Biscuits are one of my favorite treats. Fluffy, buttery, moist, and smothered in honey butter. Typing this just makes me start drooling. Unfortunately they’re not the healthiest treat, so I try not to make them too often. But when I do it’s heaven. They’re delicious fresh, and they’re delicious the next morning once you warm them in a hot (buttered) pan until they’re brown and crunchy on the top, and then smother them with some homemade jam. It takes me back to being a kid, and it makes me want to inhale all of them. There are tons of biscuit recipes out there, but here’s one of my favorites, reprinted from Martha Stewart.
There are many more biscuit recipes out there (baking soda biscuits, drop biscuits, herbed biscuits, pumpkin biscuits, etc.), so don’t think this will be the last. But if you want a good basic buttermilk biscuit, this recipe will do the trick! Just remember, biscuits need gentle love, so don’t mix them too much. You want a wet and loose dough. The more you mix, the chewier they get. Alton Brown can tell you more.
Martha Stewart’s Buttermilk Biscuits
Makes 1 dozen GIANT biscuits. I usually cut this recipe in half and use smaller biscuit cutters (yes, I finally broke down and bought a set of fluted biscuit cutters and they’re amazing..I highly recommend if you’re a biscuiteer*). I’ve added the measurement for the 1/2 recipe in the () – these still make a good 12 or so smaller biscuits. Just make sure you don’t mix the measurements for the half recipe with the full one!
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting (1/2 recipe = 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder (1/2 recipe = 2 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (1/2 recipe = 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon salt (1/2 recipe = 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (1/2 recipe = 1/2 teaspoon)
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold (cold is key!), cut into small pieces (1/2 recipe = 1 stick butter or 1/2 cup)
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk, plus more for brushing (1/2 recipe = 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons + more for brushing)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour**, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Using a pastry blender (this is my fav. one), cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few large clumps remaining.
- Pour in the buttermilk; using a rubber spatula, fold buttermilk into the dough, working in all directions and incorporating crumbs at the bottom of the bowl, until the dough just comes together. The dough will be slightly sticky; do not overmix.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. With floured fingers, gently pat the dough into a round about 1 inch thick, pressing in any loose bits. Do not overwork the dough and don’t use a rolling pin! Think gentle. Use a floured 2 1/4-inch round biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits as close together as possible. If you’re halving the recipe, feel free to use a smaller biscuit cutter. Give the cutter a little twist to free the biscuit once you’ve pressed it through your dough chunk.
- Once you’ve cut out all the biscuits, squish all the leftovers together and pat gently so you can cut more out. The last little leftover biscuit is always the tastiest! Try to make it the same thickness as the others and keep a special eye on it in the oven if it’s tiny.
- Place the biscuits about 1/2 inch apart on an unlined baking sheet. If you want, gently press the centers of the biscuits with your thumb to ensure even baking (Alton speaks to that one as well). Generously brush the tops of biscuits with buttermilk. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until the biscuits are golden and flecked with brown spots, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer biscuits to a wire rack to cool.
*biscuiteer = someone who goes weak in the knees at the site of a good biscuit. Completely made up by me.
**There is a lot of discussion around flour and what type of flour is best. I used King Arthur all-purpose flour, but you certainly can get fancy if you’d like. Maybe in the future I’ll delve into this a bit more, but for now, you can confuse yourself here.