on this weekend's menu
Originally uploaded by norvegal
Seeing as we've become the bestest of friends, and seeing as another weekend is almost upon us, I thought it my duty to share with you The World's Greatest Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe.
I've made it several times already. The first time was so good I was stunned and convinced that it had to be a fluke. But the second time was even better. And from then on, I knew that this would become that secret recipe I pull out when I have a last-minute culinary emergency and want to look like one of those women who knows what she's doing.
This recipe comes from Susan Wyler's Cooking from a Country Farmhouse, an out-of-print collection of recipes that looks at first like it'll be one of those gratuitous "I moved to the country and learned to cook" books but is actually very good. I like Susan because she, too, lives in a restored farmhouse. We crazies need to stick together.
Anyway, you start by preheating your oven to a toasty 450 degrees and smearing a small amount of butter onto your favorite cookie sheet.
Now, sift together 1 cup flour (all-purpose is fine), 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, and a wee pinch of salt.
Cut a mere 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter into the mix. Three tablespoons! In the baking world, that's nothing. When the butter feels like little flakes of oatmeal in the flour, pour in 2/3 of a cup of buttermilk. The first time, I put in 3/4 of a cup by mistake and it was fine.
Mix just to the point where everything is blended, and then STOP. Put the spoon down! Resist temptation! This does not want to be mixed any more than absolutely necessary.
Finally, take your favorite soup spoon and scoop out a moderate sized dollop of batter (dough? batter?) and drop it on the cookie sheet. These guys like to spread, so give each one a few inches of personal space. If you need a second sheet, go for it.
Slide in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. Or 14 minutes if you have my oven. You want them to be nicely gold with a little crust on the bottom.
Oh, and if you want a little extra excitement in your life? Grate 1/4 cup parmesan into the flour mix before you add the buttermilk. Your life will never be the same.
And that, my friends, is absolutely it. This recipe is almost criminal in its speed, simplicity, and deliciousness.