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Old 04-13-2011, 03:57 PM   #1
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Buttermilk Biscuit Help!

So i'm from Georgia and moved to Utah a few years ago. Ive recently been interested in mastering my nanny's southern buttermilk biscuit recipe. Unfortunately for me its one of those that goes by feel rather an approximate measurements. I tried it without measuring and failed miserable at the dough consistency. The next day i found the exact same recipe but with measurements so i tried it last night. The dough was beautiful, felt great, i baked them and the tops and bottoms were beautifully colored, the flavor was there, but the inside was doughy layers that refused to cook. So heres the recipe:

2-2 1/2 cups flour (i used all purpose and not self rising, this may be a major part of my problem)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup shortening

400 for 15-20 minutes.

First off at 400 after 20 minutes they barely even had any color on them so i upped the heat to 450. 20 more minutes later they were beautiful! Or so i thought...also my nanny never rolled them out and cut, she just pinched off palm fulls, rolled in her hand then patted down onto the greased baking sheet,so thats what i did. I'm not looking for flaky, i'm looking for fluffy.Now i'm thinking its a mixture of me needing to use self rising flour, and my added altitude here in Utah. But before i destroy my kitchen another night, i would like some tips. Should i switch to self rising? Should i add some baking powder?Is the temp off? What am i doing wrong!!!!

Thanks so much!

-Jen

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Old 04-13-2011, 04:10 PM   #2
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This recipe makes 4 biscuits (I'm single) but simply double amount to make 8 without any weird adjustments.

The reason you aren't getting any browning is that you're not brushing the top with milk or butter.

Southern Biscuits

1 cup All Purpose Flour
2 Tbls. Very Cold Cubed Lard or Butter (Lard is better!)
1/2 cup Buttermilk (or 1/2 cup of whole milk mixed with 1 tbls. of white vinegar and let set for 5 minutes before giving a stir and using.)
1 Tbls. Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. baking Powder
2 Pinches (1/8 tsp.) of Baking Soda
Flour for kneading


1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2.) Into a food processor add the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and lard or butter. Pulse a few times until it resembles coarse crumbs.

3.) Empty food processor mixture into a mixing bowl. Blend in buttermilk with a spatula just until the dough comes together. The dough will be sticky. Let it set for 5-10 minutes to hydrate all of the flour.

4.) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently by folding the dough 6 to 8 times. (DO NOT overwork the dough!)

5.) Using your hand, press the dough until it's about 2 inches thick.

6.) Cut out biscuits with a 2-1/2 or 3 -inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Do not twist the cutter. (Twisting the cutter will cause the biscuits not to rise straight up).

7.) Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet.

8.) Brush the tops with milk.

9.) Bake for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Makes four (4) biscuits.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for the recipe :) Although i would like to stick with my nanny's. I know its as easy as going and looking up another recipe, but i would like to stay authentic. I also forgot to mention that she would turn the broiler on at the end to brown the tops. But either way, they eventually got brown, but the inside never cooked :(

I am certain its an altitude problem, and i'm wondering if self rising flour and my altitude is the reason they aren't cooking thoroughly on the inside.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:54 PM   #4
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Use self rising flour and you'll have delicious biscuits! You're recipe is basically the one I use with the exception of the shortening (I use butter). Good luck!
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:01 PM   #5
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Of course if you want to stick with your nanny's...

By the way, my recipe IS AUTHENTIC, a TNT (Tried And True) and it has never failed me in the many years I've been using it.

And using self-rising flour is the answer to your problem. It has baking powder and soda in it ( making it self-rising) which chemically reacts with the buttermilk.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:34 PM   #6
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Selkie, she didn't say yours wasn't authentic, she wanted authentic to her grandmother. Her OP asks for help with the recipe she listed, not another recipe altogether. It's all good ...

I will, however, take issue with your statement about the brown tops ... I get brown tops every time without brushing with anything but love. Your recipe looks great, I'm going to give it a try this weekend (except with butter rather than lard because the stuff gives me the creeps ).
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:38 PM   #7
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Your point is taken...

After all, it is an authentic biscuit recipe as opposed to a fake one!
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:47 PM   #8
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I actually never knew that self-rising flour had baking powder and soda in it, makes sense though. So ill try the self-rising and...any suggestion on the baking temp? The 400 was taking FOREVER, would they have not taken as long if i had used self rising?
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:05 PM   #9
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I do mine at 450 for 10'ish minutes. I pat and cut mine, though, so they might not be as thick as yours. Watch for them to brown and go by feel a little. They should feel firm but not hard if that makes sense ...
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:28 PM   #10
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I think using self-rising flour will help some, most biscuit recipes have baking power in them. Also be sure you don't over work the dough. That can Be sure the butter and buttermilk are very cold. Work in the butter with your fingers until it looks like course crumbs. Add the buttermilk and mix to just combine. Turn it out on a floured surface and fold MAYBE 3 time to stop it from being sticky and then pinch off your biscuits and press them on the baking sheet. I bake mine at 450 degrees
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