March 21, 2013

Buttermilk Biscuits

Sometimes it's as if people are dropped into your life out of the blue.  This is the story of  one such person.  I was lucky enough to have made a connection with another food blogger and Pastry Chef.  We "met" through Facebook & Twitter.  Like many other food bloggers, we are on each others pages.  We offer support, ask questions and weigh in on life-altering discussions about butter and how best to photograph one's creations. 

During the course of a few months, we discovered how very much alike we are... although she is definitely the nicer one.  She has become my "Sissy" and this happened the day I met her in person.

I was travelling when she & her Beloved husband graciously offered their home to me for a night instead of having to stay in a hotel.  We were sitting in her kitchen and I had asked her if there was a store nearby because I was desperate to get my hands on some White Lily flour... (she remembers this part a bit differently)

As if by magic, she disappeared into a pantry and before I knew where she had gone, she was standing in front of me holding up the sought after bag of flour as if it were nothing.  She said "You mean THIS flour?!".   I couldn't believe it.   I was thrilled and I meant to do it justice with some serious biscuits.

It had sadly been sitting in my cupboard for a little while before I had gotten to it, always clearing it's throat when I opened the cupboard door.  As if it needed to remind me of its presence.  Hardly.   Finally, one day I had it set in my head to get cracking.

So, off to the store I went to grab a few things. Traditionally biscuits are made with shortening. I was against this from the start, but also curious to see how they would compare side to side against those baked with only butter.  I had the Crisco in my hand.  I.  just. couldn't. do. it.

It was as if every single cell in my body was rebelling and screaming "NOOOOOO!  Put it down & back away..."   So I did. 
I guarantee those of us that have had biscuits at a restaurant have eaten them with shortening, or worse.  And I'm certain that I liked them, but I just could NOT buy the tub of Crisco. 
So, there you have it.  Experiment aborted, but I hope I will be forgiven once you taste these biscuits.

"Sissy" Biscuits

2 c. AP flour, preferably White Lily
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
6 tbsp. chilled butter
3/4 c. buttermilk + extra for brushing on top

These biscuits are delicious as is or split open with a bit of honey or strawberry jam.  You could go all out and make gravy for a nice weekend breakfast or brunch or have breakfast for dinner!  Need a little herbiness?  Chop up some fresh herbs like dill and sprinkle in for extra flavor.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Line sheet pan/baking sheet/cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and baking soda together.  Using a pastry blender (or your fingers) cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add buttermilk and stir in flour just until it comes together.  Dough will be sticky.
Turn out onto a floured surface, pat dough out and fold over on itself a few times to help create layers.

Pat out to desired thickness.  I did mine about 1/4 inch... too tall and they will topple over.
Using a biscuit cutter/cookie cutter/juice glass, cut out biscuits by pushing straight down.

Lay biscuits on parchment lined sheet pan and brush tops with buttermilk.
Bake for 8 - 10 minutes. 

Be sure to keep on eye on them after 6 or 7 minutes.  You may need to adjust baking time based on your oven.


  1. Oh, Sissy! Them are Loverley!! They rose so high and beautifully!!

    I am glad that you are my sissy. I am sorry we live so far away from each other. Looking forward to May!! <3

    1. You are the best Sissy a girl could ask for <3

      I am very much looking forward to May!!! :)