The last time I made biscuits, they ended up being hockey pucks that didn’t rise at all, but tasted okay. I made them into jam sandwiches and told Chris they were called Swedish Love Cakes and he gobbled them up. Inside, though, I was deeply ashamed. I mean, what kind of self-respecting southern transplant can’t make an effing buttermilk biscuit?? It was a threat to my womanhood. So, like any other self-respecting, run-of-the-mill biscuit failure, I just didn’t make any for a month. Ha! Showed them! But then today we woke up and, in the kind of haze that can only result from Absolut Pear and sodas the night before, I offered Chris either scones or biscuits for breakfast. I am a dippy, dippy girl sometimes.
So I busted out the ol’ school-issued baking text, girded my flaky, tender loins, and strode confidently into the kitchen wielding my new pastry cutter. I cut the cold butter into my flour mixture, dumped in some buttermilk that had been sitting in the back of the fridge and started rolling and folding the dough to create layers of butter smeared between layers of flour. It’s called “laminating” the dough, and is ostensibly responsible for the flaky layers within a good biscuit. I’ve only seen this done successfully in restaurants and out of one of those terrifying tubes of biscuitry that Pillsbury pimps in the chilled case at the grocery store. So I assumed I wouldn’t be able to do it correctly. The key, in addition to making layers of butter, is to not work the dough very much at all. This prevents protein (gluten) from forming too much and making the biscuits chewy.
I worked the dough very minimally and cut rounds from it. I then realized that the rounds were rolled too thin, and I had to bunch them together and start the rolling over, meaning the dough got worked a TON. So I was expecting another rendition of Swedish Love Cakes, except this time I brushed them with buttermilk and stuck cheddar cheese to the tops to prevent me from using them as a jam delivery system. God knows I’ll take any excuse to inject sugar into my system. I think I ate an entire bag of pound cake scraps yesterday. Fuck. Back to the diet tomorrow I suppose.
They turned out AMAZING, which goes to show that the all purpose flour in our kitchen is actually fairy dust-a claim I’ve been making for weeks. The breakfast below was actually Chris’s. I myself ate 2 (maaaaaybe 3) biscuits and some egg whites and a slice of lunch meat sauteed together. I like to call that “atonement.”