Simple Pleasures: Buttermilk Biscuits

I must have been IN the kitchen yesterday more than I was OUT.  You see, I had this ridiculous craving for some kürbis-creme suppe (pumpkin cream soup).  The kids at T-Rex’s school made it several weeks ago (yes, they cook in kindergarten).  Ever since then, I have seen it on menus at restaurants and have wanted to try it.  But I’m thrifty so I couldn’t just go buy a bowl; I had to make it.

Quiz time.. Only one question.  Choose your best answer.  No pressure.

Peeling a pumpkin in order to make soup from the real deal, a.k.a not from a can, is:

(a) a form of Japanese knife torture resulting in blood loss

(b) an ABS DIET bicep workout

(c) a labor of love

(d) a lame way to ruin your only vegetable peeler

(e) all of the above

Have your neighbor grade your paper.  It’s better that way.

Now, since I cannot just serve some pureed soup to three hungry men for dinner, a round of biscuits were in order.  Do you have a biscuit lover in your house?  I do.  These pups are just below peanut butter on the food love chain.

In the US, I used to buy Pillsbury once in a while because I was lazy, and they were cheap (not a good combo, I know).  But I had to hurriedly look the other way when the ingredients showed up next to the cooking instructions.  Those freaky popping cans are full of chemicals.  Horrible for you.  Convenient, but horrible.

Lucky for you – and me – these biscuits are only slightly inconvenient and totally wonderful.

Disclaimer: I have no idea where this recipe is from.  I used to check out stacks and stacks of cookbooks from the library and copy down recipes I thought were interesting.  Only I wouldn’t write down what book they were from.  Please, please, please don’t tell my English teacher that I didn’t cite my source.  Please.

Classic Buttermilk Biscuits

2 c flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

6 Tbl cold, unsalted butter, cut in pieces (If I buy unsalted butter, I get complaints – so salted works just fine.)

1 large egg

3/4 c cold buttermilk (mine comes in a yogurt container, not a carton)

I haven't made these with whole wheat flour yet. That's mostly due to the fact that I couldn't find "whole wheat flour" anywhere. Gee, I wonder why...

1. Preheat oven to 425F.  Grease a baking sheet then sprinkle with a little flour and cornmeal. Or you can use parchment paper if you have a German baking sheet that is totally not the same as an American baking sheet.  And then you don’t have the mess or confusion of the flour/cornmeal.

2. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients. This is very vanilla and not worth a picture.

Don’t freak out at the amount of butter that’s in here. You can cut it a little bit (say use only 4T) but no more. Just push those kids around the block a time or two after dinner; the biscuits drop right off. I promise!

 

3. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender. If you don’t have a pastry blender, use a whisk.  I know I’m totally offending the kitchen gadget lovers and the pastry chefs.  Sorry, I don’t have space in my kitchen for one of these doodads and a whisk totally does the job.  I have even used my hands to crumble the butter into the flour before.  The shock!  The horror!

Just in case you were wondering what slightly shaggy looks like...

 

4. Add egg and buttermilk, stirring just until moistened.  The dough will be moist then stiffen while stirring.  It should be slightly shaggy but not sticky. I love it – who came up with that?  Slightly shaggy.  And yes, we’re still talking biscuit dough, folks.

My biscuit cutter used to have a handle. That is, before I shoved it in a suitcase with 30,947 other things and flew it across the Atlantic.

5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently about ten times or just until the dough holds together.  Roll or pat out the dough into a rectangle 3/4″ thick. Trust me, the biscuits do not taste any different whether your dough is a rectangle, oval, hexagon, or trapezoid.  Cut the dough using a floured 2 1/2″ biscuit cutter. Or any other kind of cookie cutter.  Leaf-shaped biscuits would be kind of rad to serve with pumpkin soup.   Except I don’t have a leaf-shaped cookie cutter.

Don't try to make these boys pretty - the more rustic, the better.

6. Place the shaped biscuits 1/2″ apart on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake in the center of the oven for 15-18 min or until golden brown.  Let rest a few minutes and serve hot. A husband with a burnt tongue is absolutely no good.

Doc Sci will eat these straight out of the oven. But these are also excellent with more butter (sorry) and a little honey. Delightfully delish.

Makes about a dozen 2″ biscuits that disappear quickly when set before three boys.  Guten apetit!

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6 thoughts on “Simple Pleasures: Buttermilk Biscuits

  1. Girl!! i can’t believe you peeled the skin off a pumpkin…there is a much easier way! you just slice it in half down the center, pull out all the seeds and nasty stringy stuff and then roast them in the oven for 60-90 mins flesh side down sitting in about 1 inch of water…once cooked the skin comes right off =)

    • I know – it was horrible and I totally sliced my finger open. I have done the roasting thing before for pumpkin pie. But for pumpkin soup, the pumpkin had to be raw, peeled, and cut in chunks. =( Trust me, I won’t be making it again!

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