I am on a lifelong quest to make the world’s best biscuit. I don’t think I’d even gotten close until I made these – with butter I made myself and the real buttermilk from the butter-making process. I don’t understand the chemistry behind it, but for some reason these biscuits rose higher and were way flakier than my normal biscuits.
I use White Lily flour, which is flour made from soft winter wheat, specially formulated for biscuit-making. It’s a little hard to find outside of the South (I always pick up lots of bags of it when I’m down South), so you can substitute all-purpose flour. The real secret to good biscuits is not handling them too much – you don’t want gluten to form, so only knead the dough as long as it takes to just combine the ingredients.
2 cups White Lily flour (or all-purpose)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon rubbed sage
1/4 cup (2 oz.) homemade butter (or store-bought), very cold and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup (or more) homemade buttermilk (or store-bought)
Special equipment: a 2-inch biscuit cutter, a 9-inch cake pan or cookie sheet
Makes 8-9 biscuits
- Preheat the oven to 500°.
- Lightly grease (or spray with cooking spray) a 9-inch cake pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sage.
- Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or two knives. The butter pieces should range in size from a large pea to a little lentil.
- Stir in the cheese.
- Add the buttermilk, gently stirring until the dough starts to come together. You will have a fairly wet dough.
- Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface, and knead gently for one to two turns. Roll or pat out to about 3/4-inch thickness.
- Using a floured 2-inch biscuit cutter, stamp out as many biscuits as you can, taking care not to twist the biscuit cutter into the dough. Re-roll the scraps as necessary.
- Place the biscuits into the cake pan, letting the sides touch.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown.