Virginia Willis' Buttermilk Biscuits
- Prep Time:
- 10 min
- Cook Time:
- 10 min
- Total Time:
- 20 min
- 12 biscuits
- 2 cups White Lily all-purpose, more for rolling out
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits and chilled
- 3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk
- Heat the oven to 500°F. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Pour in buttermilk and mix until just barely combined. It will be a shaggy mass. (Alternatively, you can mix the dough in a food processor: pulse to combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and pulse until it resembles coarse meal. Pour in buttermilk through feed tube and pulse until just barely combined.)
- Turn the rough dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly, using the heel of your hand to compress and push dough away from you, then fold it back over itself. Give dough a small turn and repeat four or five times.
- Roll out the dough using a lightly floured rolling pin. Dough should be 1-inch thick. Using a 2 1/4-inch round cutter dipped in flour, cut out rounds (press cutter straight down without twisting so biscuits will rise evenly when baked).
- Place biscuits on prepared sheet. (If biscuits are baked close together, sides will be tender. If biscuits are baked farther apart, sides will be crisp).
- Re-roll scraps once. Do not simply roll them into a ball; this will create a knot of gluten strands. Instead, place the pieces one on top of the other in layers, then roll out dough and cut out more rounds. Bake until golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool just slightly. Serve warm.
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Do not store soft and crisp cookies in the same container, or the crisp cookies will soften.
For moist Southern cornbread with a golden-brown crust, use good cornmeal and create a creamy, pourable, pancake-like batter. Bake in preheated cast-iron cookware.