Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus a little more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk plus a little more for brushing

Instructions

  1. Freeze the butter: Cut the butter into small chunks and place in the freezer. Preheat oven to 425°F. Get out equipment and ingredients, leaving the butter in the freezer and the buttermilk in the refrigerator.
  2. Blend the dry ingredients: Place flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Cover and pulse 4 or 5 times to mix. Alternatively, whisk in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  3. Add the butter: Remove the butter from the freezer and add it to the flour mixture. Cover and pulse 6 to 8 times or until the mixture is crumbly and the largest pieces of butter are no bigger than a pea. Alternatively, work the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your finger tips.
  4. Add the buttermilk. Pour in the buttermilk, cover, and pulse 4 or 5 times or until the mixture just comes together. It should not be completely blended but look like gravel. Alternatively, stir until the liquid is just barely incorporated and a rough mass is formed.
  5. Shape the dough: Sprinkle your counter with a little flour and dump the contents of the food processor out on top. Working quickly, gather the shaggy mass together, pressing it lightly to form a rectangle. Cut into 3 even sections and pile each section on top of the other. Using the heel of your hand, quickly and firmly press the sections together. Repeat once.
  6. Roll and cut the dough: Roll the dough into a thick rectangle, about 1/2″ thick. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 6 pieces for larger biscuits or 8 pieces for smaller biscuits.
  7. Bake: Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet. Paint the top of the biscuits with a little buttermilk. Bake for 12 minutes or until puffed and golden-brown.
  8. Cool: Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Serve fresh from the oven, if possible.
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