1 1/4 C. cake flour
3/4 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/4 C. butter, cut into small chunks
3/4 C. buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees
2. Prepare ingredients: Cut butter into small chunks, place in a bowl and return to fridge. Measure out buttermilk and set aside. Sprinkle flour on a work surface and have extra flour nearby for your hands and biscuit cutter. Have biscuit cutter and an ungreased baking sheet handy
3. Mix dough: In a medium-large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt until very well blended. Add butter and cut into flour using a pastry blender, two knives or your fingertips, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in buttermilk and stir lightly until dough comes together in a ball.
4. Knead dough and cut biscuits: Dump dough mixture out onto floured work surface. With floured hands, lightly knead dough a few times until it is fairly well blended. Pat out into a circle, 3/4 – 1 inch thick. Dip cutter into flour and cut biscuits without twisting the cutter. Form the dough scraps into an extra biscuit-like shape instead of re-rolling the dough. Place cut biscuits together on the baking sheet so that the sides are touching. Brush tops with melted butter, if desired.
5. Bake biscuits: place baking sheet in the middle of a preheated 500 degree oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove biscuits to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes.
Tips for Perfect Biscuits
- Make sure your baking powder, baking soda, and/or self-rising flour are fresh!
- Start preheating the oven as soon as you start thinking about making the biscuits! You want the oven to be completely preheated before the biscuits go in.
- Prepare your ingredients and tools in advance so that once you get started, you can work quickly and efficiently: cut your butter in small pieces and put it back in the fridge, measure out the buttermilk, flour the counter, get out the biscuit cutter and baking sheet.
- Use very cold butter, keep it in the fridge until you’re ready for it. Work the butter quickly into the flour so that it doesn’t have a chance to even think about melting!
- When you add the buttermilk, stir lightly! This can be done simply with a fork. You just want to get the dough to a point where the flour is all clumped together, not a smooth dough!
- Knead lightly and minimally. You aren’t kneading this like bread dough, you are simply finishing the mixing process with your hands. You only want to knead a couple of times to finish dispersing the liquid through the dough. The more you knead, the denser your biscuits will be!
- Even if you use self-rising flour in the dough, dust the counter and dough with all-purpose flour. Self-rising flour can give the outside of the biscuits a bitter taste, due to the leavening it contains.
- Don’t pat the dough out too thin. If you want high biscuits, don’t roll the dough any thinner than 3/4 – 1 inch.
- When cutting biscuits, use a sharp cutter and press straight down and up. Don’t twist! This makes a difference!
- Place cut biscuits together on the baking sheet so that they are touching. This will result in soft-sided biscuits!
- Don’t re-roll the scraps. Since it is best to work the dough as little as possible, instead of gathering the scraps, re-rolling and cutting into biscuits, just form the scraps into biscuit shapes by hand. They might look a little funny, but they rise as well as the others and they taste just as good!