Saturday, August 15, 2009

buttermilk biscuits

Scene 1
I make people eat watermelon in the name of science as part of my research. To ensure my trained watermelon eating machines keep coming back for more, we like to create a little positive feedback by giving them treats at the end of every session.

If you may have noticed, my baking skills excel in the sweet area. But who wants to eat a cookie (or anything, really), after I just stuffed you full of 10 watermelon slices? My usual dulcet approach was failing.

Scene 2
Oh, snap! I forgot I have to run a sensory panel tomorrow! What can I feed the buggers? Also, I haven't been grocery shopping in 2 weeks.

Scene 3
When you have 'nothing' left in your house, you probably still have milk, vinegar, flour, and butter (just barely).

Enter biscuits.

Nothing you have not, but buttermilk biscuits you do!

Queue trumpet fanfare. Disaster averted.

And so the drop biscuits were born, meaning no rolling out and cutting dough, and exactly one bowl got dirty. Mine came out a touch more crumbly than I'd prefer, but I should have known better and added a touch more milk when I thought the dough looked dry. Either way, still pretty good heated up with honey!

Buttermilk Biscuits
From Bon Appetit | Oct 2002

3 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven 425°F.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Using fingertips, rub 3/4 cup chilled butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir until evenly moistened.

Using 1/4 cup dough for each biscuit, drop biscuits onto baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until biscuits are golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm.

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