It’s been a while! The holidays are near and things are getting busy; well, you know how it is. But I was able to take time to make these delicious biscuits for a potluck last weekend. Biscuits…from scratch? Absolutely.
While it does save time popping open that can of pre-made (and cut) biscuits, especially since you need enough for 20+ people (and including seconds), it will never taste as good as biscuits from scratch. But actually, they’re quite easy to make and really takes all of about 10-15 minutes to prep. A good buttery and flaky biscuit is more about technique. So I’ll give you my tips early on in this post.
As with all buttery and flaky baked things, such as biscuits and pie crusts, you want the butter to be cold, very cold. You want to see white dots of butter in the dough as you’re rolling out the crust or cutting the biscuits. This will give you that nice buttery and flaky texture. Basically, you want the dough to be as cold as possible when you’re working with it so that the butter doesn’t soften. In recipes that call for cold butter cut into pieces, I’ll cut the butter on a plate and then stick it in the freezer to harden until ready for use. If you’re making it by hand using knives or a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour, stick those in the freezer too. If your bowl will fit, also put that in to cool it before use. And when you’re working with the dough, work quickly because your hands will start to melt the butter as you handle it.
When it comes to rolling out the dough, I prefer to pat it with my hands to roll/stretch it out. You want to disturb the gluten as little as possible so that the biscuit remains soft. Rolling it out with a pin is too disruptive.
If you can, stretch out the dough super thin and fold it over itself 2-3 times. These folds help create the layers in biscuits.
When cutting the biscuits out, if you don’t have a cookie cutter, use something with a slightly sharper edge. A dull cutter can compress the biscuit’s edge, causing it to not rise properly. I used the rim of a wine glass.
When placing them on a baking sheet, make sure that the biscuits are slightly touching each other. This will help them rise upwards, not outwards to the side.
- Preheat oven to 450F and grease or line with parchment paper or foil, a baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
- Using a food processor, or pastry knife if making by hand, cut the butter into the flour mixture.
- Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk.
- Add in the chives and cheddar.
- Stir until just incorporated and dough is loose.
- Knead dough for about 1 minute, as it then should become smooth.
- Pat the dough out until it becomes at most 1/4″ thick.
- Fold the dough in half.
- Cut out biscuits and place, slightly touching one another, onto the baking sheet.
- Bake 10-15 minutes, or until slightly browned