Quick Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

Golden Brown, Tender, Moist, Buttery, Savory, Homemade Goodness… did you need more?  Come on… all I’d ever need beyond these little gems is a cup of coffee and a dollop of strawberry jam.

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My mom used to make the best biscuits.  It was the BEST smell to wake up to, as they cooked in the oven on Saturday or Sunday mornings when she had the time to get her hands dirty… floury that is. This recipe is definitely a “hands on” treat!

So make it fun, involve the kids, or get your eggs, bacon, or sausage ready to compliment the entrance of the new queen of your breakfast table.  Let’s get started…

Ingredients

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the board (call me southern, but I believe White Lily is best)
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder (use one without aluminum, PLEASE)
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold
1 cup buttermilk (approximately)

Suggestion: Read all of the directions below THEN get started!

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 450°F.
  • Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor.
  • Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles course meal.
    (If you’re new to this, use your fork to mash the butter into the flour until it looks like clumpy flour.  Or, if using a food processor, just pulse a few times until this consistency is achieved.)
  • Add the buttermilk and mix JUST until combined.
    (If it appears on the dry side, add a bit more buttermilk. It should be very wet.)
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured board.
    (Use a cutting board, or a clean counter. Yes, get ready for the floury mess, dust some on your cheeks for good measure… LOL)
  • Gently, gently PAT (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it’s about 1/2″ thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently press the dough down to a 1 inch thick.
  • Use a round cutter to cut into rounds.
    (Use the rim of a large glass, or jar lid, or cookie cutter, or measuring cup… whatever)
  • You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more, but they will not be anywhere near as good as the first ones.
  • Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet!
    (If you like soft sides, put them touching each other. If you like”crusty” sides, put them about 1 inch apart- these will not rise as high as the biscuits put close together.)
  • Bake for about 10-12 minutes.  The biscuits will be a beautiful light golden brown on top and bottom. Do not overbake.

Things to Consider:

  • The key to real biscuits is not in the ingredients, but in the handling of the dough.
  • The dough must be handled as little as possible or you will have tough biscuits.
  • Yes, a food processor produces superior biscuits, because the ingredients stay colder and there’s less chance of overmixing.  But I gave mine away years ago… and its one more thing to wash.  I’d rather pat the dough and wash my hands later.
  • You also must pat the dough out with your hands, lightly.
  • Rolling with a rolling pin is a guaranteed way to overstimulate the gluten, resulting in a tougher biscuit.

Preparing Ahead…

  • You can make these biscuits, cut them, put them on cookie sheets and freeze them for up to a month.
  • When you want fresh biscuits, simply place them frozen on the cookie sheet and bake at 450°F for about 20 minutes.

 

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