A few tricks that make for a beautiful biscuit:
- Use very cold butter and grate it with the large holes on your cheese grater. I take mine out of the freezer and wait 5 minutes and then grate.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the biscuit to keep the layers intact.
- If you have a kitchen scale, use it to measure your ingredients. It's amazing how 1 more or less teaspoon of butter or flour affects the biscuit.
- Use unsalted butter, Trader Joes brand is best. (If you use salted butter, reduce the salt by 1/4 teaspoon.)
- Line your baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Pace your biscuits on a cookie sheet close together but not touching. The edges won’t cook if they touch. Space about 1/2 inch apart.
- Don’t roll out your dough. Press it out with your hands. Handle it as little as possible to keep the flaky layers intact.
2 1/3 cups flour (325 grams)
2 tablespoons sugar (20 grams)
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
7 oz. (200 grams) unsalted butter, frozen
3/4 cup buttermilk
Optional add ins:
1/2 cup sharp grated cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon green onion (white part only), chopped fine
In large mixing bowl add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine.
Using the largest holes in a grater, grate all of the butter onto a piece of parchment paper or a cutting board. Put it back into the freezer for a few minutes to keep it cold.
Add the butter to the flour mixture (along with the add-ins if you are using them) and toss together so that the butter is coated with flour. (If you don't have a cheese grater you can use a pastery blender to cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of small peas.)
Make a well in the butter/flour mixture and and the buttermilk 1/4 cup at a time. Gently toss the flour with your hands until all the dough has been moistened, being careful not to over mix. You should have a shaggy dough with a few crumbs of flour in the bowl.
If your dough is a little dry, add more buttermilk one tablespoon at a time. It should be able to hold together in a shaggy mass.
Dump the dough mixture out on a clean counter top or large cutting board. Gently Gather the dough together using your hands and press into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Cut the rectangle into thirds and stack. Press down to form another 1 inch thick rectangle. Cut into thirds and repeat the stacking process two more times. This creates flaky layers.
With your final rectangle, siding a sharp knife, cut the dough in thirds or fourths lengthwise, then in thirds width wise so you end up with 9 - 12 biscuits. Place them about 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the top of each biscuit with a little melted butter. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes prior to baking.
While you are waiting, Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.
Place the baking sheet on the center rack in the over and bake 13-16 depending on your oven. Check them at 13 minutes. The edges should not feel wet. If they need more time put them back in the oven and check every 2 minutes to make sure they don’t burn. Sometimes the biscuits in the center take a couple more minutes so I take out the ones that are done and let the center biscuits took a little longer.
Use your oven light rather than opening and closing the oven door.