Sunday, March 28, 2010

Buttermilk Biscuits

Test Kitchen Baking Book strikes again! I wasn't sure how to label this recipe... you can have it for breakfast, snack, dinner, and if you're like me, throw a little honey on and call it dessert. However you have it, just make sure you follow the directions... biscuits can be a little finicky.

3 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. powdered buttermilk (you can substitute 1 1/4 c. buttermilk for milk and powdered buttermilk if you want, but it won't have as much flavor)
2 T. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 c. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces and chilled
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/4 c. whole milk

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Pulse the flour, buttermilk powder, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a food processor to combine, about 3 pulses. Scatter the butter and shortening evenly over the top and continue to pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 15 pulses.

Transfer the flour mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the milk with a rubber spatula until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Lightly flour your hands and the dough, and knead the dough gently until uniform, about 30 seconds. Roll the dough into a 10-inch round, about 1 inch thick.

Using a floured 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter, stamp our 12 biscuits (don't twist the cutter or they'll be lopsided), gently patting the dough scraps back into a uniform, 1-inch-thick piece as needed. Arrange the biscuits upside down on the prepared baking sheet, spaced about 1 1/2 inches apart (you want to bake them upside down to ensure a more even rise).

Bake for 5 minutes. Rotate the pan, reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees and continue to bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, let cool for 5 minutes then serve warm.