.  (The neighbour guy gave us a bunch of canned jellies and jams when I took him and his dad some coconut-banana marshmallow squares!  Awesome neighbour bartering!)

I asked Justin what song we should use for this recipe... he said some Op Ivy sounded good to him.  I love "Unity", but I can't hear it without thinking of Dave Chappelle and the Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories with Rick James.... "UNITYYY!"  -jen


Time:  about 30 minutes
Difficulty:  Medium
Makes:  9 large biscuits
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (optional - we like them a little peppery)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cubed and cold + 2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or whole milk)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and black pepper.  Cut butter into flour until pea-size (you can use a dough cutter or just work it in with your fingers, but you don't want to handle the butter too much so that it softens).  Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add milk.  Stir or mix with your hands just until the dough comes together.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Dust the top of the dough.  Fold dough over onto itself 3-5 times - this is what creates flaky layers.  Press out into 3/4"-1" square.  Cut evenly into 9 pieces.  Place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and brush over the tops.  Bake at 450 degrees F for 12-17 minutes, until biscuits are golden brown and done in the center.

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