Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My New Favorite Buttermilk Biscuits


Biscuits sq

Can you believe this weather?  I'm glad these were baked last week, because it may be too hot to turn on the oven this week.  We've had highs in the 70s, and Thursday is supposed to be 83.  Beach, here I come!  And yet, Joe and I are such fans of these biscuits, we may turn on the oven just for them.  I've tried various biscuit recipes before, but these have everything I want.  You can take them the savory route with cheese or ham, or the sweet route with jam -- peach ginger here.  But they're so good, I like them best without any add-ons.

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.


Buttermilk Biscuits
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.

6 comments:

  1. They look great! I think for breakfast or as a snack they are really perfect!

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  2. What, it's hot to turn on the oven? Here finally the rain stopped and it looks sunny but it's like below 60F... and feeling cold! I love your buttermilk biscuits! Looks so good with jams or any preserves. Looks pretty simple and easy to make (um... I hope... I never made biscuits before and almost all kinds of baked food haha). I'm going to pin and will try it when I have more time. Looks really delicious!

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  3. Between this and our conversation on my blog, I'm really thinking I should place an order with King Arthur's Flour. While it's easy to find the basics here, I don't know that I could find the pastry blend flour and I'm curious to try it.

    Buttermilk biscuits with peach ginger jam sounds like a perfect breakfast to me! I'll take two. :)

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    1. My local Stop & Shop is good about stocking things on request. I'm going to ask them to stock the Whole Wheat Pastry Flour.

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  4. It's just starting to warm up as well - I love when spring arrives, because it means I can start eating meals out on my deck. Can't wait to have these biscuits (with some of that lovely peach ginger jam you mentioned) one sunny morning!

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