I have a dear friend who is having her first baby in November. She and I go all the way back to gymnastics classes when we were maybe five years old. My friends and I are currently planning her baby shower and have decided to have a brunch menu. I'm excited about all the items we've chosen for the menu and I am in charge of most them. In the name of friendship, I've started testing different recipes in search of the best ones for the big day. It's all in the name of what's best for the mommy to be.
That's where these tall and devilishly good biscuits come into play. Biscuits and scones will both be on the shower menu, neither of which I've made before. I looked through all the recipes I've saved and have stashed in my "To Try" email folder and found three different biscuit recipes. I looked over each one and decided to try one from Bobby Flay first, mainly because I had just watched the episode in which he made them. They turned out okay, but they weren't nearly as tall and melt in your mouth as I had envisioned.
Next I went with the recipe that created the specimen you see above, by none other than Alton Brown. Really, why didn't I just start with his? These were so easy I couldn't believe it. They came together in about 15 minutes, and after another 15 minutes in the oven, they were ready to hit our plates. Just enough time to get the sausage ready, set the table and fill everyone's glasses. Love when things come together like that! The ingredients are very basic and I would venture to guess that most people would have these items on hand.
Notes from the chef (me): The original recipe said you should get 12 biscuits from this recipe. I only got 6. Maybe that means I didn't press my dough thin enough during the initial press down. But I can tell you this. If biscuits this tall and delicious are wrong...I don't want to be right!
from Alton Brown
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chilled and cubed unsalted butter
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup buttermilk, chilled*
*Don't have buttermilk on hand? Place 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup and add just enough milk to raise liquid to the 1 cup line. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Use a fork to combine the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like crumbs. You want to work fast with this step so the butter doesn't start to melt.
- Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until combined, dough will be very sticky.
- Turn dough onto floured surface. Dust top with flour and fold the dough onto itself 5-6 times.
- Press into a 1 inch thick round.
- Cut out biscuits with a 2 inch round cutter. (I used a drink shaker since I don't have a biscuit cutter, and all my drinking classes are square at the opening. This worked perfectly.) Make sure not to twist the cutter as you cut biscuits, or they won't rise as high as they should.
- Place biscuits on a baking sheet, making sure they are just touching.
- Reform the scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting.
- Bake until the biscuits are tall and light golden brown, 15-20 minutes.
- And because I couldn't leave well enough alone, I brushed melted butter on the tops of the biscuits as they came out of the oven.