Tall and Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

Tall and fluffy buttermilk biscuits
Tall and fluffy buttermilk biscuits

We don’t have a refrigerator, so when I buy one quart of buttermilk to make Chillaquillas, I have 1-1/2 C left that needs to be used fairly quickly. This recipe is perfect — Chillaquillas for dinner, Tall and Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits for breakfast.

This morning, I woke up and found my regular milk had gone sour, so I used that, instead of buttermilk.

This was originally from Cook’s Illustrated magazine, but I modified it slightly, because I don’t have a food processor on the boat. They are the best biscuits I’ve ever made.

Dough:
2 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1 T sugar
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
4 T  unsalted butter cut in about a dozen pieces
1-1/2 C buttermilk

Finishing:
1 C flour
2 T melted butter

1. Place oven rack in middle position, preheat to 500 F. Grease a square or round 9-inch cake pan. Also spray the inside and outside of a 1/4 C dry measuring cup.

2. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Scatter butter cubes evenly over this and cut them in with a fork or pastry blender until the consistency is like  coarse, pebbly cornmeal. (You can also do this step in a food processor; be sure not to over-process it.) Stir in the buttermilk. Mix with a rubber spatula. Dough will be very wet and slightly lumpy.

3. Spread some of the remaining flour on a large rimmed baking sheet. Using the greased measuring cup, dump twelve one-quarter cup blobs of the dough on the baking sheet. Dust the tops with flour. With floured hands and minimal handling, coat outsides and form into a ball. Place in the cake pan touching each other (if you’re using a round cake pan, put 9 around the outside and 3 in the middle). Brush with melted butter, but don’t flatten them. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce oven to 450 for 15 more minutes or until golden brown. (I just baked them at about 400 until they were browned on the bottom and starting to brown on the top; my oven doesn’t get to 450 unless it’s very hot and I wait a long time.) Cool in pan for a couple of minutes, invert onto towel. Separate them and set them upright on a plate. Cool for 5 more minutes and serve.

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