Is there anything better than a light flakey biscuit? Here’s a simple recipe that is all about the technique. Once you master this, you can add cheese, bacon, whatever you want. Top it with gravy, or make a killer fried chicken sandwich with an [un]healthy slathering of honey butter…
The recipe is adapted from Alton Brown’s Good Eats Episode… Converted to grams ‘cause all other measuring is stupid and a few changes to the technique.
279g AP Flour.
15g Baking Powder.
1g Baking Soda.
32g Ice Cold Butter.
32g Ice Cold Manteca (lard… don’t be afraid of it)
226g Cold Butter Milk.
Coarse Black Pepper (Optional)
Best if you can start this the night before… It will give you time to thoroughly chill the dry ingredients and the fat. Mix all the dry ingredients. You can either sift, or stir thoroughly with a whisk until well incorporated. Transfer the dry mix to a zip lock bag. Place the mix into the freezer with a stick of butter and large chunk of manteca, allow everything to sit in freezer overnight if possible.*
*I realize that sometimes you want biscuits without planning for them the night before. If you can chill the butter in the freezer for 20 minutes it will make a big difference. I keep my manteca in the freezer because I only use it for pie dough and biscuits, both benefit from the fat being ultra-cold. The cold fat will help the biscuits to rise more and be flakier and more tender…all good things for biscuits.
Leave the dry mix in the freezer. Use a box grater to shred the butter and manteca as you would cheese (being frozen cold also helps this). Shred 32g of each into a mixing bowl. Add the dry mix and toss quickly to coat the shreds of fat as evenly as possible. Add the buttermilk stirring just to combine. Depending on your flour, you may need more buttermilk. The dough should look like think oat meal.
Using a large spoon, drop biscuits onto a lined baking sheet (Now would be where you top the biscuits with that optional coarse black pepper) and bake at 425F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.