Sunday, 19 February 2012

Home made Buttermilk Biscuits

I have fond memories from when I was a little girl of Grandma's home made biscuits. Sadly, this is not her recipe, I don't have her recipe.

My American Family and Friends know what Buttermilk Biscuits are, some of my British Family and Friends do as well. For those who don't know, the closest thing I can describe them as are savory scones, but they are lighter.

Growing up my Mom occasionally made Grandma's home made biscuits but we mostly had pre made biscuits which just need to be popped in the oven and baked. No mixing or mess and nothing like their home made counterparts but yummy just the same.

I moved to England about six years ago and during this time I've had to learn how to make several of my favourite foods from scratch, as you just can't find them over here. A couple years ago I blogged about making pancakes, the American kind. Before I'd used a mix, which I couldn't find here. Here's a link to that blog post with my recipe for Blueberry Pancakes. <- Click Link

OK, back to biscuits. This is how I make Buttermilk Biscuits. I've adapted this recipe from different recipe's over the years and made it my own. I've never been good at following directions. ;-)

Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups plain flour (Sometimes I use Spelt Flour)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (about 1/2 or a little less if you use salted butter)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft or room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 450 f or 230 c (200 for fan assisted ovens)
2. Put all dry ingredients into a bowl. I like to sift the flour.
3. Add the butter. I use a table spoon to cut out little half balls and drop them into the flour mixture.

4. Mix until the ingredients resemble course meal or bread crumbs. This will take a few minutes.You can do  this with your fingers or with a mixer with special dough attachments. You can even do this in a food processor.

5. Add the buttermilk and mix. You can either mix by hand with your hands (messy) or use a spoon. My preferred method is using my mixer with dough attachments like in these photos.

6. Don't over mix, mix just until combined well. Over mixing and over handling the dough will make your biscuits hard. We want them light and fluffy.

7. You can now either pick up little dough balls with your hands or with a spoon and drop them onto a backing sheet like this:

By the way, this is how I do it most of the time.

7a. .... or you gently pat or roll out the dough onto a floured surface and cut them out with biscuit cutters.

7b.....Gently recombining left over dough and flattening it to cut out more biscuits. Again be careful not to handle the dough more than absolutely necessary.

8. Place the biscuits on your baking sheet, starting with the first one in the center and then add the rest around it, tucking them up next to each other. Alternatively you can leave a bit of space between them for crispier sides.

9. Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Biscuits will be lightly golden brown when done.

10. When done quickly brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter.

11. Any left over biscuits can be put in an air tight container and put in the fridge and reheated later. They keep for several days. To reheat put in oven for about 8 minutes.

Back in the States we like to eat biscuits as part of our evening meal. Here in the UK I mostly cook them for breakfast, eating them with a spot of jam along side eggs and dry cured streaky bacon. Yummy. :-)

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