Monday, October 25, 2010

Bert's Buttermilk Biscuits

Need I say it? It's MONDAY! And besides my cream biscuit recipe, I have a favorite buttermilk biscuit recipe  to give you from the King Arthur Flour Cookbook. You may already know that the buttermilk and baking soda give these biscuits more height and fluffiness than other biscuits. Southerners are famous for them. You can stir these up in just a very few minutes and add a fresh bread touch to any meal. I hope you'll try them.

The cookbook has this to say about this recipe: This recipe comes from Bert Porter who was King Arthur Flour's most excellent spokesman during the 1960's and '70's. While he has retired to bake just for the fun of it, he still appears from time to time to cheer us on. Bert's biscuits are an old cream of tartar variation. They can be made with vegetable shortening, which means they're  cholesterol free. Instructions in Bert's own words are included. 

Bert's Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/3 cup shortening (I use oil or butter)
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.

Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Cut in the shortening with the side of a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk, stirring lightly with your fork until all the flour has been absorbed. Do NOT overmix and do NOT knead because you do not want to strengthen the gluten in the flour.

Sprinkle a tablespoon of flour on your board, and gently roll the dough in it. With your fingertips, press out the dough into an oblong, approximately 4 X 10 inches. Cut this into 10 pieces, about 2 inches square, and gently round the corners of each piece.

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet (to prevent sticking you can sprinkle a bit of flour on it) for 12 to 14 minutes. These biscuits are done when the bottoms are a light golden brown.

Note: If you don't have buttermilk on hand, combine 7/8 cup milk with 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar and let stand a half hour.

For many of my breads, I very often melt the butter and add the milk to it to warm a little making yeast rolls. You have to mix quickly when you add the warm liquid to the flour mixture.

Have a great Monday!

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