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Saturday, September 16, 2017

buttermilk biscuits

My husbands family comes from the foot hills of Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky. Coal country as it was once known. Hundred of years ago biscuits were expected to be on the table at every meal. Centuries before that cooks had discovered that the acid in buttermilk reacted with baking soda and produed carbond dioxide bubbles. It was the introductioin of buttermilk that helped create light, tender, highest rising biscuits, breads and muffins, pancakes and layer cakes.

September is National Biscuit month. So I wanted to allow you to make up biscuits for your familiy as well

3¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
2 tablespoons superfine sugar 
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt 
12 tablespoons (1½ inch sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into ½ inch thick cubes 
1½ cups buttermilk (regular or nonfat/skim)   

PREHEAT. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper. 
SIFT & MIX. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer. Attach the bowl to the mixer and fit with the paddle attachment. Add the butter. Mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size pieces of butter. Add the buttermilk, mixing in just until the dough barely comes together. 
KNEAD. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until the dough is smooth. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and roll it out to ¾ inch thick or slightly thicker. 
CUT. Using a 2-¼ inch fluted biscuit cutter (you can substitute a round cookie cutter), dipping the cutter into flour between cuts, cut out the biscuits and place 1 inch apart on the pan. Gently press the scraps together (do not over handle the dough). Repeat rolling and cutting. 
 BAKE. Bake until the biscuits are well risen and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve hot or warm. To reheat the biscuits, wrap in aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes. Makes 16 biscuits.

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