5.09.2012

Skyscraper Buttermilk Biscuits







My kids and I have a favorite Saturday brunch spot called Communal.  They make the most amazing buttermilk biscuits.  They are buttery, oh so buttery.  They are crisp on the outside and moist on the inside.  
Communal serves the biscuits with a small jar of homemade freezer jam or you can order their biscuits with sausage gravy.  My son's warned me they were amazing, but I didn't realize how they would melt in my mouth until my first bite.  Oh baby!  

Skyscraper buttermilk biscuits are not difficult to make.  You need to follow a few simple rules.

Rule #1 - Use cold butter.  Don't use shortening.  Remember the tip in my pie dough recipe?  Butter has a lower than body temperature, thus it melts in your mouth.  Shortening leaves a film in your mouth.  
Shortening = no flavor.  

Rule #2 - Don't work the dough very much.  Handle the dough as little as possible.  You just need a gently touch.

Rule # 3 - Pat the dough instead of rolling it.  

Rule #4 - Pat the dough thick not thin.  This way the biscuits will be nice and TALL.





You will need:

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
2/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter for brushing biscuit






In a large mixing bowl, add the flour and sugar





Salt





Baking soda




Baking powder.





Whisk or sift the dry ingredients together.





Add the cold butter that has been cut into about 1/2-inch size.




 Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture.

Yes!  You may use a food processor.  Only pulse the ingredients.  Don't over process.
Yes! You may use an electric mixer fitted with a paddle.  Careful not to over mix.
Yes! You can use your hands.  Don't handle the butter too much or it will soften.
Yes! You can use two knives to cut in the butter.




 You want the flour to have very small pieces of butter.  Smaller than a pea.





Pour in the buttermilk.  





I like to use a fork to blend the ingredients together.  This way I don't over mix.





Stir the dough just until it holds together.





Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface.





Gently press the dough together and knead it a few times.





Flatten the dough to about a 1-inch disk.




Fold the dough over.





Gently pat the dough flat.





About 1 1/4-inch thick.





Cut the dough with a 3-inch round cutter.  You can use a smaller size, if you wish.




You will always have some scraps left over.











Gently press the dough together.





Cut into a round.  This lone biscuit generally rises weird and bumpy.  It just does.

You can just cut the biscuits into squares to avoid having the leftover dough.





Place the biscuits on a lightly grease baking sheet or one that is lined with parchment paper.

Bake in a 450 degree oven for about 22-25 minutes or until golden.





They bake up so high and light.





You can brush the tops with melted butter, which is optional.




Serve the biscuits hot smothered with homemade jam.  
My grandkids like their biscuits dripping with honey.  Ahhh!  So do I.  





Buttermilk Biscuits

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder*
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
2/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup melted butter for brushing biscuits (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 F (230 C).  Sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl.  cut in the chilled butter until the texture of coarse crumbs.  Stir in the buttermilk to form a soft dough.
Transfer the dough onto a floured surface.  Knead briefly and roll or pat to about 1 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into 3-inch rounds and arrange on a baking sheet that has been lightly greased or lined with parchment paper.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden.  Remove from oven and brush with melted butter.  Makes about 9 skyscraper tall biscuits.

*For altitude of 5,000 feet above sea level use only 1 tablespoon baking powder


Print this recipe

40 comments:

  1. I saw this recipe and it makes me want a biscuit right now!

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  2. These look so amazing! I always love your recipes... even linked you on my blog for food inspiration!!

    http://mulberryplease.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/on-menu-recently.html

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    1. Thank you for the link. I will absolutely follow along on your blog. Thanks for linking us together.

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  3. I hope you don't mind...I Pinned this on my recipe board! OH MY can't wait to try these out on my family!!! Thank you so much on your step by step! You make it look like something I CAN do!! :)

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  4. Janet, would this recipe work with 100% whole wheat flour? Also, is there an acceptable non-dairy substitute for the buttermilk, say coconut milk?

    I just love drooling over your photos! Thank you for making this blog!

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    1. I just KNEW I was going to get asked this question! I actually worked the answer out to this question in my mind. Hmmm would I actually think that I needed a whole wheat biscuit??? Is it worth it to take something not particularly healthy and try to make it healthy? For me...probably not. I'm adding a boat load of butter so what's the use. So to truly answer your question I think you could start off by making the bisciut 50% white and 50% whole wheat. If you use the coconut milk, I think you could omit the baking soda. The acid in the buttermilk requires the use of baking soda. So give it a try and let us all know what you think.

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  5. Janet
    These look like something I need to make. I am a big buttermilk fan. Recipe Printed!

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  6. I just might have to make these this weekend (or maybe ask my husband to do it - it being Mother's Day weekend and all). :) Is your buttermilk in the blue canning jar in the first photo? If so, did you make it yourself? If so, how?!? Please post about it if you did. :)

    Happy Mother's Day!

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    1. Oh yes, I did make my own buttermilk. I meant to mention that along with the link. Give it a try super simple. http://www.balticmaid.com/2012/01/home-cultured-buttermilk/

      I hope someone makes you biscuits for mothers day.

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  7. Leah Macmillan5/13/12, 1:44 PM

    I just pulled a batch of these out of the oven! They look so beautiful that I had to take pics. I will send them if you like! Took my first bite and had to go sit down. We'll have these with poached eggs and sausage gravy for brunch. Dinner will be those Jalapeno Cheddar burgers of yours. I just want to let you know that I've NEVER had a recipe of yours let me down. Thanks so much for bringing joy into our household. Happy Mother's Day!

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    1. I would love to see pics! Your brunch sounds amazing I wish I would have been sitting at your table. I'm so happy you enjoy the recipes that means a lot to me. You made my day!

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  8. Valerie, in France5/17/12, 6:11 PM

    not only I love your (choice of) recipes but I love how you write them & how they are photographied. You're becoming one of my favorite food blogs !

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment. My dream was to have at least one French follower...the ultimate compliment. I hope I don't disappoint you.

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  9. After 11 years of marriage, my Southern husband finally told me that I "made a real biscuit!", thanks to this recipe! These were perfect! So tall and flaky and delicious. I used nonfat buttermilk and they were amazing. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you for commenting. I love to hear success stories.

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  10. I love following your blog! Your recipes inspire me to cook and entertain :) I was wondering if the cloth you use under your dough is some special cloth?

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    1. I purchased my cloth at a local cooking store. It is just canvas fabric with the edges surged. You can purchase some canvas at a fabric store. I have made a few and I haven't taken the time to sew the edges. They shrink after being washed so cut accordingly. They are just awesome. The cloth absorbs the flour so the dough doesn't. I love mine. I so happy to have you following. thank you for your kind comment.

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  11. quick question about your food prep (but not pertaining to actual food)... WHERE DID YOU GET THAT GORGEOUS BOWL???

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    1. That lovely bowl is a Mason Cash bowl. I just love it and can kick myself for not buying more. They are made in England and are pretty tough to find these days. Every now and then they will just pop us somewhere. Love them.

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  12. Janet, I tried making the biscuits per your advise, and they turned out great! Thanks for the help!

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    1. Whew! That's always such a relief to hear success stories. Thank you for your comment.

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  13. Do you think I could make these using a buttermilk subsitute of whole milk and vingar or does it need real buttermilk?

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    1. I think you could try the milk and vinegar. It's a great substitute for buttermilk.

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  14. Hello! ,i love your blog and i made these biscuits tonight! Hands down the best biscuits i have ever had or made! Every recipe i have tried of yours is amazing! I'm in Las Vegas, i don't know if they have a hash house ago go in Utah but they do here and they have really good huge biscuits. These reminded me of them! Thank you so much for a great recipe. Where did you get the recipe? Or did you create it yourself??

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  15. Janet,
    I just discovered your blog!! I have made that fabulous crusty bread in regular and rye a couple of days ago-- have you listened to it crackle when it first comes out of the oven! That is an awesome recipe. In the morning I'm making these biscuits. Have you tried substituting coconut oil for any of the butter? It makes great pie crust! As it is so healthy I'm trying to use it in more recipes. I'm making the biscuit recipe as written in the morning but will exchange some of the butter for coconut oil in the second batch. Thanks for sharing such great recipes-- all of them look sooooo good!

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    1. I'm so glad you discovered me. I can't wait to hear how the coconut oil works out in the biscuits. I love using coconut oil and need to incorporate it more in my recipes. Thanks for the reminder and let me know how your biscuits turn out.

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  16. I made these last night for our 4th of July cookout - great, great, great! Thanks for posting the recipe :)

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    1. What a great idea. I'm so glad you were happy with the recipe.

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  17. I'm at 7500 ft and at 13 min they are starting to burn on the bottom and are golden brown but not quite done inside! Help :/

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  18. I just made these with wheat flour and the high altitude adaptation (minus 1 tsp. sugar also) and baked 22 minutes. Fabulous does not even begin to describe how wonderful they are. And we made some sausage gravy to go with it...amazing...I think I may love you :) YUM!

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    1. Oh my! This sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing.

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  19. Oh my.....
    I just made this recipe (for high altitude, and used vitamin D milk with vinegar instead of buttermilk - I am in Colorado Springs at a little over 6000 ft...)
    I am SO impressed. I have been trying biscuit recipes for almost 3 years. These are the best yet! I wish I could post a picture!!! MMMMMMMMMMMM!!!! Thanks for a great recipe and great instructions!

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  20. I made these twice now, following directions word for word but each time the biscuits came out tough. They look.and smell fabulous but come out too chewy. I tried being even more gentle with the dough the second time around and still the same results. I still ate them, but im not giving up, gonna try again soon.

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    1. I have learned that all flours are not created equal. When I have problems with baking that's where I start. Especially if you have handled the dough with such care. Sometimes adding a little pastry flour or bread flour can help. You may want to start with adding maybe 50%. I hope this solves your problem. let me know if you try again and what flour you use. Good luck

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  21. These look awesome! I love your blog and recipes. You explain everything so well that even we novices feel empowered. Thank you, thank you. Paula

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    1. Thank you, Paula. I really appreciate your positive comment. You CAN do this. I hope you give the biscuits a try.

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