Monday, May 28, 2012

Buttermilk Biscuits

I love breakfast probably more than any other meal of the day and what is better than hot, homemade biscuits and gravy on a crisp morning? I'd love to take credit for this recipe, but the credit goes to Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Recipes From An Accidental Country Girl ISBN:978-0-06-165819-8). This book is on the #1 New York Times Bestseller list and I highly recommend it. You can find this book as well as her equally excellent previous cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Food From My Frontier ISBN: 978-0-06-199718-1 almost anywhere (I purchased both at Sam's Club but have seen it in Fred Meyer, Safeway, and all bookstores. The humor Ree inflects in her cookbooks actually makes it a pleasure to read! Both are reasonably priced and packed full of delicious, step-by-step visually appealing photographs and instructions for honest-to-goodness down-home food.

The author is right when she says that making biscuits can be tricky. I think the secret to a light and fluffy biscuit is in not overworking the dough. These biscuits have an excellent flavor but I had to cut the recipe in half which still made 8 good-sized biscuits. She is feeding a family of six, where it is just Jim and I. Also note that left-over biscuits can also be used for strawberry shortcake with whipped cream.

You won't be able to resist the urge to slap some butter on this treat immediately out of the oven!

4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup shortening (I used butter-flavored crisco)
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Next add the shortening and cold butter pieces, use a pastry blender or fork to form crumbs. Here is the tricky part: Pour in the buttermilk and mix only until combined. Lightly flour a cutting board, turn out dough and roll to desired thickness (I like about 1/2"). Use a biscuit cutter or an inverted glass dipped in flour to cut biscuits. For years, before I got a biscuit cutter I used an old green beans can that had both ends cut out--ha! I still use that stupid can when I make Grandy "G" bread--Something about old habits are hard to break.

Place biscuits on a cookie sheet and bake for 11 minutes or until golden. HINT: These biscuits brown very quickly at 450 degrees, so check them after 8 minutes.


Go to this website for more information on The Pioneer Woman Cooks.

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