Friday, September 23, 2011

same same

New Hampshire
the District of Columbia
and now New York!!!!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

southern buttermilk biscuits and 9/11

Sundays are super special in our house. It's the day we sleep in (or at least I try to), watch football (and I don't mean American football) and I usually bake or make something for brunch.

On this particular morning we needed something comforting. Unlike ten years ago when the day was crisp and bright, the a.m. hours were gloomy on this 10th anniversary of September 11th. I flew in from San Diego late last night and was able to sleep in and ease into the morning by making southern buttermilk biscuits. I added a couple of ingredients to this nearly perfect recipe to bump up it's flavor and simply because I wanted to.

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
Googled this recipe and taken from

Prep Time: 10 mins.
Cook time: 12 - 14 mins.
Makes about 8 - 10 biscuits

I have nearly a dozen different recipes for buttermilk biscuits and I think I've found one that I can place on top of my biscuit recipe stack. The key to this recipe is not to overwork the dough, but create layers to achieve the height and flakiness that we all love in biscuits.

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder (use one without aluminum)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold and cut into tablespoons
3/4 - 1 cup buttermilk
***today's morning additions were - 1 scallion (chopped), 1 garlic clove (roughly chopped) and 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese***

1. Preheat oven to 450˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine.

3. Add butter to processor and pulse until it resembles a course meal. ***Add "morning additions" here if using and pulse a couple of times to combine***

4. Add the buttermilk and pulse until the dough JUST comes together. The dough will look quite sticky and not dry. If it looks dry, add more buttermilk if needed. 

5. Turn the dough out onto a well floured board/surface.

6. Gently PAT the dough (DO NOT use a rolling pin) until it's about 1/2 inch thick. Fold the dough onto itself about 5 to 6 times. This step is where you're creating the layers. After your "folds", gently pat the dough down to a 1-inch thickness.

7. Cut into desired shapes. I just cut the biscuits with a sharp knife to avoid scraps. If you use a cutter, the scraps don't rise as high as the freshly cut dough, but nonetheless still tasty after baking.

8. Place the biscuits on your prepared baking sheet. If you like "soft" sides, put them touching each other. If you like "crusty" sides, place them about 1-inch apart - these will not rise as high as the biscuits are close together.

9. Bake for 10 - 14 minutes. The biscuits should be a light golden brown on top and bottom. 

***Tips for better biscuits***
- do not overbake.
- handle the dough as little as possible.
- the food processor produces superior biscuits b/c the ingredients stay colder and there's less of a chance of overmixing.
- pat the dough out with your hands - gently.
- do not use a rolling pin.

These biscuits would be great for strawberry shortcakes! Forget the savory additions (but not the salt) and add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the recipe. Top it off with strawberries and lightly sweetened whipped cream.