Basic Buttermilk Biscuits
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ⁄2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 ⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1⁄2 cups cake flour
- 5 tablespoon cold vegetable shortening, cubed
- 4 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 1⁄4 cups buttermilk
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
To avoid overmixing this dough, stop when the ingredients are just moistened. Even though the dough is wet, don’t add more flour — that only leads to overmixing.
Preheat oven to 450°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl; set aside.
Pulse cake flour, shortening, and cubed butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until fats are pea-sized flakes. Mix in all-purpose flour mixture just until blended. Add buttermilk to dry ingredients and mix just until moistened.
Turn dough onto a lightly-floured surface, and knead just until dough holds together. Pat dough into a 1-inch-thick circle. Using a 2-inch biscuit cutter, cut dough into 10 biscuits. Transfer the biscuits to prepared baking sheet and bake until golden, 15–18 minutes. Brush tops with melted butter during last few minutes of baking.
Tricks for High-Rise Biscuits
To get the best results from high-rise biscuits, use these tips and tricks:
For biscuits with major rise, pop any tools into the freezer for a few minutes before mixing to ensure that fats won’t melt until they’re in the oven.
Patting the dough into a circle (see photo, right) compresses it less than rolling it with a rolling pin, giving you a loftier biscuit.
Use a sharp biscuit cutter to cut your biscuits. Juice glasses and tin cans trap air and com press biscuit dough, sealing the sides and reducing rise — don’t use them.
Excess flour on the tops and bottoms of biscuits can make them seem dry, so brush any excess off befor baking.