Thursday, February 28, 2019

Hand-Formed Buttermilk Baking Powder Biscuits

Baking powder biscuits, made with buttermilk and butter, and hand formed.
Baking powder biscuits, made with buttermilk and butter, and hand formed.

Hand-Formed Buttermilk Baking Powder Biscuits

There are a lot of 30-somethings around me who are on low carb diets right now, taking spin classes, working out and running marathons. They all look great too! Seeing as I could certainly afford to drop more than a few pounds myself, I wish I was that motivated at my age to do any of that, I really do. But I'm not.

I also wish I could live without those white flour carbs, but, but... biscuits!

I don't make them regularly (though lately I've made them a few times more than usual), but for sure, I just can't imagine a life without real biscuits! And yeast bread. Oh, and pasta too. Those are my biggest weaknesses in the world of white flour carbohydrates.

Anyway... although I love any biscuit pretty much, and I usually make rolled and cut out classic 3-ingredient biscuits, sometimes I make others, including these baking powder biscuits. 

I prefer cold, cubed butter for these, and although they are hand-formed biscuits, I cut the fat in using a pastry cutter, rather than risk warming the butter too much with my hands.

Buttermilk is preferred over sweet milk in this recipe as well, but make that real buttermilk folks, not soured sweet milk! I believe that there really is a difference when it comes to biscuits.

This is a good place to remind you that, at least until you make enough biscuits to get a feel for flour and liquid ratios, when baking, it's best not to scoop your measuring cup into a bag or canister of flour to measure.

Rather, first aerate the flour before measuring, then spoon it into the measuring cup and level it off. If you’re scooping instead of spooning, you are packing the flour and using too much, resulting in a dense, heavy biscuit.

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I also have been using my Cooper Chef rimmed baking sheet (#ad) that comes with the crisper basket, to bake biscuits lately. I like the Copper Chef pan because it reacts a bit like a cast iron skillet, giving a well-browned, crunchy bottom to your biscuits.

This recipe will make about 8 generously sized biscuits, more if you shape them smaller.

Let's get on with making some!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. If you're not using a non-stick pan, lightly grease an 11 x 9 inch baking pan. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cube butter and use a pastry blender to cut into flour, leaving pea sized crumbles.

Make a well in the center of flour and add 1/2 cup of the buttermilk. Stir until dough is shaggy, then add remaining buttermilk and continuing gently stirring until dough leaves the sides of the bowl and gathers together.

Flour hands and pinch off biscuit sized balls of the dough. Quickly roll into a ball and place on tray. Continuing pinching and rolling until all of the dough is used up, flouring hands occasionally. Use knuckles to flatten dough balls.

Bake about 16 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Brush with melted butter if desired. Tender and delicious!

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Posted by on February 27, 2019
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