Buttery Herb Biscuits
Everyone in my life from family to friends to colleagues is in love with biscuits. For the longest time I couldn’t figure out why because all except one experience I’ve had with biscuits is that they were hockey-puck hard, tasteless and dry. When I finally ventured to trial and error a recipe of my own to make biscuits for loved ones, I understood then what everyone was in love with. Done correctly, biscuits should come out buttery, super moist and full of flavor. These buttery biscuits can be made with pretty much any of your favorite herbs substituted for the ones I’ve chosen here or in addition to. If you’re making these for a party, make more than you anticipate will be needed because they are one of the first things to go.
Makes 12 Biscuits
2 cups all purpose flour + for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/3 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon (I used fresh but you can use dry)
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme (use fresh or dry)
4 tablespoons cold butter
1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and chopped herbs. Mix together until thoroughly combined.
Using your fingers, work the cold butter into the flour mixture quickly until you reach a crumbly consistency. It will appear as if a lot of the flour mixture hasn’t been incorporated with the butter. (A couple of things to keep in mind here- you don’t want to overwork the mixture and heat the butter with your fingers as that will cause the biscuits to come out hard. A good way to prevent this from happening is to “freeze” your fingers by placing your hands around a glass of ice water or hold ice packs for a minute right before working with the butter and flour).
Once you’ve reached the crumbly texture, make a well in the middle of the mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Use a spatula to quickly fold the dry ingredients with the buttermilk to create a sticky dough consistency.
Generously dust a flat surface (you can use a large cutting board or a cool kitchen counter) with a small handful of flour. Place the sticky dough onto the floured surface. Using your hands again, fold the dough onto itself about 4 to 6 times, until it becomes less sticky to the touch. Be careful again not to overwork the dough or the biscuits will turn out hard.
Using either the palms of your hands or a rolling pin, roll out the dough into roughly a 3/4 inch thickness. Use a 1 1/2 inch round cutter or if you prefer square shaped biscuits, just use a knife to cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. If you do the round cuts, you’ll have the leftover dough and you’ll need to roll the leftover back together and repeat the process. Keep in mind that reworking that dough will inevitably mean those pieces will turn out a bit harder. That’s why I personally am not a perfectionist when it comes to the shapes of biscuits. As long as they’re all uniformly somewhat the same size and shape, they’ll cook evenly.
Place the dough pieces onto a non-stick baking sheet and bake for exactly 16 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow the biscuits to remain in the oven for another 1 minute. Remove from the oven and serve immediately on its own or with a dab of butter.