How to make Biscuit at your home
Biscuits might just be the purest thing on this earth. A warm biscuit straight from the oven brings me back to my childhood, slathering one with butter and my grandma’s homemade blackberry jam. A few simple ingredients carefully mixed together creates a soft, pillowy roll of comfort. Those few ingredients are so important and must be handled with care or your biscuits could come out as hard as a brick or wonky instead of standing tall. But don’t fret, because I took a few notes from my grandma other people I consider biscuit masters along the way.
1. Make sure your butter is cold.
As in frozen cold. About 30 minutes before you plan to make your biscuits pop a stick of butter in the freezer. For the perfect biscuit texture we grate our butter into the flour. Extra cold butter will ensure it doesn’t melt while you hold it with your warm hands. Grating the butter will distribute the butter evenly making lots of little pockets for it to melt while baking giving you an extra fluffy biscuit.
2. Don’t be afraid to add more buttermilk.
Or less for that matter. A good biscuit maker is one that can tell what the dough needs past what the recipe says. Unless you weigh out your flour each time, your amount will always vary slightly. Add the buttermilk slowly so that you know if your dough is becoming too wet. If you feel it’s a little too dry add about 1 tablespoon of buttermilk at a time until it feels right. If you’ve already added all of your buttermilk and it’s too sticky add just a bit more flour until the dough is easy to work with. A biscuit dough will be a little drier than you expect. Pockets of dryness while folding are fine. as long as the dough is holding together nicely.
3. Don’t overwork the flour.
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before but it is still just as important. The more the flour gets mixed and worked, the more gluten develops and over-activated gluten makes breads and biscuits tough and gummy. The complete opposite of what we are going for here. Honestly, you are going to “pat” your dough a lot while making biscuits. Once you feel the buttermilk is mixed in use your hands to pat the dough into a rectangle. Your hands will be a much better guide than a spoon or any other tool. When folding your dough don’t be too tough on flattening it back together. Imperfection is beauty here.
4. Don’t twist your biscuit cutter.
This is a simple yet fatal mistake. When using a cookie or biscuit cutter you probably want to naturally twist the cutter to make sure it cuts through the dough all of the way. Don’t do it! Twisting the cutter causes the dough to pinch together and you won’t get a proper rise on your biscuits. Instead, punch straight down and lift. If a few little strands are still connected take a pairing knife or kitchen scissors and cut them loose.
- Preheat oven to 425º. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
- Using a box grater, grate butter over the flour mixture and quickly toss with your hands to incorporate. Then, using a wooden spoon, make a well in the middle of the dough and pour in 1 cup buttermilk. Stir until just beginning to come together, then dump out onto your work surface.
- Bring your dough together into a rectangle, about 1” thick. Fold the dough into thirds, like folding a letter to put into an envelope. Using a rolling pin, gently pat back into a 1” thick rectangle, and repeat the folding process two more times. Work fast so the butter does not melt.
- Once dough is folded three times, roll into a 1” thick rectangle again. Using a 2½” round biscuit or cookie cutter, quickly press down (don’t twist!) to cut out the biscuits and place onto baking sheet, about a half inch apart. Bring together dough scraps and cut out more biscuits.
- Brush tops of biscuits with melted butter and bake until flaky and tops are lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.