Sunday, October 11, 2009

Buttermilk experiment in baking

Sometimes I can't believe how much baking goes on, by me, in my little kitchen. When I see it all together, ready to deliver to a store or, in this case, a cafe, I think about the time spent mixing, measuring, baking, packing and labeling all these treats. And I think, how'd I do all that!! woman and one very small kitchen!!
The biscuit experiment began Friday morning. This same cute little local cafe requested 2 dozen large buttermilk biscuits. Or I really should say they asked if I make them . Being one to never turn down work, I obliged. I haven't made biscuits in a very long time but since I make scones all the time I figured it was basically the same process...and it was!!
I found actually 3 recipes for the biscuits.
The first was Martha Stewart's recipe I found on line along with a video I watched about 5 times !!
The second recipe I found was Dorie Greenspan's.
The third was ..well.. I don't even remember. It used honey but they came out too heavy and I just eliminated it altogether!!
So from the 2 recipes I made, Martha's, in my opinion, having more butter in the recipe, spread a bit too much for that authentic "biscuit look".
The recipe I went with was Dorie's. They looked exactly like a biscuit and rose nicely, allowing them to be split in half. Don't get me wrong, however, Martha's tasted great but I went for the eye appeal!!
If you've never made buttermilk biscuits I urge you to try these. They are really so easy and they freeze very well. Freeze them, once baked, and take them out of the freezer to thaw at room temp. and pop into a 350 oven for about 6-8 minutes to warm.

Brownies, blondies, pumpkin and ghost iced cookies,2 flavors of biscotti and all those biscuits...ready for delivery!!

The lineup... first, on the left, is the one I totally eliminated. Next is Dorie's , then Martha's on the right. See the difference in the look?

Whisk all the dry in a medium bowl.

Drop in butter, cut into 12 pieces, and work into dry ingredients with your fingers. At this point, you could put the bowl into the fridge so the butter gets nice and cold again.

Add buttermilk and stir. I just folded the dough gently with the spatula a few times in the bowl, rather than using my hands to knead.

Cut out shapes using a round cutter. I made mine larger than you probably would need to.

And there they are! Beautiful, light, fluffy buttermilk biscuits!!
Dorie Greenspan's Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe
2 cup AP flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. cold butter ( cut into 12 pcs.)
3/4 cup cold buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425. Line sheet with parchment paper.
1. Whisk 1st 5 ingredients in med. bowl.
2. Drop butter into dry ingred. and working with your fingers, rub butter into flour mixture, til the butter pieces are sizes of small flakes and small baby peas.( At this point it's a good idea to put the whole thing into the fridge for about 15 minutes so the butter gets nice and cold again).
3. Add buttermilk to mixture and stir gently til everything is combined.
4. Reach into bowl and knead gently 3 - 4 times. ( I used the spatula and just gently kind of kneaded it with the spatula).
5. Turn out onto a floured work surface and roll or pat into a circle 1/2 " thick. ( I made mine about 1" thick).
6. Cut out shapes and reroll scraps.
7. Place biscuits onto parch. lined sheet about 2-3" apart.
8. Bake 15-18 minutes.

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