I’m going to try converting this recipe to yogurt with regular milk sometime in the next few days. Why? Because it is a lot easier to find / buy / use up small lots of yogurt than buttermilk. Here, at least, it is usually sold by the quart, and I have trouble using up that much fast enough.
But, for now, I have one quart of it, so made biscuits this morning. One (split) filled with a “sandwich egg” (yolk broken in frying), another buttered with apricot preserves ;-) Ham optional… maybe….
Sidebar on Language: These are “American Biscuits” that in British English would be a “scone” (pronounced either s-con or s-cone depending on how close you are to Scotland). In British English a “biscuit” is an American “cookie”. I’m using the American form of “biscuit” as a soft quick bread in this article.
Ingredients For 2
This is sized for 2 people. Cut it in half if there’s just one of you (though it is already a small lot. Makes 6 large or 8 medium biscuits).
Oven on high. I used 425 F, but 450 F gives a browner finish. That’s about 220 C to 230 C.
1 cup ( 250 ml) Flour
1 TBLs ( 15 cc) Baking Powder
1/2 tsp ( 2.5 cc) Sugar
1/2 tsp ( 2.5 cc) Salt
4 TBLs ( 60 cc) Butter
1/2 C (125 cc) Buttermilk (cold)
Put the dry ingredients in a large enough bowl. Flour, baking powder, sugar, salt. Whisk to mix.
Use a grater to grate in shreds of cold butter. I just mostly unwrap a stick, and holding it by the paper covered end, grate in about 1/2 of it. Use your hands, or a spatula if you are bothered, to gently mix the butter into the dry. If needed, you can fold and press the mix a few times to break up the butter more.
Add the buttermilk, and mix gently and not too much. You want a slightly wet somewhat sticky dough.
Grease and flour a cookie sheet, or use parchment paper, or whatever non-stick. Using your hands (or a scoop, again for the squeamish who don’t mind washing a lot of stuff ;-) to break off chunks of dough about 2 ounce sized ( 2 shot glasses ;-) and plop them on the prepared baking sheet. You ought to get between 6 and 8.
Stick it in the oven for about 12 to 14 minutes. Pull them out when the peaks are browned as you like them. My oven ran a bit cool so mine ran to 15 minutes here. If you run at the high end on temperature AND the longer times, watch out for over cooked bottoms.
Let them cool just enough to handle, then cut in half, butter and jam, or egg and ham, or “whatever”.
Don’t expect to keep these to the next day. Best straight from the oven, they get hard and a bit bland if they stand over night.
IF desired, you can punch these up with a bit of butter or egg wash brushed on top just before putting them in the oven to improve color. They can be sprinkled with various herbs / garlic salt / bacon crumbles as you like it for a savory bake. You can also add cheese shreds with the butter for a cheesy flavor. About the same amount as the butter. They can also be used as a dumpling on top of various stews and such.
Notice the lack of rolling pins, biscuit cutters, floured boards, pastry scrapers, butter ‘cutters’ for “cutting in” the shortening or butter, etc. etc. In the end, you have one whisk with dry stuff than generally just rinses clean, one bowl from the dough that almost rinses clean – a bit of soap on a sponge to get the butter smears out ;-) and a cup for the flour that rinses clean along with a 1/2 cup from the buttermilk that needs a bit of washing. That just leaves a butter smeared grater and cookie sheet as the bits that are harder to clean. Even they are not that hard to clean.
Most of that can just be stuffed into a dishwasher. Frankly, though, it takes only a couple of minutes to clean it all by hand.
Oh, and your hands need a bit of a wash after you drop the dough on the baking sheet and before putting it in the oven ;-)
These are a relatively mild (read ‘bland’) biscuit. This is by design. The intent is NOT to get that “soda biscuit’ flavor. Note the lack of any baking SODA. It is to get a fresh bread like experience in under 20 minutes start to end, and with not too much clean up.
For folks who don’t like the drop biscuit shape / texture: You can put this dough on a floured surface, dust it and the rolling pin with flour, roll, cut, etc. You might want to use 1 1/4 cups flour for a slightly less wet dough. As flour is highly variable in moisture content and density, adjust the liquid or flour as needed for the consistency that rolls without sticking. If you do this, I’d shape to a rectangle and just cut it into 6 or 8 rectangular parts. Why bother with circles and dough reshaping? Just cut with a knife and be done.
Between 2 of us, we finished off this batch shortly after first serving… though I am a bit full now ;-)
The reason there is no photo of the result / product is that we ate it all ;-)