Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Through lots of study and practice, I’ve demystified biscuit making. The first step, was to figure out what “jest right” dough looked like.
I’m more than happy to share my years of exhaustive research with you. This is all you need to know about making biscuits:
- Use a soft-wheat flour such as White Lily. I prefer to use self-rising. All-purpose can be used with the appropriate amount of leavening sifted together with the flour.
- Solid shortening may used instead of butter, however, butter adds flavor to the biscuits making it my fat of choice.
- Make sure the butter is good and cold before using. Cut it in small cubes and put it back into the refrigerator before using.
- Always, always, always use buttermilk when you can. Nothing substitutes for the flavor that buttermilk gives biscuits. If you’re in a pinch, add a tablespoon of vinegar to a cup of milk.
- Don’t over handle the dough. Get in there, work it, and get out as quickly as possible. Pour in liquid just until all the flour is well incorporated. The dough should be sticky.
- Biscuits should be baked in a very hot oven. Some folks like to bake their biscuits as high as 500 degrees. My oven bakes them just right at 425 or 450 degrees.
- For biscuits with the flaky layers that you get from canned biscuits, fold the dough into three layers before cutting.
- Place biscuits in the skillet or baking sheet with sides touching for soft biscuit sides. Place them apart for crisper sides.
- Brush the tops with oil or melted butter for a golden brown color.
I wish you many years of happy biscuit making.
Y’all come see us!
High-rise Buttermilk Butter Biscuits
yield: 12 (2 inch) biscuits
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
2 cups self-rising flour (I used White Lily)
3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk
Work butter into flour, either by hand or with a pastry cutter, until it resembles coarse meal. Add in buttermilk and mix until combined.
Turn dough out on to flour covered surface. Sprinkle top with flour and knead 5 or 6 times. Sprinkle with more flour as needed until dough is no longer sticky.
Roll out to 1/4 inch thick.
Fold dough in thirds, lengthwise, making sure the width is at least 2 inches. Fold in half from top to bottom. Gently press the layers together.
Cut biscuits with 2 inch biscuit cutter.
Place in a seasoned cast iron skillet or on a greased baking pan. Press down slightly with backs of fingers.
Brush tops with oil.
Bake at 425 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until tops are browned.