I have been on a quest for some time to find the perfect biscuit recipe using local, not southern flour. I have read many, many recipies for buttermilk biscuits and tried making nearly all if them. The result, chewy, cracker-like or dry biscuits that were nearly inedible. Having read about the different amounts of protein in flour in my pastry arts book the blog article I found here: http://pinchmysalt.com/2007/09/18/how-to-make-the-best-buttermilk-biscuits-from-scratch/ made perfect sense. For a more in depth description of different types of flour's protein content, please refer to article.
After watching a program on Food Network: Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, there was a restaurant in Portland, OR with three southern men as the proprietors, I believe the restaurant was called Pine State Biscuits. Knowing that this restaurant probably did not have southern flour flown in to Portland, I thought we may have stumbled on to something :)
Using the tips found in my America's Test Kitchen, Kitchen Tips book & also used at Pine State Biscuits, I began to work on my recipe for the perfect southern buttermilk biscuit.
Southern Buttermilk Biscuits in CA
1 1/2 c cake flour
3/4 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp frozen butter
1 egg, room temp
1/4 c plain yogurt
1/2 c well shaken buttermilk
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Add first five ingredients to a bowl and mix with a fork or pastry blender. Grate frozen butter on a cheese grater directly in the flour and mix with a fork or partry blender until it resembles coarse meal.
In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, yogurt & buttermilk until combined.
Add wet ingredients to dry and mix dough with a pastry blender or fork just until all the flour appears to have been incorporated with the wet ingredients. Do not over work dough. You must work quickly so the butter will not melt into the flour.
Turn dough on to a well floured surface and push dough together into a ball with your hands. Roll out dough into 1/2 in thick rectangle, fold in half, repeat 2 more times, the last time, roll out to 3/4 in thick (this builds flakey layers). Cut with a floured pastry blade or floured biscuit cutter and place on an ungreased cookie sheet tightly grouped.
Brush melted butter on tops of biscuits & bake for 8-10 minutes in the oven.
Enjoy with butter, jelly, or gravy :)
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