Tuesday, February 28, 2012

buttermilk biscuits

I love cookbooks. I could collect all of them for days and I wouldn't have enough. Even it it's just to look at them. I have a huge wish list that is ever-growing. My mom got the Sarabeth's Bakery cookbook last Christmas from my dad, and I made no secret of my envy. Imagine my delight when I received it this year from my parents! It's so simple and clean and I want to make and eat everything in it. This biscuit recipe is the first recipe I've made from it, and oh my goodness, they were divine. Salty, buttery, light and flaky. In a word: Perfect. Next time you want/need a savory baked good, make this happen to your face and belly.

Adapted from Sarabeth's Bakery

3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (I used 1 1/2 cups milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper or a Silpat.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together into the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer. Attach the bowl to the mixer and fit with the paddle attachment. Add the butter. Mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size pieces of butter. Add the buttermilk (or milk with lemon juice), mixing just until the dough barely comes together.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until the dough is smooth. Sprinke the top of the dough with flour and roll our a little more than 3/4 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter, dipping the cutter into flour between cuts, cut out the biscuits and place 1 inch apart on the pan. Gently press the scraps together (do not overhandle the dough—this is very important!). Repeat rolling and cutting.

Bake until the biscuits are well risen and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve hot or warm. To reheat the biscuits, wrap them in aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 10 minutes.

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