Flaky Butter Biscuits and Drop Cream Biscuits

 
Posted4/9/2019 12:08 PM
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  • Flaky Butter Biscuits.

    Flaky Butter Biscuits. Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post, food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick

Flaky Butter Biscuits

Depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen, you may need to use more or less buttermilk. You don't want the dough to be crumbly, but it should start to hold together in the bowl without being gluey. If you wish to make round biscuits, you'll need a 2-inch round cutter. To cut rectangular biscuits, a metal bench scraper works well.

8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter

Scant 3 cups flour, plus more for the work surface

1 teaspoon table or fine sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon regular or low-fat buttermilk

2 tablespoons salted or unsalted butter, melted, for optional brushing

Cut the cold butter into 1/8-inch-thick slices; refrigerate until you're ready to make the dough. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a mixing bowl, and refrigerate that as well. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

Add the cold butter pieces to the chilled dry ingredients, tossing them until they are evenly coated. Press the butter pieces between your thumbs and forefingers into small flat pieces, or "leaves." (Some pieces as big as a quarter are OK.) Add the buttermilk, as needed, and mix gently until just combined. The dough should be barely cohesive; don't worry if there are dry bits, because they will be incorporated as you pat and fold the dough.

Lightly flour your work surface. Transfer the dough there, patting it into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds as you would a letter, bringing one-third in over the middle third, followed by the final third over the other two. Gently roll or pat the dough into another rectangle. Repeat this fold-and-roll process once more if the dough isn't cohesive or if you want to create more layers.

Lightly flour the top of the dough. Use the 2-inch cutter to create 10 to 12 rounds of dough, being careful to cut straight down and not twist the cutter (to ensure the biscuits get the best rise). You can reroll the dough once, though you might not get the same rise. Or use the bench scraper or a sharp chef's knife to square the sides and edges of the dough rectangle, then cut eight to 10 squares or rectangles. Place the biscuits on the baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.

Bake (upper rack) for 16 to 18 minutes, rotating the pan from front to back after 14 minutes, until the biscuits are golden.

If you wish to brush the biscuit tops with melted butter, do so as soon as they come out of the oven. Serve warm, or at room temperature.

Serves 8-12

Drop Cream Biscuits.
Drop Cream Biscuits. - Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick

Drop Cream Biscuits

3 cups flour

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1¼ teaspoons salt (table)

2 cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons salted or unsalted butter, melted, for optional brushing

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.

Microwave the cream in a microwave-safe container on HIGH for 60 to 90 seconds, until just warmed to body temperature (95 to 100 degrees), stirring halfway through. Stir the warm cream into the flour mixture to form a soft, uniform dough.

Grease a 1/3-cup dry measuring cup with cooking oil spray. Use it to drop 10 or 11 level scoops of batter 2 inches apart on the baking sheet; the biscuit portions should measure about 2½ inches wide and 1¼ inches high. Grease the measuring cup after every three or four scoops. If the portions are misshapen, use your fingertips to gently reshape the dough into level cylinders.

Bake (upper rack) for 10 to 12 minutes, until the tops are light golden brown, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through.

Brush the hot biscuits with melted butter, if desired. Serve warm.

The biscuits can be stored in zip-top bag at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Reheat them in a 300-degree oven for 10 minutes.

Serves 10-11

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