Friday, November 4, 2011
I love the New York Times Dining &Wine section. Whether it is Sam Sifton's restaurant reviews or Mark Bittman from back when he was still the Minimalist, I always find good writing and good recipes there. The recipe below was adapted from an article titled "You Are Making Your Biscuits Wrong." Since I had never actually made biscuits, right or wrong, I knew that this would be a good place for a beginner to start. Then, I took it a step further and made some changes of my own. The article discusses flour types, debating the merits of all-purpose versus cake flour for those of us without access to the flour available in the Southern US. I decided to do a half-and-half mixture, hoping to get part of the benefit of the lower-protein cake flour and part of the benefit of resting the all-purpose flour for 30 minutes. I also used buttermilk instead of whole milk, solely because I needed to use up the carton in my refrigerator. These biscuits were quite tasty, though I think I smashed them a bit when I cut them out. They'd be great for Thanksgiving dinner or to use as the base for breakfast sandwiches. In fact, stay tuned next week for a full line-up of Thanksgiving recipes!
P.S. you may notice a few cosmetic changes here at K&K Test Kitchen. This is still somewhat of a rough draft, since I have to work slowly by trial and error at night after work. I'm hoping to have things ship shape in the next day or so though. Hope you all like the new look and thank you for continuing to come visit K&K!!
Adapted from New York Times
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 "scant" tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, cold, preferably European style
1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425°F. Sift flours, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Transfer to a food processor. Cut butter into pats and add to flour, then pulse 5 or 6 times until the mixture resembles rough crumbs. (Alternatively, cut butter into flour in the mixing bowl using a fork or a pastry cutter.) Return dough to bowl, add buttermilk and stir with a fork until it forms a rough ball.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and pat it down into a rough rectangle, about an inch thick. Fold it over and gently pat it down again. Repeat. Cover the dough loosely with a kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
Gently pat out the dough some more, so that the rectangle is roughly 10 inches by 6 inches. Cut dough into biscuits using a floured glass or biscuit cutter. Do not twist cutter when cutting; this crimps the edges of the biscuit and impedes its rise.
Place biscuits on a cookie sheet and bake until golden brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.