Adventures in Everyday Entertaining
There is (almost) nothing better than fresh, homemade biscuits from scratch! And once you’ve got the basic recipe down pat, you can alter the biscuits for some sweet and savory twists. Add a bit of honey and orange zest to the batter for a sweet brunch addition. Or mix in some cheddar and bacon for a salty explosion in your mouth. Having a good biscuit recipe in your arsenal leads the way to endless tasty possibilities!
Buttermilk Biscuits — from Alton Brown, Good Eats The Early Years
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Using your fingertips, rub the butter and shortening into the dry goods until it resembles coarse crumbs. You can also use a pastry cutter for this, but I find that using the fingertip method makes for a better biscuit.
Make a well in the middle of the mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Stir with a large spoon until the dough just comes together. Then knead in the bowl until all the flour has been taken up.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently kneed until the dough is soft and smooth.
Press dough into a 1 inch thick round. (Make sure that it is about 1 inch thick. If it is too thin, the biscuits won’t flake up and you’ll end up with biscuit hockey pucks.) Using a 3 inch cutter, or 3 inch wide glass, cut out the biscuits, being sure to press the cutter all the way through.
Place the biscuits on a lightly greased pan. Use your thumb to create a shallow dimple in the top center of each biscuit. (According to Alton Brown, this helps to ensure flat tops on the finished biscuit).
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until biscuits are tall and light gold on top.