November 11th, 2014

A few weeks ago I sent a rolling pin to a friend of mine in Virginia with hopes that she’d make her own pastries and biscuits instead of buying the more expensive and much less tasty commercial varieties. Yesterday she emailed me and asked for my basic pie dough recipe. This is a positive sign, to be sure, that her future will be more tender and flaky!

Perforce, I now have pie on my mind, and biscuits. Visions of biscuits dripping butter and jam or spread with a country ham pate and a tiny slice of pickle dance in my head. So today I made buttermilk biscuits but was unable to unscrew the lid off the new jar of jam. Visions were replaced with curses! The biscuits were uber tender and light, nevertheless, and sufficiently divine with just a small pat of butter.

Buttermilk Biscuits

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Buttermilk Biscuits

The secret to mile-high biscuits is twofold: 1) never over mix or over handle the dough, and, 2) direct the biscuit cutter straight through the dough with no twisting!

For 12 2-inch biscuits:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons very cold butter, cubed
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine dry ingredients and pulse several times. Add the cold butter and process until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk and process just until dough mass comes together.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a disc about ½ inch thick. Fold the dough over and pat it out again. Fold and pat two more times. Roll the dough to a thickness of 2/3 inch. Cut out the biscuits and place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 11-13 minutes until lightly browned on top.

Copyright © Katherine Stetson, all rights reserved.