What’s better than a nice and flaky, buttery biscuit on a Sunday morning that’s unctuously lathered in butter and maybe a little jam or topped with a ladleful of thick gravy? Yeah, I couldn’t think of anything better either. I’ve tried my fair share of biscuits and let me tell you, these are by far the best and butteriest out there.
There are two types of people out there, the biscuit people and the monsters who don’t like biscuits (just kidding, not monsters, just different). My response to those biscuit-haters out there is you just haven’t had a good biscuit. Plain and simple. Sometimes, I’ll admit it, I’ve sat down at a nice breakfast joint and ordered a biscuit or an order of biscuits and gravy, only to be severely disappointed when my order comes out and the biscuits are bland, dry and not living up to their biscuit potential that I know is inside of them.
Here’s the solution, LOTS and LOTS of butter (not rubbed into the flour too much, leaving a few larger smudges of butter in there to create the flaky biscuit layers), buttermilk, a healthy dose of salt and not overworking the biscuit dough. That’s it. Pretty easy, right? Now you’re probably saying to yourself, “If it’s as easy as you say, why are there still people out there making sub-par biscuits?” I wish I had an answer for this head-scratching quandary, but, alas, I’m still as confused as the lot of you.
I found this recipe in Alison Roman’s book, Dining In, and no joke, it’s like the book knows that this recipe is my favorite, because it opens right to it every time. I think I’ve somehow conditioned (Pavloved) the book spine to open up to the biscuit page like you train a dog to sit or lay down when you hold up a treat (excuse the weird analogies, I’m still waking up this morning). I take it as a sign from a greater force that I need to make the biscuits when the page opens to directly to them. I could have been planning on making something else entirely, but after I’ve caught a glimpse of the biscuit page, it’s as if I HAVE to make biscuits or else I won’t be able to function. There’s no way to explain why this happens to me, but it does and I don’t question it.
Okay, before I divulge this amazing recipe, let me just drop in this Ode to a Biscuit, because you needed a poem about biscuits in your life. You’re welcome.
Flaky Biscuit Recipe:
Makes 6-8 biscuits
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 TBS baking powder
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (or 2% milk with 1TBS white vinegar that’s sat for 5 minutes)
- Flaky salt, for sprinkling
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425ºF and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Step 2: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and baking soda. Dump the cubed butter into the bowl and rub it into the dry mixture with your fingers. Once there are no more large pieces of butter and just small little butter bits, you’re good to go.
Step 3: Drizzle the buttermilk all over the dry mixture and, using your hands or a wooden spoon, mix everything together until a ball forms. Knead the mixture together a few times in the bowl just to make sure there are no dry bits left.
Step 4: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough 2-3 more times.
Step 5: Pat the dough into 1 1/2-inch-thick circle and using a circular cutter (about 2-3 inches in diameter), cut out 6-8 biscuits. It helps to flour the cutter before trying to cut out the dough.
Step 6: Place the biscuits onto the prepared cookie sheet and brush the tops of the biscuits with buttermilk (be generous here). If you want, you can sprinkle the tops with flaky salt.
Step 7: Bake, rotating once halfway through, until the biscuits are golden brown and have puffed up like accordions, about 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before enjoying with loads of butter and jam or slathered with a healthy dose of gravy.