The best part is how light and fluffy they are. I'm not sure whether to credit the recipe or the use of pastry flour -- I'm going to say it's the two combined. The recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but I used pastry flour (rather, King Arthur's Perfect Pastry Blend, which falls somewhere between all-purpose and pastry flours) to make them extra tender. They didn't come out like the perfect hockey puck shapes in the cookbook photo, but I realized hockey puck shapes were overrated when I bit into flaky, soft, buttery layers.
From Sarabeth Levine's Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours
3¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I really recommend subbing all of this with pastry flour or pastry blend flour)
2 tbs superfine sugar (I just used granulated)
1 tbs plus 2 tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp fine sea salt
12 tbs (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into ½-inch cubes
1½ cups buttermilk
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper.
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together into the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer. Attach the bowl to the mixer and fit with the paddle attachment. Add the butter. Mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size pieces of butter. Add the buttermilk, mixing just until the dough barely comes together.
Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until the dough is smooth. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and roll out a little more than ¾ inch thick. Using a 2¼-inch fluted biscuit cutter, dipping the cutter into flour between cuts, cut out the biscuits and place 1 inch apart on the pan. Gently press the scraps together (do not overhandle the dough). Repeat rolling and cutting.
Bake until the biscuits are well risen and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve hot or warm. To reheat the biscuits, wrap them in aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 10 minutes.