Cloud-Like Biscuit Recipe
I bake a lot. I bake for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, picnics, bar mitzvahs, weddings, special occasions, and on. I also bake for me. When I'm out of whatever, or sick of eating whole wheat pita, oatmeal, and wild rice I like to bake up some carb-heavy, gluten nasty flat bread, zucchini bread, cake, cookies. I am adding this biscuit recipe today (and I've made a lot of biscuit recipes) to that list of quick breads.
The batch you see above is the 4th I've made since January, and all have been a success out of the gate. My cloud-like, fluffy, can't do anything but rise biscuit recipe is adapted from Greg's Southern Biscuits, which I found on Allrecipes.com. The main difference is mine don't have lard or bacon drippings, but only because I don't have that food in my kitchen. You bet I'd make them with good lard if I had good lard. Also, this is a great recipe for using up leftover, extra buttermilk.
1/2 tsp butter
2 cups flour
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
(I use Bakewell's which I order from the King Arthur Catalog)
5 1/2 tblsp cold butter
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with 1/2 tsp butter. Mix flour, salt, soda, and powder in a medium bowl. Cut butter into 1/4 inch chunks and add to dry ingredients. Blend butter in by pinching and rubbing with your hands. Butter should resemble a fine meal when ready. Make a well in the mixture and pour buttermilk in. Mix with your hands lightly until just combine.
Scrap the dough, its a little sticky, out on to a floured work area. Pat dough out about an inch with your hands. Fold the dough in half, turn 90 degrees, pat gently, and fold again. Repeat 3 more times. This builds the biscuit layers up. Now pat or roll the dough out to one inch. Cut biscuits with a 2 1/2 inch round cutter. Its important to push the cutter straight down and lift straigh up. Turning the cutter will seal the edges preventing the biscuits from rising. Use a spatula to move the cut biscuits to the buttered baking tray. You should have 6-8 biscuits.
Now you are supposed to pop those in the hot oven and get baking, while ignoring the rest of the dough. The more you handle the dough the tougher it gets. I simply can not bring myself to do trash the dough. Readers with lots of biscuit experience, what do you do with that excess dough from the first cut? Maybe I'm cutting my biscuits wrong. I squish and re-pat the dough one or maybe two more times to maximize the dough. Serve the virgin first cut biscuits to good company and hoard the second and third batches for yourself.
Bake all the biscuits for 15-18 minutes. Biscuits are ready when they're so light they nearly fly out of the oven, and have beautiful browned bottoms. Move to a cooling rack immediately. Serve with a hunk of butter on top for breakfast, lunch, tea, or dinner.