Buttermilk Biscuits: Finally I found it!
So I have been thinking about starting a blog for a while now, though I am not sure that I even pronounce ‘blog’ correctly…is it ‘blag’ or ‘blawg’?? My boyfriend chuckles at me, just another word that I pronounce funny and he gets a kick out of it. So I can’t pronounce it and I am not sure exactly how to create it, but here I am barreling through it and I hope you like it.
For those of you who know me, it’s probably apparent that I have a passion for food. Not only eating eat, but I also love to bake, cook, saute, broil, boil, mince, chop, fry and do everything in between to deceivingly simple ingredients that when combined in a lovingly way become extraordinary. I love starting with a sparkly clean kitchen, a recipe, and an imagination and ending up flour covered counters, dirty dishes, a hot oven and a beautifully crusted artisan bread (or whatever else I am cooking up on any particular day).
There is something about cooking that brings peace to me. Carefully reading a recipe, measuring out and prepping ingredients, and then to find I don’t have exactly what it calls for…oops. Which brings me to today’s recipe: buttermilk biscuits.
I have tested and tried several recipes for buttermilk biscuits in search of the perfect soft bread to live up to the strawberry jam that I make (we’ll get to that recipe on another day). Tried and tried, yet none took the cake. Although they were good…how can you not like a little bun with a soft inside and crispy exterior shmeared with butter? But I could not stop, I had to find the perfect one. So I googled ‘McDonald’s Biscuit Recipe’ and came across this website http://recipes.robbiehaf.com/M/478.htm. It had fine reviews, the ingredients looked as though they’d make love with one another, I was sold.
As I was measuring out the flour and reading over the recipe I realized I did not have powdered milk, nor have I ever been properly introduced! Such a shame….. Hmmm? What to do? Sometimes it’s easy to substitute one ingredient for another if you know it’s texture, consistency and flavor – only one of which I knew, that it was made from milk. Now…it doesn’t take a chef to know you can’t use plain old milk as this would be too much liquid in the dough, but you know it has to add something different to the flavor and it is mixed with the dry ingredients. So I thought: what is powdery, white, and not all-purpose flour? Ah hah! Rice flour. I used this item for the first time when I made fish and chips last week and since it is lighter with a fine grain and less gluten that it’s all-purpose cousin it created a light and crispy breading. I figured that I might be on to something…it couldn’t change the flavor a whole lot, but it could do something divine to the texture of my biscuits.
So I trudged on with the recipe without fear, imagining the sweet buttery goodness that would become my finished biscuit slathered with gooey homemade strawberry jam. Two minutes of mixing, 12 minutes in a hot oven and alas! Buttermilk biscuits! Now, I am not a professional baker and I cannot state any factual claims on what the rice flour actually did to my biscuits chemically, but I can say that these were superb and yielded 6, 3 inch wide little pieces of heaven. Enjoy!
Buttermilk Biscuits (like McDonald’s)
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons rice flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- sprinkle of cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 2/3 cups buttermilk (shaken)
- 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter (cooled and divided)
Preheat over to 450 degrees farenheit.
Whisk both flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and cream of tartar together in a large bowl. Cut shortening into dry ingredients until mealy. Add the buttermilk and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter to the party and stir until well combined. Knead for about 1 minute until the dough becomes slightly elastic and smooth. Press flat with your hands or with a rolling-pin to 3/4 inch thick. Using a 3 inch round cookie cutter or whatever you find appropriate and cut into biscuits. If you used a 3 inch cutter you should get 6 biscuits by cutting as many as can fit in the first roll out, knead the dough back together, flatten, cut, repeat until voila! 6 biscuits. Place them on an ungreased baking sheet, brush with a bit of butter and bake for 10 – 12 minutes until golden brown. Brush the tops with the remaining butter, pour yourself a hot cup of coffee, crack open some preserves and you have a quick sweet breakfast.