Flakey biscuits hot out of the oven. Please pass the butter and jam.
Now, let's get to making some flakey biscuits.
There's nothing magical about these, it's just your standard buttermilk biscuit recipe. All-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, butter, and buttermilk.
Although this time I added a little sharp cheddar cheese and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
The easiest way I've found for cutting the butter into the flour is to grate the butter into the bowl of flour using the large side of the cheese grater. Then just gently toss it around with the flour using your fingertips.
Then if using, toss in the cheese and cayenne pepper. I used 1/8 tsp of the pepper and it's barely discernable, next time I'll use a tad more.
Add the buttermilk and quickly, gently mix until the dough just holds together. and gather into a ball.
Now comes the layering. Gently gather the dough into a ball, cut the ball in half, then stack one half on top of the other, gently press down on the dough and repeat three or four times.
This is what your dough should look like after layering it four times. Flatten the dough again and this time roll it out to 1/2 inch thickness.
I have found that using a biscuit cutter or knife to cut out the biscuits helps with getting good layering. Cutting biscuits out with a glass just "smooshes" the sides together and hinders the rise.
Ready for the 450* oven.
So of course, I don't always do as I'm told, so I didn't sift the dry ingredients. Also, I usually get about 8-9 biscuits out of this recipe.
I hope you try them, they are wonderful.
Preheat the oven to 450°.
Sift all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a knife, a pastry cutter, or your fingers, until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
Quickly, but gently, stir in the buttermilk, just until the dough holds together. Don’t overstir or the biscuits will be tough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and knead gently with floured hands. Press the dough into a ball, cut it in half, place one half on top of the other and press down. Repeat three or four times. Then roll out the dough to about 1/2-inch thickness. Cut rounds with a biscuit cutter or glass, or cut rectangles with a knife. Place the biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet leaving a little space between them.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the biscuits are golden. Serve warm with butter, preserves, or plain.
Variations Wheat Germ Biscuits: Reduce the flour to 1-3/4 cups and add 1/4 cup wheat germ. Proceed as directed.
Cornmeal Biscuits: Reduce the flour to 1-3/4 cups and add 1/4 cup stone ground white or yellow cornmeal. Proceed as directed.
Pecan Biscuits: Stir 1/4 cup ground toasted pecans into the sifted dry ingredients. Proceed as directed.
Red Pepper-Cheese Biscuits: After cutting the butter into the sifted dry ingredients, stir in 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese and a pinch or two of cayenne pepper. Mix well. Proceed as directed.
Shortcake Biscuits: Add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the dry ingredients and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract to the wet ingredients. For a shortcake biscuit deluxe, add 1/4 cup of ground pecans as well. Proceed as directed.
Source: Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant Cookbook
And that's that!