August 2, 2015

Baby Biscuits, Bees, Better

Best buttermilk biscuits




Baby Biscuits. Some good foods are even better in tiny form and I think biscuits are one of them. You get an almost 1:1 ratio of crispy exterior to soft and flaky interior and then you get to have more than one because they're small. I've made a lot of biscuits and this recipe is solid, but good biscuit making comes from practice. You shouldn't overwork the dough, the dairy should be kept very cold and I think mixing with your hands works best. Bake them in a super hot oven, but keep an eye out. I add baking soda to make them crisp in addition to the baking powder which gives them lift. Baking soda needs acid to work so if you don't use buttermilk, skip it, otherwise your biscuits may have a metallic taste. 

I like honey on mine, in fact it's one of the only ways I eat the stuff. I wish I could buy more and support all the local beekeepers but it's just too sweet for me (but good work bees...seriously, I champion you and would plant a field of clover if I had any space and as you'll see below, I support your cousins).





Bees. A big wasp's nest in our eave, an excellent view of which can be seen from our bathtub. It alarms the neighbor who left a note on our door "There's a hive on your house that's ACTIVE", but makes us in awe of these tiny creatures, their work ethic and the beauty of their home. We leave it. 

Better. This is the most important B. The chemo and radiation are over. The big nasty surgery was successfully completed this week. A long recovery ahead but the cancer is gone. A strengthening experience for us. Humbled by the grace, support and help from friends, family, neighbors and health care providers. Grateful.

Baby Biscuits

Makes about 2 dozen 1 1/2" biscuits

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small dice and chilled plus 2 tablespoons for brushing
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon shaken, cold buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450º convection, 475º conventional

Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Drop in cold butter cubes and work in with your fingers until shaggy and butter shards are about dime-sized. Pour in most of cold buttermilk and fold in with spatula. If it seems dry, add the rest and stir a few more times.

Dump onto a floured surface and knead about 3-4 times and pat into a 3/4" thick rectangle. Fold in half but don't press down. Smooth top with a rolling pin using a bouncing motion so you don't overly compress dough.

Using a  1 1/2" floured cutter (or a glass of that diameter) press down into dough without twisting to form biscuits. Pat scraps together and repeat. Place on ungreased sheet pans and brush tops with melted butter. Bake for 7-8 minutes until brown on top.



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