I know, something I hardly ever do. This is one of those test-of-manhood things for me, like, everyone seems like they can make biscuits but I totally stink at baking but I really wanted to know how to make them so I told myself AGES ago that this needs to happen and then I looked and looked at recipes and read method after method and finally just did it one day and here's what happened!
I'm such a fraidy-cat. I've actually never bought a packet of yeast, much less attempted to used it. Maybe when I'm 40.
The biscuits, though, require no yeast, worked the first time, and were delicious. Winning all around! I used this recipe (there are several on this page, I used the very first one) and zero special equipment except a food processor. No rolling pin, no pastry cutter, no biscuit cutter, NOTHING. I knew I wanted to make these square or rectangular because I don't own a rolling pin, and the square biscuit approach means that you cut biscuits ONCE and lose zero dough. Again: winning all around.
The ingredients are as simple as can be! You need flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, butter, and buttermilk. If you don't have buttermilk try not to freak out - 1 cup milk and 1 tablespoon white vinegar mixed together MAKE BUTTERMILK. Seriously. No worries beef curry.
Let's make biscuits! The key to fluffy biscuits is really cold butter. So, we freeze the butter THEN work really quickly to get the biscuits in the oven once we start making the dough. You can also make the dough and chill it again if you'd like to. But first, cut the butter into cubes.
Now, liquids! I made a double batch of these so my food processor couldn't handle the whole job, but you can add the buttermilk in the food processor with no problem. I moved the butter mixture to a bowl and added the buttermilk.
Now, if you like soft edges and really high biscuits, place them on a baking sheet close together. If you like crispy edges, put them a little further apart. I brushed the tops with buttermilk and sprinkled them with coarse salt, but you could use pepper, sugar, or all three! Whatever you like.
Then bake! 12 minutes, maybe a few more, 450F, boom. We're looking for slightly browned biscuits that have risen. Like these! I'm not going to lie, I love the texture of these and how you can TELL they are homemade. You can of course mess with these and make them smoother and more uniform, but why? Rustic, light, and so buttery is the name of this game.
Now, we have biscuits. I made a kick-ass breakfast sandwich to show you next, but you could of course do ANYTHING with these. I'm particularly infatuated with biscuits and butter and wine. BECAUSE MONDAY IS UPON US.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons very cold salted butter if you use unsalted butter use 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk plus extra for brushing
- salt pepper, and/or sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 450F.
- Cube the butter, and place in the freezer for 15 minutes. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to a food processor. Pulse a few times. Add the butter cubes and pulse a few more times to break the butter up into pieces about the size of little green peas, and no larger.
- Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture (in the food processor or in a separate bowl) and combine to form a sticky dough. Working quickly, move the dough to a floured board and press into a rectangle about an inch thick. Fold the dough in thirds like an envelope and press the dough back into a 1-inch rectangle. Handle the dough as little as possible to keep the butter very cold.
- When the dough is flat, cut into squares or rectangles using a pastry cutter or a very sharp knife. Place on a baking sheet - the biscuits should be touching for soft sides, or 1 inch apart for crispy edges. Brush the tops of the biscuits with a little bit of buttermilk and sprinkle the tops with salt, pepper, sugar, or a combination - your choice!
- Bake the biscuits for 12 minutes or until golden and puffy. Serve warm or let cool.
- The key to very fluffy biscuits is to work the dough as little as possible - not much kneading at all, and work quickly to keep the butter very cold. So, keep the buttermilk in the fridge until the last minute and measure everything else before getting the butter into the flour. Then, go to town!