Nothing beats the light, flaky homemade biscuits; hot, steaming fresh from the oven served with a generous amount of butter. My favorite way to have them.
Biscuits are a common feature of Southern cuisine in the United States and are often made with buttermilk. Living in Texas for about 4 years now, I have procrastinated it long enough and it was time that I gave it a try.
There are a zillion recipes around. I have been trying out a few from different places and finally I have settled to what I have here. I have added honey, which makes it very mildly sweet – the sweet gives it a good balance. If you are using herbs or if you want to make it spicy or savory you can omit the honey.
Ingredients: (makes about 8-10 small ones)
- 1.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1.5 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it is fresh)
- a pinch of baking soda (make sure it is fresh)
- 4 tablespoons chilled butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- A little more than 1/2 cup buttermilk
Note: A make a variation to this regular biscuit try adding some dry herbs, like rosemary, oregano or your favorite one to the dough. Black pepper, cheese, sun dried tomatoes would make some lovely additions too
Preheat the oven to 410° F. The oven needs to be completely preheated before the biscuits go in.
Measure flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender, or food processor or with fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal or forms small pea size texture. Do this quickly so the butter does not melt at all.
Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
In the mean time combine buttermilk and honey, and whisk it until well blended. Add buttermilk mixture to chilled flour mixture. Stir the mixture until just combined and starts coming coming it together like crumbles.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly for 3-4 times, just barely for it to come together; over kneading bring out the gluten in the flour and toughen the biscuits.
Roll dough into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle; dust top of dough with flour. Fold the dough into 3 parts – as if folding a piece of paper in an envelope. Repeat this one more time.
Finally roll out the dough into 3/4 inch thickness. (If you do not want too high rise biscuits, roll them to 1/2 inch thickness; this is what I did, since I had cut my biscuits smaller).
Cut the dough with biscuit cutter/cookie cutter/glass to form about 10-12 biscuits. (Cut sharp. Do not twist, just press down).
You may put the extra dough (the extra cut outs), on the baking sheet and bake them misshapen, or roll them out again and form rounds. If you are re rolling the scraps, the biscuits from this dough will not be as flaky as the other set.
Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. (This will prevent darkening of the underside of the biscuits; I did not use the parchment). Place the biscuits about an inch apart on a baking sheet.
(Make sure the oven is pre heated and really hot) Bake at 410° for 10-12 minutes or until light golden. Remove from the sheet; cool for a couple of minutes on wire racks.
Serve warm and serve immediately.
They came out as flaky and soft as they look. Best served warm and immediately with butter.
What other ways can you eat a biscuit?
Lovely warm way to start a day with some butter, cream or jam. As you can imagine, these are not limited to the breakfast time.
They make great company to a fine dinner, or use them to make a cute little sandwiches during lunch.
For dessert? you might ask: Well you can make some fruit and cream sandwiches with these! Cut them into half, spoon some strawberries or any other fruit/berry on the top of the half biscuit, add a layer of cream, another layer of fruit/berry … keep going till they stand balanced. Eat within a few minutes before the biscuits soak thru’ and get soggy.