I want you to try that Buttermilk-Brined chicken so badly (fan of the blog Rudy Basso already has, to much success!) Therefore, I’ve decided to continue the buttermilk love by including a few more recipes to make good use of that extra buttermilk you’ll have in your fridge. I had the perfect opportunity to make Alton’s buttermilk biscuits at a brunch birthday party for James’ Dad this weekend (Happy Birthday again, Lou!), that I decided to go ahead and share the step-by-step process.
I do believe that biscuits are the best looking baked-good. You can have your perfectly decorated cupcakes and marbled cakes, just leave the biscuits to me. I mean – just look at this glamour shot:
How can you resist?
Biscuits seem incredibly intimidating. A well-known culinary delight in the south, the flaky layers and light but rich texture seem like they must take hours and some secret ritual only southern grandmas know. However, from start to finish, the process takes about an hour – including clean-up! (There’s plenty of time to clean your dishes while the biscuits bake, which is a major encouragement.)
Once we had tried them at home, we decided to whip them up for James’ parents when we stayed with them last year. Always the most enthusiastic audience for our cooking, James’ Dad told people about those biscuits for weeks. The only thing more encouraging than an easy recipe and delicious product to show for it is a boost to your ego.
I hope you will take these on at home and impress your friends and loved ones. Having never made any kind of complicated pastry before, James is now the biscuit whisperer. We know you can be, too!
Adapted very slightly from Alton Brown’s Southern Biscuits recipe found here
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp baking powder (this is more than you think – make sure you have enough!)
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 4 tablespoons butter (cut into cubes and kept as cold as possible)
- 1 cup cold buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
3. Incorporate the cold butter into the flour. My method is by hand: coat all of the cubes of butter in the flour and then rub the flour mixture and butter together with your fingers. You want only a few large chunks to remain. Here’s how I do it:
7. Using your hands, shape the dough into a square/rectangle and fold the dough onto itself 3-4 times. Each time you fold and reshape, make sure to FLOUR the top of the dough before folding again. This step is very important – and the first time I totally forgot. I had to knead the dough again, adding the extra flour each time so they weren’t too sticky. Even with this mistake, the biscuits still came out great. PHEW!
UPDATED video with the correct technique:
9. Use your cookie-cutter/biscuit-cutter/glass (we use one sized 2-3″ usually) to cut out the biscuit shapes. You may need to do this two or three times. By the third time, I could only cut out one biscuit and just molded the last one the best I could.
12. If you can, eat them while they’re fresh out of the oven – AMAZING. If not, as soon as they’re cool enough to touch, wrap them in a cloth napkin or dish towel to keep them warm and moist until serving time.
13. Be lauded as a baking prodigy, earn the envy of your friends and neighbors – enjoy it, you’ve earned it.