You can’t call yourself a southern chef and not know how to make good buttermilk biscuits. It’s easier than baking a cake but harder than making cookies and some how the flour always ends up all over the place.
My wife jokes I can’t just make a “plain grilled cheese”, she’s right. My Caprese Grilled Cheese is proof that I’m always looking to improve every dish. I did the same here by adding thyme, garlic and cheese to a traditional biscuit recipe.
Tips to Making Great Biscuits
- Measure your flour correctly. Don’t scoop the flour with the measuring cup. Use a spoon to add the flour into the measuring cup and level it off. Better yet weigh your flour. 1 cup of flour weighs 4.5 oz.
- Use a low gluten Self Rising Flour such as White Lilly or King Arthur. Milled from a lower-protein wheat than all-purpose flour, it produces softer, more tender baked goods, including biscuits, pancakes, cakes, cookies, muffins, pastries, and more. You can use all purpose flour but will need to add baking powder separately.
- Fat makes for flaky biscuits. I like to use a combination of organic shortening and butter. I use Spectrum’s Organic Vegetable Shortening. I prefer the flavor over Crisco and it doesn’t contain any partially hydrogenated fats. You can use all butter or all shortening or like I have done a combination of the two. Play around to suit your tastes.
- Quickly “cut-in” the fat with the flour. “Cutting in” means incorporating shortening or butter into the flour in such a way that little lumps of the raw fat remain whole within the flour mixture. When the dough is baked, these little lumps create separation in the structure of the product, which gives it that flaky consistency. Easiest way to do this is to start with cold butter or shortening and quickly use your fingers to work the fat and flour until it resembles pea size.
- Add just enough milk or buttermilk to bring the dough together. Do not add the required amount all at once.
- Don’t roll the dough out more than twice. Any leftover dough can be baked as drop biscuits.
Add just enough buttermilk until the dough comes together and pulls away from the side of the bowl.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface
Roll to your desired thickness. I prefer a 1/2″-3/4″ which will give you big and fluffy biscuits which are great for stuffing full of scrambled eggs!
Using a 2″ cookie cutter; press straight down and pull back. Resist the urge to twist which will pinch the edges of the dough and prevent the biscuits from rising.
Place on a cooling rack and enjoy warm.