Classic Buttermilk Biscuits

Classic Buttermilk BiscuitsI feel like I start posts like this a lot, but…well…here it is.  This is another one of those recipes that I have been meaning to post for over a year now.  Why?  Several reasons.  Is the suspense driving you crazy?  Heh heh.

First of all, it is classically plain.  Nothing fancy or complicated and there are no unnecessary ingredients.  As much as I love variety, I am always looking to test out the basics.  Second, it makes a big batch.  I consistently get about 18 biscuits out of a batch so I have enough for a holiday or large group.  The great thing is that I can also freeze them and do the work once, but have enough for our family for two or even three meals.  Which brings me to reason number three: freezable.  I have made these ahead for Thanksgiving, Easter, Sunday Brunch, and just general usage.  Instead of baking them and defrosting and reheating them later, these are frozen unbaked.  Just pull them out of the freezer and bake them off and booyah!  Fresh baked, hot and flaky biscuits.  Because fresh out of the oven is nearly always better when it comes to baked goods, am I right?  Virtual high five!  Just freeze the cut, unbaked biscuits on a sheet pan and once frozen solid, pack in a zip top freezer bag.  Like so:
Classic Buttermilk BiscuitsYes, there is some labor involved.  However, when it comes to a real, classic, buttermilk biscuit with rich, buttery flavor (drool, drool, drool) you are just going to have to suck it up and do it.  While they don’t really take all that long to do, you will have to clean up the floury mess of rolling out dough.  Totally.  Worth it.  In fact, make and freeze a double batch and you won’t have to make a big mess again for even longer!  So really, what could be better?  Rich, butter filled, flaky biscuits!  *sigh*  Wait.  Whats that?  Homemade jam could be better?  Hmmm. OK.  Stay tuned.
Classic Buttermilk Biscuits Classic Buttermilk Biscuits Classic Buttermilk Biscuits Classic Buttermilk Biscuits
Adapted from Martha Stewart

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse until combined:
4 c flour
2 T baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 T sugar
Add:  2 sticks of cold butter, cut into cubes
Pulse the until the butter is evenly distributed and the size of small peas.
Add 1 1/2 c cold buttermilk (I use low fat)
Pulse until the dough just barely starts to come together, 3 or 4 times.  Dump the mixture out onto a clean counter and gather it with your hands, kneading it VERY gently a half a dozen times until smooth and even.  With a floured rolling pin, roll until the dough is a half an inch thick.  Cut out biscuits with a 2 or 2 1/2 inch wide round.  Place on a baking sheet, brush lightly with melted butter and freeze till firm.  Or bake immediately in a 450 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.  Cool slightly.  If baking from frozen (no need to thaw), extend the baking time to about 20 minutes.
Alternatively, if you do not have a food processor, cut the butter into the mixture with a pastry blender and mix in the buttermilk by hand.