Monday, January 16, 2017

Ultimate Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

Makes 9 large biscuits
Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen with Marimar

My daughter-in-law, Marimar, loves to make biscuits when the family comes to visit.  She wanted to test this recipe herself.  Boy, these were spectacular!!  

3 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, frozen for 30 minutes
1¼ cups buttermilk, chilled

1. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Whisk our, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl. Coat sticks of butter in the flour mixture, and then grate 7 tablespoons from each stick on large holes of box grater directly into our mixture. Toss gently to combine. Set aside remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
2. Add buttermilk to our mixture and fold with spatula until just combined (dough will look dry). Transfer dough to liberally floured counter. Dust surface of dough with our; using your floured hands, press dough into rough 7-inch square.
3. Roll dough into 12 by 9-inch rectangle with short side parallel to edge of counter. Starting at bottom of dough, fold into thirds like business letter, using bench scraper or metal spatula to release dough from counter. Press top of dough firmly to seal folds. Turn dough 90 degrees clockwise. Repeat rolling into 12 by 9-inch rectangle, folding into thirds, and turning clockwise 4 more times, for total of 5 sets of folds. After last set of folds, roll dough into 8½ -inch square about 1 inch thick. Transfer dough to prepared sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees F.
4. Transfer dough to lightly floured cutting board. Using sharp, floured chef’s knife, trim 1/4 inch of dough from each side of square and discard. Cut remaining dough into 9 squares, flouring knife after each cut. Arrange biscuits at least 1 inch apart on sheet. Melt reserved butter; brush tops of biscuits with melted butter.
5. Bake until tops are golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer biscuits to wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

*Use sticks of butter. In hot or humid environments, chill the flour mixture, grater, and work bowls before use. The dough will start out very crumbly and dry in pockets but will be smooth by the end of the folding process; do not be tempted to add extra buttermilk. Flour the counter and the top of the dough as needed to prevent sticking, but be careful not to incorporate large pockets of flour into the dough when folding.

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