This is a very easy recipe for rich buttermilk biscuits. They have a good old-fashioned flavor that will bring back memories of your mom's kitchen. They are fast and effortless to make.
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Step 1: What Do You Need?
The ingredients for this are:
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup buttermilk
With the buttermilk, you can easily make your own for a fairly cheap price. Just follow SFHandyman's Instructable on how to make butter. It turns out a good quality buttermilk. I found that a pint of heavy cream yielded exactly 3/4 cup buttermilk, but it could be different in your case, so be sure to measure it if you make your own.
And thanks to InvaderDig for providing a subtitute for the shortening, if you'd rather use real butter. Subtitute 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon butter in place of the shortening.
Step 2: Mix It Up!
This is the easiest part of it all. First, just stir all of the dry ingredients together. Then you cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. The best way of doing this is with a pastry cutter, or if you dont have one, a whisk works just as good. Finally, stir in the buttermilk until the mixture is just moistened. All mixed, the dough will be very sticky and gooey. We'll take care of that in the next step.
Step 3: Rolling and Rolling....
Now you turn out the mixture onto a floured surface. Make sure there's plenty of flour on the surface, because you will need to work a bit into the dough. Now you'll start kneading the dough.
*NOTE*: make sure your hands are nice and floured! Otherwise, you'll end up with half of the dough stuck to your hands.
Work enough flour into the dough to make it un-sticky (is that a word?) and able to be worked with easily. However, make sure to not knead the dough too much, otherwise you'll end up with rocks.
Once it is kneaded and able to be worked with, roll the dough out to a thickness of between 3/8 and 1/2 inch thick. I found it just as easy to just pat the dough out with my hands as it would be to roll it out.
Step 4: Baked
Now that the dough is rolled out, it's time to cut it into biscuits with a cookie or biscuit cutter. The most commonly used cutter is a 2.5 inch circular cutter. However, you can use whatever shape you please (I've even seen ones in the shape of a heart). What I used was a 1.5 - 2 inch scalloped cutter. Using this size yielded me about 22 biscuits. A 2.5 inch one will yield about 12 - 16, depending on how thick you decide to roll out the dough.
To bake the biscuits, preheat the oven to 450F. Grease a baking sheet/tray (I used a spray oil, such as Pam or Crisco) and bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until they're a light golden brown. After baking, the bottoms of the biscuits should be a nice, deep golden brown color (they were on mine, at least. They may not end up that way every time).
Step 5: Eat It Up!
Now is the time when you can enjoy these rich biscuits. They taste best when they are still warm (Let them cool on the sheet for a couple minutes, and they'll be the perfect temperature). I personally like them best plain with some butter, or with some jam. If you decided to make your own buttermilk at the beginning, that butter tastes very good on these!
If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to ask!