My friend Sherry is a wonderful baker. When she and her husband Fred invite us over to their house, she will often leave mid-way during dinner to whip something up and stick her doughy creation in the oven. Last time I was at her house, she made biscuits and served them warm with some strawberries and whipped cream. They tasted heavenly. What's amazing is that she does it with ease and she never fails. I went home and dreamt about eating those biscuits again but couldn't wait, so I decided baking some myself.
Alston's book is small but packed with over sixty recipes on biscuits and scones. The one I made this morning is your basic buttermilk biscuits. My technique is slowly improving with practice. Since I have to buy a whole quart of buttermilk (for some reason, you can't buy in smaller sizes), I make a large batch. Per Greenspan's advise, I keep some unbaked biscuits in the freezer and pop them in the oven to bake when I want some. Per Keller's advise, I add some cake flour to the dry mixture for extra lightness. It works.
I served the warm buttermilk biscuits with butter and honey. As always, I used my grandmother's butterknife to spread the butter. If I had some fried chicken to go with the biscuits, it would be a perfect Norht Carolina dinner.
Elizabeth Alston's modified
Good with Anything Buttermilk Biscuits recipe:
The recipe is modified to include a little cake flour.
You can also make it without the cake flour. Just increase the
all purpose flour by 1/4 cup.
1 3/4 cups all purppose flour
1/4 cup cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut up
2/3 cup buttermilk
Heat oven to 450F. PUt lfour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl; stir to mix well.
Add buttter an d cut in with your fingers, until the mixture looks like ifne granules.
Add buttermilk and stir with a fork until a soft dough forms. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured board and give 10-15 kneads.
Roll dough to an 8-8.5 inch circle (1/2 to 3/4 inch thick). Cut out with a 2 or 2.5 inch plain biscuit cutter.
Plase biscuits on a ungreased sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes, untle medium golden brown. LIne a wire cooling rack with a line or cotton dish towel. Put the hot biscuits on the cloth and fold the cloth loosely over them. Cool at leaset 30 minutes for best flavor.
Serve with honey and butter.