Basic Buttermilk Biscuits
From Cuisine at Home
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 cups cake flour
5 Tablespoons cold vegetable shortening, cubed
4 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 450o F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment. 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. To avoid overmixing the biscuit dough, stop when the ingredients are just moistened. Even though the dough is wet, don't add more flour, that leads to overmixing.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead just until dough holds together. Do not overwork it. Flour your hands to keep the dough from sticking before patting dough into a 1" thick circle. Using a 2" thick biscuit cutter, cut dough into 10 biscuits. Pull cutter up without twisting, as you remove. Twisting results in jagged edges on the 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.
Tips & Tricks for High-Rise Biscuits
-For bigger rise, place any tools, especially the stand mixer bowl and paddle into the bowl, into the freezer for a few minutes before mixing to ensure the fats won't melt until they are in the oven.
-Patting the dough into a circle compresses it less than rolling it with a rolling pin, giving you a loftier biscuit.
-Use a sharp biscuit cutter to cut your biscuits. The sharp edges don't seal the sides thus promoting rising . Juice glasses and tin cans trap air and compress biscuit dough, sealing the sides and reducing rise.
-Excess flour on the tops and bottoms can make the biscuits seem dry, brush off any excess flour from both sides before baking.
-You can reroll the dough once (you'll need to) and still yield tender biscuits. To do so, brush any flour from the scraps and gently fold the dough back together before patting into a circle.