Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Drop Biscuits

Biscuits and I do not get along.

I've made biscuits from Bisquick (in a previous life when I didn't bake from scratch.)
I've made biscuits from the can, with the satisfying "plop" each time I open the can.
I've made biscuits from scratch.

No matter what I do, the darn biscuits do not look like a fluffy, pretty, soft, biscuit.  I suspect I'm overbaking or overmixing, but alas, what can I do.

Well, except make them right, but this is my blog, so we'll overlook that shortcoming.

Then I came across my savior.  Two magic words.

Drop biscuits.


No fussy biscuit cutter required! (I don't even have one, so that may be part of my problem, although I have a glass that is about 2.25 inches across..)
Simple ingredients!

Wait, buttermilk?

I've never cooked with buttermilk in my life.  I usually try to avoid it so that I don't have to buy it.  But there's a quick solution around it - if you don't have buttermilk, put one tablespoon of white vinegar in a cup.  Add enough milk so that the total liquid is a cup.  (If you want to be picky, one tablespoon white vinegar, 15 tablespoons milk.)  Gently mix for a few seconds and let it sit for five minutes.

Ok, now that I'm over the buttermilk hurdle, this recipe also gets over the biscuit cutter hurdle - you use a 1/4 cup measure to make the biscuits!  Yes!  They're supposed to be lumpy, oddly shapen, and possibly kind of flat.  (I'm not perfect.)

The ingredients are so simple, the directions so easy, you need to go make these now.  My one caution:  baking at 475F.  This is a really high temperature and caused my smoke alarm to go off twice, and I had to reduce the heat to 400F immediately.  The biscuits still overcooked a bit, so I'd actually recommend cooking at 400 for about 12 minutes.  But the overall flavor was deliciously buttery, and Mr. UoC LOVED them.  He couldn't stop eating them, especially when they're warm.

Also, a note:  I completely goofed in the last few steps of this recipe.  I somehow read the recipe to say to brush the biscuits with butter BEFORE baking, not after.  Did it make a difference?  Probably not.  Although that is probably what set off my smoke alarm.

At least I don't bake in the middle of the night, right?

Drop Biscuits by America's Test Kitchen.  Makes 12 biscuits.

Puff up for me, baby.

  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, cold.
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (about five minutes) plus 2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing biscuits

1.  Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475F degrees. (I recommend 400F.)  

2.  Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Set aside.

3.  Combine buttermilk and 8 tablespoons melted butter in a medium bowl, stirring until butter forms small clumps.  This takes a few minutes, and do not skip this step!

4.  Add buttermilk mixture to wet ingredients and combine until just incorporated and batter pulls away from side of the bowl.  

5.  Using a greased 1/4 cup scoop (or I just divided the batter into pieces and shaped them) drop batter onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  

6.  Bake until tops are golden and crisp, 12-14 minutes.  Brush biscuit tops with butter, and transfer to a wire rack to cool, at least five minutes, before serving.

Serve with butter.  Also really delicious with peanut butter.

1 comment:

  1. Good call on the buttermilk switch! I love that ATK cookbook has that table of substitutions in the back, it's definitely saved me quite a few trips to the market!