No, these biscuits did not come from anyone's grandmother—but they do taste delicious just out of the oven or split in half with a bit of softened butter and spoonful of jam. Or, heck, just bury them under a pool of sawmill gravy.
The key to these biscuits (or any biscuits for that matter) is to keep your dairy very cold and to work quickly when handling the dough. Freezing the butter and making sure your buttermilk and cream are well chilled results in a light, fluffy biscuit with a golden, slightly crisp exterior.
To learn more, read "TT Culinary Institute: Biscuits."
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 10 biscuits
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus chilling time
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes, plus chilling time
10 tablespoons butter, frozen
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup chilled buttermilk
¼ cup chilled heavy cream
Flakey salt (such as Maldon), for sprinkling
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 450°.
2. Grate the frozen butter using the large side of a box grater. Transfer the butter to a bowl and place in the freezer to chill.
3. Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and baking soda into a large bowl. Whisk in the salt.
4. Using a fork, stir in the grated, chilled butter then make a well in the center. Add the buttermilk and cream, and stir until the dough begins to clump and become shaggy.
5. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Working quickly, gently press and fold the dough 4 to 5 times (try not to knead or squeeze the dough), then form it into a rectangle. Pat the dough down to a uniform thickness of ¾ inch.
6. Using a 2½-inch cutter, press straight down through the dough, without twisting. Gather and pat down scraps if needed. Place the biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet so that they are just touching and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
7. Sprinkle each biscuit with flaky salt and bake until golden on top, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Make ahead: Dough can be made ahead, cut into biscuits, frozen on a sheet tray and transferred to a resealable plastic bag for up to a month.
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