Best Biscuits

If you only knew how many years I have been working to perfect biscuits. My son is a huge fan of the Red Lobster cheddar biscuit and he has begged me on more than one occasion to recreate them. I’ve tried so many recipes that my family was ready to revolt. I've finally achieved a biscuit that is flaky and moist and full of flavor. It wasn't easy.  Over mixing or adding too much liquid results in a brick.

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.

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