I don't always eat biscuits but when I do, I make them totally from scratch. No, these are not my Grandma's biscuits but I think they are really much better. Or maybe I now attach more importance to really good biscuits: there are several famous biscuit places and many are really good, some totally suck. For instance, Cracker Barrel serves a lot of good food but their biscuits are the worst and as close to NWTC as anything gets. (For those who do not understand NWTC means Not Worth the Calories.) And as good as Hardee's are, the location closest to us has evidently recently had a biscuit maker change: even worse than Cracker Barrel. So I decided to really work on making the best biscuits ever, right at home. And due to popular request, I am going to teach YOU how to make almost foolproof biscuits. With some practice, you will be making biscuits at home too.
Substitute at your own risk. I have tried several different brands and list the ones I think make a difference. For us, we do not often eat biscuits but when we do, only the best are WTC. Measure precisely (except for flour).
Butter, yes REAL butter. Lands of Lakes Sweet Cream Butter or my favorite real Amish butter direct from the farm.
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup or 1 stick and 1/2 stick
Buttermilk, Whole, any brand Do not attempt to use sweet milk.
Large eggs, two
Sugar, real white granulated sugar
Flour: Martha White Hot Rize Self Rising Flour
2 cups plus more as needed.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Use a glass 2 cup measure. Melt one stick of butter in the microwave just to the point where there is a little solid left. DO NOT totally melt or cook your butter. You want semisolid butter.
Pour buttermilk into the measuring cup with the butter until you have 1 and 1/2 cups totally volume. Stir gently with a fork and immediately place the cup with the fork in the freezer.
Measure 2 cups of flour, eggs and sugar in the mixing bowl. Gently stir together to incorporate well.
Get your biscuit pan ready. I use a 9 x 13 metal pan lined with aluminum foil. Put the remainder of the butter in your pan and place in the hot oven.
The butter and buttermilk should be semisolid again at this point. Remove from the freezer and stir gently to make small globules of butter interspersed in the buttermilk. Gently incorporate the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture.
At this time, your pan should be ready with the other butter melted. Remove from the oven and place on a hot pad or towel on the counter near your work are.
I use a large piece of foil or parchment paper on the counter for easy clean up. Put about a half cup of flour on the foil and turn the flour mixture into the flour. Add a little flour on top and gently flatten the mixture, turn and flatten again. DO NOT KNEAD like bread dough. If you knead you will make your biscuits hard. The object is to flatten and turn, adding flour until you can handle a biscuit sized piece at the point where it almost falls apart when you pick it up. When you think you have reached this point, flatten to about 1 inch thick and use your favorite cutter. Mine is a glass that has a 2 and 3/4 inch rim. You could also use the pinch method to shape your biscuits, just remember to not handle them too much. Put each biscuit in the pan and don't throw away those little edges that are not perfect biscuits: they are really good bite sized morsels of biscuit that everyone will want! I then put about a thin quarter sized pat of butter on top and proceed to bake.
If your oven is really hot, you might want to drop the temp to 400 degrees after 10 minutes. At 425, my biscuits are done to my preference in 32 minutes. You have to decide what you want but if you stick a fork into the side of a biscuit, you should be able to lift up and see that the center is fluffy and done before you take them out. I always butter what I want straight out of the oven. Yeah, butter again! You see why I don't make biscuits everyday???
Keep in mind that you may not have perfect biscuits the first time but with just a little practice and attention to detail, you will succeed!
To see pictures of a biscuit baking session, go to www.alabamababy.com>Photography>Galleries>Celebrations>Events>Biscuits.