August 19, 2009

Buttermilk Biscuits - Part II of our Southern Feast

What is a true South Georgia meal without biscuits? I don't know, I've never had one! Now my challenge, I have never made biscuits from scratch. So where do I turn when I need expertise on a recipe I have never made? Cooks Illustrated of course, my own personal cooking school. I found a few recipes for biscuits, but decided to go with the "Tall and Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits". I must say, I was pleased. But more importantly, Dave had 3 in one sitting (that means he liked them too) and that's all that mattered!

Buttermilk Biscuits
From Cooks Illustrated July 1, 2004


Nonstick cooking spray

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces)
1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold), cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups buttermilk cold, preferably low-fat

To Form and Finish Biscuits
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, distributed in rimmed baking sheet
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Spray 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Generously spray inside and outside of 1/4 cup dry measure with nonstick cooking spray.
2. For the dough: In food processor, pulse flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda to combine, about six 1-second pulses. Scatter butter cubes evenly over dry ingredients; pulse until mixture resembles pebbly, coarse cornmeal, eight to ten 1-second pulses. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Add buttermilk to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated (dough will be very wet and slightly lumpy).
3. To form and bake biscuits: Using 1/4 cup dry measure and working quickly, scoop level amount of dough; drop dough from measuring cup into flour on baking sheet (if dough sticks to cup, use small spoon to pull it free). Repeat with remaining dough, forming 12 evenly sized mounds. Dust tops of each piece of dough with flour from baking sheet. With floured hands, gently pick up piece of dough and coat with flour; gently shape dough into rough ball, shake off excess flour, and place in prepared cake pan. Repeat with remaining dough, arranging 9 rounds around perimeter of cake pan and 3 in center. Brush rounds with hot melted butter, taking care not to flatten them. Bake 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 450 degrees; continue to bake until biscuits are deep golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Cool in pan 2 minutes, then invert biscuits from pan onto clean kitchen towel; turn biscuits right-side up and break apart. Cool 5 minutes longer and serve.

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