It has such a delicious name – it sounds all creamy and savory. It’s a word you picture colonial people using which I love. The first time I ever bought buttermilk was to make Michael his favorite cake that his Grandma Mimi makes. I was so excited because I had never tasted it or used it before and the name had always intrigued me.
Picture this: I get all my ingredients out, nice and neat. I open the buttermilk (but I do not smell it, definitely a rookie mistake) pour a little into a glass to try, the anticipation is welling up inside! It’s thick and creamy like I had imagined! Will it be sweet? Will it taste like butter? Yay! I couldn’t wait!
I go to take a sip and…..holy shit that is so nasty. Do not drink buttermilk, guys.
Tart, bad-milk-tasting milk like, oh my God I thought I was going to puke. I spit it out in the sink and chugged water from the faucet. I was embarrassed. Alone in my own home and embarrassed for being so dumb! It was so disappointing.
Better days have come about though and a year later, it was Michael’s birthday time again and time to make the cake! I had to buy a large thing of buttermilk because that was all the store had, so I decided to use the gross stuff in another way – that’s right, Butter Milk Biscuits y’all!
These are very easy and there are a variety of easy recipes for them on the interwebs, but I like Alton Brown and he’s a smart dude so I went with his version.
What you will need:
- 2 cups flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 1 cup cold buttermilk, duh!!
Step 1: Preheat Oven!
450, people. I never tell you to do this because well…I forget a lot my self. So from now on – Step 1′s are preheating settings.
Step 2: Mix Dry Ingredients
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.
When I started baking I always had baking soda on hand but not baking powder. Rather than buying baking powder like a normal person, I would avoid recipes that called for it. Finally I Googled “what is the difference between baking powder and baking soda?” and found this VERY informative article which I recommend reading – but essentially they are both acidic and make things rise.
BUT, baking soda IS baking powder with some extra stuff added – so, triple the amount of baking powder to equal the amount of baking soda. Like, if the recipe called for 1 tsp baking soda, you would use 3 tsp baking powder.
To use baking soda instead of baking powder, you need to ass Cream of Tartar which adds a step..so I’d just avoid it.
Step 3: Incorporate Butter and Shortening Into Dry Mix
This is done by taking the greasy ingredients (as I like to call them) and rubbing them with your hands into the dry mix. This is somewhat difficult and at first you feel like nothing is happening, but after a few minutes you will notice the texture to change into the “crumbs” that Alton describes. It’s weird because at first you’re like, not noticing any difference then BOOM. Crumbs.
Step 3: Add the Buttermilk
In this step, you form a “well” out of the crumb mix – according to Alton, but I like to think of this as a little wide volcano which you will then pour the buttermilk inside until it over flows and looks like lava. These are the things I think of when baking.
You then will stir until the dough juuuuust comes together and is very sticky.
Isn’t this just a great photo – I mean, probably not composition wise or anything. It looks like a white nebula to me or something, OK!?
Step 4: Flatten and Cut Your Dough
After your dough comes together, put some flour on your counter top and a little on the dough and fold the dough into itself a number of times (Alton says 5 or 6), then you flatten the dough to 1 inch thick circle-ish.
Cut out your biscuits – Alton recommends a 2 inch cutter, we didn’t have anything of the sort so we used a juice glass, but the point is, friends, that you cut each biscuit in one push! Drive down on that cutter or juice glass straight through the dough! (Michael liked the glass because it made a little “poof” fart noise when he did this – believing this infused the biscuits with more air thus, making them more fluffy. God, I love that man.)
You’re going to have left over dough so just keep reforming the 1 inch thick circle and cutting out more biscuits - try not to work the dough too much because the more you work it, the less fluffy it will be.
Anywho – grease or spray a baking sheet and put the biscuits allllmost touching.
I know our baking pan ain’t that pretty – but it gets a lot of use!
Step 5: Bake!
Pop your biscuits in the 450 preheated oven and watch them rise and turn light golden brown!
They will be ready in 15-20 mins – ours were about 15 minutes.
And you’re done! Enjoy your fluffy buttermilk biscuits!
We ate ours with butter and honey, with mashed potatoes and gravy, made mini breakfast sandwiches and they aren’t gone yet!