I have always been a big biscuit fan. Even as a little kid I remember going to McDonald’s and opting for the Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit sandwich when everyone else was ordering Egg McMuffin sandwiches. It’s something about the density and the buttery goodness that would prompt me to choose a biscuit over an English muffin every single time. I don’t eat biscuits as often as I would like, which is probably a good thing. I reason with every biscuit you’re eating you can guarantee yourself you’re eating a tablespoon of butter. And that’s without adding any butter to the biscuit. But when I lived in Portland, Ore., I seemed to eat more biscuits than is usual for me. This was thanks to the fact that I tried biscuits and gravy at almost every breakfast joint I visited. When you live such a rainy, dreary climate as Portland’s tends to be in the fall and winter, trust me that you need yourself copious amounts of biscuits and gravy to stick to your ribs.
So I was surprised when I perused my biscuits and scones category to see that I did not have a plain buttermilk biscuit recipe/post. I found plenty of biscuit and scone recipes that included bacon and cheese — always a winning combination — but no trusty buttermilk biscuit recipe? Hmph. It was time to change that. I had decided that I needed some biscuits to sop up the extra portion of (noodle-less) chicken stroganoff sitting in my fridge. So I googled “buttermilk+biscuits” and was drawn to the pictures in this Chowhound.com recipe.
This recipe is a winner. No seriously. Look no further. If you follow the directions below to a T, you will have yourself some nicely risen biscuits with flaky layers and a crispy, buttery bottom. I watched as my biscuits began to rise in the oven and the butter melted and seeped out of the rounds of dough giving the bottom a nice brown color and buttery taste.
I could not wait for the biscuits to be done. I wanted to whip something fabulous up to go with what I knew were going to be the best biscuits ever. I had nothing in my refrigerator to make a breakfast-y sandwich with (other than eggs, and trust me that I did debate on making a plain ‘ol egg and biscuit sandwich) so I instead ate two right out of the oven with plenty of butter. I sure did not need a second biscuit but realized as I was eating my way through the first one that I wanted to take pictures of the inside of the biscuit. So I had to eat another one in order to get proper pics. The sacrifices you make for your food blog, ya know?
- 2 c. all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. fine salt (I used pink Himalayan salt)
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 8 T. cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 c. cold buttermilk
- Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- Whisk the measured flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl to aerate and combine. Add the butter pieces and toss to just coat them in the flour mixture. Place the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, and working quickly so as not to soften the butter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it’s in pea-size pieces. Use your hands if you have to; I did. Drizzle in the buttermilk and stir just until a moist, shaggy dough comes together. Do not use your hands for this step! I did and could not get the dough off my hands.
- Generously dust a work surface with flour. Scrape the dough out onto the surface and dust the top with more flour. Using floured hands, gently pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick circle.
- Using a 2-1/2-inch round cutter dipped in flour, cut out as many biscuits as possible–I got eight biscuits. (Chowhound’s directions say to press straight down through the dough without twisting the cutter. Apparently the biscuits will not rise properly if you twist.)
- Transfer the biscuits to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them at least 1 inch apart. Gather the scraps into a ball, pat it into a 1-inch-thick circle, and cut out more biscuits. Repeat as needed discard any unused shreds of dough.
- Bake until the biscuits have risen and are golden brown on top, about 15 to 16 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.
If I have any leftover biscuits (and I know I’m not able to eat the leftover biscuits immediately), oftentimes I will freeze them to take out for later use. Once frozen, you can allow them to come to room temperature and then throw into a 350-degree oven for a few minutes to imitate that just-out-of-the-oven taste and feel. I would not recommend microwaving to reheat unless you absolutely have to. I’m never a fan of microwaving any bread or bread product (such as leftover biscuits or pizza).
These biscuits were fabulous on their own and I know would make a phenomenal breakfast sammie, but I have to tell you they worked very nicely as a base for leftover chicken and biscuits. I cobbled together a chicken and biscuits-like dish using leftover chicken stroganoff.