Friday, October 22, 2010

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

Since I started this blog a couple months ago, I have stumbled upon other food blogs. There are some amazing cooks out there! While I was hunting for a good biscuit recipe, I came across Amber's Delectable Delights. Oh, these biscuits were delectable and delightful. I don't personally know Amber, but she deserves a big hug for posting this. I loved them. I've made quite a few biscuits in my day, but none have ever turned out so wonderful. Just look below at the layers! Slather some butter and honey on these little morsels of joy, and you are going to be one happy camper even if you absolutely despise camping. However- If you're the type that doesn't like to go to a lot of trouble for something that comes in a little can that pops open when you pull its wrapper off, you may not enjoy this recipe. There are a lot of steps here, but I think they're well worth it. They are way better than refrigerated flaky biscuits. For one- these don't have a medicinal taste. Plus! They haven't been sitting on a shelf for weeks. Plus! You can pronounce all of the ingredients. Definite plus! I bet you'll like them if you try. Now, I sounds like Sam I am. Great. Here's the recipe.
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces), plus additional flour for work surface
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening , cut into 1/2-inch chunks
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), cold, lightly floured and cut into 1/8-inch slices
2 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk , cold

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the shortening and cut it in. Drop chunks of the butter in. Use a fork to mix it in a little. Use your fingers and pinch the larger pieces of butter into flat little disks. I'm not sure the purpose for this, but I like to do what I am told. :) Put the flour mixture in the freezer for 15 minutes.
While it's in the freezer, prepare your counter top. Make sure it's a clean area. If your kid was finger painting with raw chicken juice on the counter, you'll probably want to clean that up first. Spray the area with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle flour on and gently spread it across with your fingers. You'll have a nice little mess like this on your counter. Lovely!
Take the flour mixture out of the freezer and add all but 2 T of the buttermilk. With a wooden spoon, mix it all up until a ball forms and collects all the flour in the bowl. Add the reserved buttermilk a little at a time if needed.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Dump it all onto the floured surface. Sprinkle some more flour on the dough and your hands. Knead the dough until it is nice and smooth. It's no 6-8 minutes though! This dough was very easy to work with. I actually enjoyed kneading it. Generally, I'm not a very kneady person.
Here is a picture of post-kneading. Nice!
Pat the dough in a 10x10 square.
Roll it out to an 18x14 rectangle. If it's not perfect, the biscuits won't turn out. kidding...kidding.
Fold the dough into thirds.
Fold it into thirds the other direction.
Here is what you'll end up with.
Roll that into a 10x10 square. Folding it like this is what makes the layers in the biscuits. Scrum diddily.
Using a biscuit cutter, cookie cutter, or even an empty, clean soup can, make nine cuts in the dough. I dipped it in flour each time so it wouldn't stick. Transfer the nine circles to a greased cookie sheet. Squish the remaining dough into a ball. Fold it over once. Roll it out so you can make three more biscuits. Toss the remaining dough or let your kids play with while the biscuits are baking. This is a great alternative to raw chicken juice. :)
Brush the tops with melted butter. Bake for 15-17 minutes.
Abracadabra! Alakazam! Poof! I'm telling you... it's magic. I love it.
I served them with butter and honey. They were divine.

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