I grew up eating biscuits.
Usually smothered in gravy.
I may have to post that recipe too because, oh mah word its so good.
Several years ago I went on a biscuit making binge. I watched a documentary called, "The Rise of the Southern Biscuit" and just about lost my mind. I must have made 20 batches in a week, just trying to get it right. I learned a lot and probably put on about ten pounds. I'm passing all the tips and tricks on to you now, to save you the time, ingredients and weight gain. ;)
I mean, look at those layers people!
Here are a few tips you need for biscuit success:
1.) PREHEAT YOUR OVEN! If the oven isn't nice and hot, the butter will just start to melt before the oven has a chance to force the dough to rise up. You'll lose layers, big time and your biscuits will likely lack fluffiness.
2.) When you cut in the butter, it should be around the size of peas. It's ok if some pieces are a little bigger. This is what makes them flaky and layered!
3.) DO NOT over-handle the dough. As *soon* as it comes together in the bowl, your kneading process should be very simple. Just fold the dough over itself 4, maybe 5 times. No more. Over-handling leads to hard biscuits.
4.) A cookie sheet will work great but if you have one made of cast iron or a flat cast iron griddle like the one in the picture below, it does something magical to the biscuits.
5.) When you cut them out, DO NOT TWIST! Straight down, straight up with the cutter. Twisting seals the edges and limits the height of your biscuits.
2 cups flour (chilled is best)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 super cold stick of butter, cubed
1 cup buttermilk (or half n half , replacing 1 tbsp with white vinegar)
1/4 half & half (for brushing tops)
PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 425*!
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Add the butter and cut in with a pastry cutter or two butter knives. You can do this by hand, but you run the risk of melting the butter some. I like to stick my pastry cutter in the freezer for a bit before using it. You can also use a food processor for this step, but pulse carefully and don't overdo the butter chopping. Remember, you want at least pea-sized pieces of butter!
Add the buttermilk all at once. Stir carefully, folding the buttermilk in until it is *just* combined.
Turn the dough out on to a floured surface. Fold the dough over itself 4 or 5 times until it can be rolled out. Again, don't over-do it!
Roll the dough out about an inch thick or so. Cut your biscuits using the "straight down, straight up" method.
Place onto a buttered cookie sheet or flat skillet. THIS is the one I use.
Brush the tops with half & half (or cream.)
Bake for about 9-10 minutes. It may take longer (or even less time perhaps) so start checking them at the 8 minute mark and keep an eye on the bottoms of the biscuits. You want them nice and golden but no burnt bottoms!
I remove the biscuits just moments after pulling them out of the oven so that the bottoms don't continue to cook. Prepare the remaining dough by carefully pressing it together and cutting the biscuits out. They will likely not be as pretty or flaky as the first batch but we don't want to waste that goodness!
Serve warm with butter, honey, jam, sausage gravy or even chocolate gravy (our favorite!)
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