dimanche 12 avril 2015

Buttermilk biscuits

     Before the invention of baking powder, cooks always used buttermilk in biscuits to make them rise. This still works today, but the distinctive flavor is the only real reason you should need to prefer buttermilk to regular milk.

Makes about 8 to 10 3-inch or 12 to 14 2-inch biscuits
  • 2½ cups soft-wheat flour, preferably White Lily (In Canada, use a Pastry flour)
  • 1½ tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons lard, well chilled
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, preferably Crisco, well chilled
  • 1 cup buttermilk, well chilled
  1. Position the rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat the oven to 450F (225C) ; grease a baking sheet.
  2. Sift together the dry ingrédients into a large bowl ; repeat the sifting three times.
  3. With a pastry blender or a large fork, blend in the lard and shortening until a coarse meal forms.
  4. Pour in the buttermilk, and stir together just until a sticky dough forms.
  5. Flour your hands and a pastry board or counter ; turn the dough out and knead it gently, only four to six times ; pat the dough until it is about ½inch thick.
  6. Cut the dough with a 2- or 3-inch-round biscuit cutter or a round cookie cutter.
  7. Transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet, arranging them so that they just touch each other ; bake the biscuits about 10 minutes, or until they are raised and golden brown ; at the halfway point, turn the baking sheet from front to back.
  8. Serve the biscuits hot with butter or topped with cream gravy.
Note : Baking powder wasn't available in Texas until the 1890s, and it didn't catch on fully at first. Some men suspected it made life too easy for women and might be poisonous.