Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Pioneer Woman's Buttermilk Biscuits + Tips!

If you're a Southern gal like me, you've probably passed your fair share of buttermilk biscuits around the dinner table.  It's hard to beat those buttery, delicious layers that are accompanied so perfectly by your favorite fruit preserves, fresh honey or jam.  

I've made homemade buttermilk biscuits several times with pretty good results, but they don't always come out the way I want.  THESE from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home cookbook were particularly yummy.   I do have to say that this recipe from Ree Drummond was excellent, and it was fun to watch them rise in the oven!

Here are a few tips for making delicious buttermilk biscuits:
1.  Don't overwork your dough, because it will make the biscuits tough.
2.  Cut straight down with the biscuit cutter...don't turn it as you cut, because that will seal the biscuits and prevent a high rise.  Also, use a sharp biscuit cutter!
3.  Keep your butter as cold as possible, and again...don't overmix!  When the biscuits are put into the oven, the cold butter will create steam and help those babies rise high!  Also, you may even want to pop your mixing bowl into the freezer for a few minutes before starting.
4.  Excess flour on the tops and bottoms may make the biscuits seem dry.  Be sure and brush it off before baking.
5.  You can use either a food processor or a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour.  I've used both methods, and they work pretty good.  I used a pastry cutter on this particular recipe.
6.  Flours with less protein will yield a lighter, fluffier biscuit.  A lot of folks here in the South swear by White Lily brand flour.  It has a low % of protein and is perfect for buttermilk biscuits.
So, just remember:
Less Protein = Better for biscuits and other quick breads
Higher Protein = Better for yeast breads

Bon Appetit!

Buttermilk Biscuits

4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup cold butter (5 1/3 tablespoons), cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 450.

2. In large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and stir together. Add the shortening and cold butter pieces. With pastry blender, cut the shortening and butter into dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs.

3. Pour in the buttermilk and mix gently with fork until just combined. The biscuit dough will be sticky,  not overly dry or crumbly.

4. Lightly flour a clean surface. Turn the dough out of the bowl and roll to a 3/4″ thickness. Cut rounds with a biscuit cutter and place them on a cookie sheet. Bake for 11-14 minutes until golden brown.  Do not underbake, or the biscuits will be doughy.


Christen Price said...


Macaroni and Cheesecake said...

Those look wonderful! And I love all your tips, especially about not turning the cutter. when I made biscuits before they came out a bit flat so I'm definitely trying that!

elenareviews said...

Delicious and perfect for winter!

Katie Smith said...

Hi Celeste! I ran across your blog on Pinterest and I was hoping you would stop by my page and check out my stuff and subsctibe! I am hoping to connect with more crafters and cookers! Thanks, Katie!

Nicole J said...

I made these yesterday from her cookbook and they came out flat and dense :(. I followed the recipe exactly, very cold butter, pastry cutter ... The only thing I can think of is maybe I overworked it? But the ingredients weren't incorporating and the dough wasn't sticky. :/ any suggestions? I really want to perfect homemade buttermilk biscuits. My moms family is from the Midwest and my dads family is from the south. This should be in my DNA!

Celeste said...

Hi Nicole! Thanks for your comment! It sounds like the dough might have been over-worked. The trick is to stir and knead a little less than you think you should...JUST until the point where the ingredients come together. Take a look at my recent post about Toasted Pecan Buttermilk biscuits. There's a link to a cooking segment about buttermilk biscuits that I did on my local news. There's also some handy tips in the post. I hope this helps! :)

Nikki Terrell said...

Ok, so mine rose great, but they were soft on top and hard on the bottom. They also had a bitter taste. What did I do?