Making homemade biscuits always scared the hell outta me. They always seemed to be time consuming, and anything involving “cutting in” of cold butter tends to make me nervous too. After seeing Josie’s post on them (such the Southern belle!), she gave me the confidence I needed to try. So glad I gave it a go – because they turned out absolutely perfectly. And both of my concerns that I listed above were completely unfounded.
First off, they aren’t time consuming. Not even15 minutes of prep work, and I had gorgeous butter-topped biscuits that I was putting into the oven. The food processor pretty much does all the work for you, that machine is such a workhorse in my kitchen. A few quick pulses of the flour and butter, then you add the liquid components, knead a few times, shape and cut. It’s that easy!
I don’t like to brag, but they easily were the best biscuits I’ve seen, or tasted. They stood a mile high! Okay, maybe not a mile…but still, very tall. And the fluffy layers? Unparalleled. They were the perfect accompaniment to the fried chicken dinner I made that night, and the boys and I enjoyed the leftover biscuits with blueberry preserves the next morning. So, if you’re a bit scared of them like I was, get your butt in the kitchen and give it a try. This recipe won’t let you down!
Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits
2 1/4 cups cake flour or 2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1 Tbs plus 1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
6 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
3/4 cup cold buttermilk
2 Tbs melted butter, for brushing
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Pulse several times to combine well. Add the butter, and continue to pulse in 2-second increments, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few pea-sized pieces (about 5 pulses). This can also be done using a pastry blender or 2 forks if you don’t have a food processor.
Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, pour the buttermilk over it, and use a fork to mix for about 1 minute, or until the dough just comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, knead with floured hands, and pat into a rectangle about 6×10 inches and 1-inch thick.
Fold the dough like a business letter (the righmost third over the center third, then the left third on top). Turn the dough a quarter of a turn, pat it into another 6×10 inch rectangle, and fold it upon itself in thirds again. Repeat one more time, then pat the dough into a 6×10 inch rectangle a final time.
Using a floured 2-3 inch biscuit cutter, cut the biscuits from the dough and place them about 1 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Pat the scraps into a 1-inch thick rectangle and cut more biscuits.
Brush the tops with half the melted butter, and bake 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are just beginning to brown. Brush the tops again with the remaining butter and serve warm.