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Monday, August 27, 2012

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

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A few weeks ago, two of my mom’s best girlfriends threw a couples shower for my sister Julia and her fiancĂ© Nate (13 days until the wedding!). The event was a backyard BBQ bash, and they asked that biscuits to contribute to their food spread. As I sat down to breakfast with my family the morning of the shower, we were chatting about everyone’s plans for the day when I mentioned that I needed to make some biscuits. This spurred a debate around the ins and outs of serving biscuits. Were they a breakfast food? A BBQ food? A Southern staple? Ryan strictly saw biscuits as a breakfast food, to be served with gravy, and could not get over the fact that I was bringing them for an evening meal (I guess he forgot about those goat cheese biscuits we've eaten before!).

Ignoring his opinion (not the first time that’s happened, if we’re being honest), I pressed on with my biscuit-making plans. I brought two dozen biscuits to the shower where they were promptly gobbled up, warm from the oven, with a drizzle of honey. Breakfast food or not, I’ve decided people aren’t going to turn down a flaky biscuit, and I thought they paired fantastically with the rest of our BBQ meal.
I studied several different biscuit recipes before settling on this one from Cooking Light. It required a bit of an interesting folding technique, but after reading the directions carefully a few times, I discovered it wasn’t all that difficult. I took extra care to press straight down when cutting out the biscuits to ensure that they didn’t flatten when baking. The finished product was a light biscuit with flaky layers, definitely best served warm with honey or jam!

What’s your opinion when it comes to biscuits? Best served at breakfast only? A BBQ norm? Other thoughts?

One Year Ago: Tomato, Feta, and Basil Galette
Two Years Ago: Banana Blueberry Bread

Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits
from Cooking Light November 2008

-2 cups (9 oz) all-purpose flour
-2 1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-5 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
-3 tbsp honey
-3/4 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixtures resembles coarse meal. Place in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and honey, whisking until blended. Add wet mixture to the chilled flour mixture and stir just until moist.
4. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and gently knead 4 times. Shape dough into a 9 x 5-inch rectangle and sprinkle with flour. Fold dough into thirds (as if folding a piece of paper to fit into an envelope). Once folded, roll dough into another 9 x 5-inch rectangle.
5. Sprinkle with flour and fold into thirds again. Gently roll or pat mixture to a 3/4-inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter (or drinking glass dipped in flour) to cut out dough rounds [a 1 3/4-inch cutter will yield about 14 biscuits].
6. Place biscuits 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden. Cool for 2 minutes and then serve warm.