Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits
I love most biscuits.  At least, the kind I get at restaurants, like KFC or Popeyes.  The best, though, are the biscuits served at Knott's Berry Farm's Chicken Dinner Restaurant.  Oh my goodness.  They are soft and tender on the inside with a super-fine crumb; dark brown, chewy and a little crisp on top; and crisp and slightly greasy (yes, greasy) on the bottom.  Put some butter or some boysenberry jam in the middle and you're pretty close to heaven.  Seriously.
I can't say that the recipe below tastes just like the Knott's biscuits, but they're close enough for me.  Very moist and tender on the inside with a nice buttery, chewy browned top and a nicely browned bottom.  I love mine with butter.  Plenty of butter.
The recipe comes from Cook's Illustrated Magazine.  One of my favorites.  My copy of the issue that this recipe comes from (July & August 2004), is grease spotted with a bit of crusted batter here and there.  I've scanned it and PDF'd it to save on my computer, but it needs to be blogged about.  So here it is.  Thank you, Cook's Illustrated, for all of your awesome contributions to the culinary world.  I love you.

Tall and Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits
   --adapted from Cook's Illustrated Magazine, Volume 96, July & August 2004

  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk
To Form & Finish Biscuits
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 500 degrees F.  Generously butter an 8 or 9-inch round cake pan.  Set aside.
2. For the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, & baking soda.  Add butter cubes and cut in with a pastry blender until mixture resembles pebbly, coarse cornmeal.  Add buttermilk and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated.  Dough will be wet and lumpy.
3. To form and bake biscuits:  Using a large spoon, scoop up about 1/4 cup and scrape dough blob off with a rubber spatula onto the flour-filled baking sheet.  Start with about 3 or 4 blobs.  Dust tops of blobs with some of the flour and toss gently with floured hands to coat blob with flour.  Gently shape each blob into a rough ball, shake off excess flour, and place in prepared cake pan.  Repeat until the dough is used up, arranging 9 biscuits around pan perimeter and three in the middle.  Brush or spoon melted butter on top, taking care not to flatten the biscuits.  Bake 5 minutes at 500 degrees, then reduce oven temperature to 450 degrees and make until biscuits are a deep golden brown, about 12-15 more minutes.  (I usually check at around 12 minutes, move the pan to my baking stone on the bottom rack of my oven, and then bake for another 3-4 minutes.)  Cool in pan 2 minutes, then invert biscuits from pan onto clean kitchen towel; turn biscuits right side up and break apart.  Cool 5 minutes longer and serve hot.
*These freeze well wrapped in foil and sealed in a zip-top bag.  Reheat in foil in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.
Makes 12 biscuits.

The fluffy interior with butter.  Mmmmm...


  1. i love the description on your posts! i can picture your old, stained magazine. i SO have to try these.

  2. Yummy! These biscuits look great, and I'd love to taste them :)


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