Yummy Buttermilk Biscuits
A great accompaniment to hearty soups and stews, these Yummy Buttermilk Biscuits are a great project for kids. Between the flour, cookie cutters and dough, your kids will love being involved in the kitchen. Adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, I like to make these biscuits using half whole wheat flour, and swap in a third of a cup of wheat germ and ground flax seeds.
Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Ready In: 35 minutes
Yield: about a dozen 2-inch biscuits
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (or 2/3 cup whole wheat flour plus 1/3 cup wheat germ and/or ground flax seed)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or half as much table salt)
6 tablespoons butter (3/4 stick; I use salted), cut into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk (you can, DM says, use plain milk instead and omit the baking soda, but I've never tried that)
- Heat the oven to 450ºF and butter a large cookie sheet.
- Now mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl or food processor, and add the rest of the butter to create an uneven mix of sandy crumbs, with some pea-sized clumps of butter still kicking around. You can do this by hand too, and that's what I used to do: just add the butter, and toss to coat it with the flour mixture, then take off your rings and use your fingertips to rub the butter into the dry ingredients. This is a messy but not unpleasant job: you'll be lifting handfuls of the mixture up out of the bowl, then gently letting it fall through your fingertips as you rub it lightly together. Eventually, you'll have a bowl full of lumpy sandy stuff, which is what you're going for.
- Now dump the mix back into the bowl if you used the food processor, and stir the buttermilk in with a fork until the mixture is evenly moistened.
- Turn the dough onto a floured countertop and press it together a bit -- you don't want to handle it more than necessary -- then use your hands to pat it out into a circle that's about three quarters of an inch thick. Use a cookie cutter, biscuit cutter, or drinking glass to cut your biscuits, laying them on the cookie sheet as you go.
- When you've cut as many biscuits as you can, reassemble the scraps by pushing them together as best you can (if you knead them all up into a ball and then press them flat again, the biscuits start to get a bit tough, which is okay but not ideal -- they're more tender if you just kind of shove the scraps together). Cut the rest of the biscuits, then bake for 15 or so minutes until they are golden brown.
- Serve warm with butter (and honey) and thrill your kids by sending leftover biscuits in their lunch boxes.
* Ingredient Tip
Try brushing beaten egg onto the tops of the biscuits and adding a sprinkle of celery seeds just before baking.