Makes 8 to 12.

Note: Depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen, you may need to use more or less buttermilk. You don’t want the dough to be crumbly, but it should start to hold together in the bowl without being gluey. If you wish to make round biscuits, you’ll need a 2-inch round cutter. To cut rectangular biscuits, a metal bench scraper works well. From Martin Philip in “Breaking Bread: A Baker’s Journey Home in 75 Recipes.”

• 8 tbsp. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter

• Scant 3 c. flour, plus more for the work surface

• 1 tsp. table or fine sea salt

• 1 tsp. baking powder

• 1/4 tsp. baking soda

• 1 c. plus 1 tbsp. regular or low-fat buttermilk (see Note)

• 2 tbsp. salted or unsalted butter, melted, for optional brushing

Directions

Cut the cold butter into 1/8-inch-thick slices; refrigerate until you’re ready to make the dough.

Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a mixing bowl, and refrigerate that, as well. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a rimmed baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

Add the cold butter pieces to the chilled dry ingredients, tossing them until they are evenly coated. Press the butter pieces between your thumbs and forefingers into small flat pieces, or “leaves.” (Some pieces as big as a quarter are OK.) Add the buttermilk, as needed, and mix gently until just combined. The dough should be barely cohesive; don’t worry if there are dry bits, because they will be incorporated as you pat and fold the dough.

Lightly flour your work surface. Transfer the dough there, patting it into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds as you would a letter, bringing one-third in over the middle third, followed by the final third over the other two. Gently roll or pat the dough into another rectangle. Repeat this fold-and-roll process once more if the dough isn’t cohesive or if you want to create more layers.

Lightly flour the top of the dough. Use the 2-inch cutter to create 10 to 12 rounds of dough, being careful to cut straight down and not twist the cutter (to ensure the biscuits get the best rise). You can reroll the dough once, though you might not get the same rise. Or use the bench scraper or a sharp chef’s knife to square the sides and edges of the dough rectangle, then cut 8 to 10 squares or rectangles. Place the biscuits on the baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.

Bake (upper rack) for 16 to 18 minutes, rotating the pan from front to back after 14 minutes, until the biscuits are golden. If you wish to brush the biscuit tops with melted butter, do so as soon as they come out of the oven. Serve warm, or at room temperature.

Nutrition information per each of 10 square biscuits:

Calories 230 Fat 10 g Sodium 345 mg

Carbohydrates 30 g Saturated fat 6 g Added sugars 0 g

Protein 5 g Cholesterol 30 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 1 ½ fat.

 

 

Drop Cream Biscuits

Makes 10 to 11.

Note: The biscuits can be stored in zip-top bag at room temperature for up to 24 hours. Reheat them in a 300-degree oven for 10 minutes. From Cook’s Illustrated.

• 3 c. flour

• 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sugar

• 1 tbsp. baking powder

• 1/4 tsp. baking soda

• 1 1/4 tsp. table salt

• 2 c. heavy cream

• Cooking oil spray

• 2 tbsp. salted or unsalted butter, melted, for optional brushing

Directions

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.

Microwave the cream in a microwave-safe container on high for 60 to 90 seconds, until just warmed to body temperature (95 to 100 degrees), stirring halfway through. Stir the warm cream into the flour mixture to form a soft, uniform dough.

Grease a 1/3-cup dry measuring cup with cooking oil spray. Use it to drop 10 or 11 level scoops of batter 2 inches apart on the baking sheet; the biscuit portions should measure about 2 1/2 inches wide and 1 1/4 inches high. Regrease the measuring cup after every 3 or 4 scoops. If the portions are misshapen, use your fingertips to gently reshape the dough into level cylinders.

Bake (upper rack) for 10 to 12 minutes, until the tops are light golden brown, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through. Brush the hot biscuits with melted butter, if desired. Serve warm.

Nutrition information per each of 11 biscuits:

Calories 260 Fat 14 g Sodium 445 mg

Carbohydrates 29 g Saturated fat 8 g Added sugars 2 g

Protein 4 g Cholesterol 50 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 starch, 1 carb, 2 ½ fat.