2 cups self-rising or all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 ½ tablespoons plus 1teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons cubed butter, frozen
1/2 cup buttermilk, cold (plus more if needed)
1/2 cup half and half, cold
- Preheat oven to 425 °F.
- In a large bowl combine flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and 1 ½ teaspoon salt together. Cut butter into mixture until it begins to look like cornmeal. (You can also use a food processor for this part only).
- Make a well with flour mixture and slowly add milk into the middle. With your hands slowly start to incorporate the dry ingredients into the milk. Continue to mix until combined only. If it’s too dry add a few drops of milk.
- Drop dough onto a lightly floured surface. Now if you like layers this part is for you. Begin to fold the dough carefully and not aggressively. It’s like turning the page on a book. Fold one way. Then fold it back the other. Fold the top and then fold the bottom. Get a total of 6 to 7 folds and roll out to desired thickness. Cut with a small biscuit cutter.
- Butter bottom of skillet and place biscuits in pan. You don’t have to use a skillet. If you’re making a large batch, a cookie tray is fine. Be sure to have the biscuits touching each other. For some reason, biscuits need the support of one another to rise.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown (the thicker the biscuit, the longer cooking time needed). If you don’t have a convection oven, rotate the tray or skillet halfway through.
- Remove from oven and brush with more melted butter and sprinkle with remaining salt and sugar.
TIPS & NOTES
- The colder the ingredients the better. I often chill a metal bowl in the freezer to make biscuits. I also always have sticks of butter in the freezer ready to go for biscuits.
- I also mix dry ingredients, mix in butter and then re-chill before adding the milk. The warmer the dough is, the less success you’ll have. Work quickly and get your biscuits back in the fridge or in the oven.
- I like these flours in this order: White Lily, King Arthurs and Gold Meal. White Lily is by far the best flour for biscuits because you have less gluten working against you.
- You don’t have to use buttermilk but the tang makes the biscuits.
- Do not use margarine, use real butter only. And I realize that some people use shortening, but I let that go a long time ago. There is just no evidence that shortening can do something more than butter can.
- This is not pizza dough. You don’t need to work it so hard. You mix until combined only. Treat it like a precious pillow. The key to your light delicious light and fluffy biscuits will be directly connected to how much you work the dough.
This recipe is courtesy of Chef Jumoke Jackson from his “Soulfull Biscuits” cookbook available at www.chefjjackson.com.