Southern Buttermilk BiscuitsPerfect, light and fluffy, homemade buttermilk biscuits used to elude me until I learned a few "secrets" and I have perfect biscuits every time now.
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Joe D: I tried your Perfect Southern Buttermilk Biscuits recipe this morning. Outstanding tips. These were the best biscuits I've ever made. Thanks for the tips.
Now, I'm gonna let you in on my most important, secret tips to getting those perfect Southern buttermilk biscuits.
Secret #1 - Preheat the skillet. Just as you do with Southern cornbread, coat a cast iron skillet or with shortening, or butter or spray a rimmed baking sheet or cake pan with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat it in the oven just like with cornbread for about 5 minutes.
Secret #2 - Use very cold, self rising flour, and for the best biscuits, use a soft, winter wheat flour - like White Lily brand - and yes, it does make a difference! Just stick the flour in a bowl in the freezer the night before you plan to make biscuits. Do not substitute all purpose flour.
Secret #3 - Use very cold fat from the refrigerator. It can be lard, vegetable shortening or pure butter, but my preference is butter. If using butter, cut the very cold butter half into cubes. Cut into the flour first using two knives or a pastry cutter until crumbly. When first learning to make biscuits avoid using your hands.
Secret #4 - Use buttermilk. Real buttermilk, not a vinegar and milk substitute. All good Southern biscuits contain real buttermilk. Period. If you don't tend to use buttermilk in your cooking, it will keep awhile, so just keep practicing on your biscuits with it and put some up in the freezer.
Secret #5 - Cold dough. Remember, a successful fluffy and light biscuit comes from keeping the dough cold and not handling it too much. The heat from your hands will melt the butter, so until you get to the point where you can literally mix and shape biscuits in about 5 minutes, use a gentle and soft touch because you do not want the dough to get warm!
Secret #6 - Folding. After quickly kneading, push the dough into a rectangle and fold the short sides in toward middle one on top of the other. Turn the dough, shape into a rectangle again and repeat. Repeat this folding once more for a total of three times and pat into desired thickness, usually about an inch or less. If you cut the biscuits too thick, they will quickly rise and lean over. The dough folding action creates flaky layers in the biscuits.
Secret #7 - No twisting! Use a cutter about 2 to 3 inches in size, cut them very close together and take care not to twist the biscuit cutter, whether it be a cutter or a juice glass, but only push down and lift up on the cutter. Twisting will cause the fibers in the edges of the biscuit to close and result in a flatter and more dense biscuit. So just press down and lift up - no twisting!!
Secret #8 - Spacing. I like to do my buttermilk biscuits in a skillet, like I do my cornbread, which produces a crunchy crust on the bottom and soft edges. You may also bake them on a half sheet, rimmed baking pan or in a small greased cake pan. For biscuits that have more crunch all the way around, space them about an inch apart from each other. For soft biscuits, place them close together.
Secret #9 - High temperature. Bake your biscuits in a preheated 500 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
Now, let's go make some biscuits!
Recipe: Southern Buttermilk Biscuits©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 12 min | Yield: About 6 to 12 biscuits
- 2 cups of cold soft, winter wheat, self-rising Southern flour (like White Lily brand)
- 1/4 cup very cold butter, shortening or lard
- 3/4 cup cold real buttermilk
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Coat a 10 inch cast iron skillet with additional shortening or oil and place into the oven for 5 minutes. Put the flour into a bowl and cut the very cold butter into cubes and toss in the flour. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut butter into flour until it is crumbly. Add buttermilk and use a fork to mix very lightly. Dough will be very shaggy.
Put a bit of additional flour on the countertop and scoop dough out. Sprinkle a small amount of flour over the top and gently push together to form a rectangle. Do not overhandle the dough. Take the short sides of the rectangle and fold them in toward the middle, turn the dough, gently press down into a rectangle again and repeat. Repeat this folding once more and pat into desired thickness, usually about an inch. This folding creates flaky layers in the biscuits.
Using a biscuit cutter or the rim of a small juice glass, cut out into rounds, taking care not to twist the cutter and gently gather scraps for the last biscuits. Transfer biscuits to the prepared skillet or baking pan and bake at 500 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown on top and cooked through.
Cook's Notes: This recipe uses self-rising, Southern soft wheat flour. Do not use regular all purpose flour.
Herbed Biscuit Variation: Add up to 1 tablespoon of fresh, chopped herbs. Good choices include sage, chives, parsley, dill, thyme, or a combination. Reduce to about 2 teaspoons max if using dried herbs. Make biscuits a smaller tea size for a potluck, church supper or a party and fill with Chutney Chicken Salad.
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©Deep South Dish
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