|Saint-Germain-des-Prés Onion Biscuits|
Biscuits come in all shapes and sizes, from super tall, doughy fluffy ones I found at a hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint in Montgomery, AL, to those hideous canned, so-called Grand kind you find in the grocery store. I think if people knew how easy it was to make home made biscuits, and how superior they are to those canned monstrosities the world would be a better place. Or at least the North would be a better place. On my quest to find what I consider the perfect biscuit recipe, I tried many combinations...there are so many variations on this quick bread, it really can be mind boggling. Butter or shortening? Or both? Milk or buttermilk? AP flour or self-rising flour? My personal favorite is the recipe below, taste tested many times by Edmund and me. This one also gets the family seal of approval after serving at many a breakfast, and even at Thanksgiving dinner:
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut in to 16 pieces
2-1/4 c. self-rising flour, White Lily if you can find it…it’s the best
1-1/4 c. buttermilk
2 tbsp melted butter
Preheat oven to 450◦. Grease a cookie sheet with shortening or butter.
Place flour in a medium bowl. Toss in the pieces of butter, and either using a pastry blender or two table knives cut the butter in to the flour until the combination resembles a coarse meal. Work as quickly as you can so that the butter does not begin to melt. You will have some larger and some smaller chunks of butter and that is great. Chill this mixture in the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Once chilled, make a small well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Stir with a fork until all the flour is just moistened and a soft dough begins to form. Turn dough out on to a floured work surface and pat dough out to a ¾” thick rectangle. Fold dough like a letter, then flatten to a 3/4” thick rectangle again and rotate one clockwise turn, fold into a letter again. Turn and fold two more times. This creates those coveted layers. Pat or roll dough out to a ½” rectangle and, using a sharp 2” biscuit cutter dipped in flour, push straight down-do not twist-and cut as many biscuits as possible. Gather scraps and press out, cut the remaining biscuits. Again, the quicker you work and the less you work the dough the fluffier the biscuits will be. Place cut biscuits on prepared cookie sheet and bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Brush baked biscuits with the melted butter and serve immediately.I think these are the best, most delicious biscuits, and they work well with both sweet and savory fillings.
|Ready for the oven.....|