Everyone needs a straightforward biscuit recipe to practice and master. Though this recipe calls for butter, feel free to experiment with the type of fat you prefer. Linda Carman of Martha White prefers shortening to the butter, for example, as she likes to taste the flavor of the wheat, which grows softer in this part of the country. Meanwhile, some of Nashville’s most famous biscuit houses prefer the flavor of lard.
- Yield: 14 to 24 biscuits, depending on the size of the cutter
- ½ cup (1 stick/115 g) butter, chilled
- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
- Cut the butter into pieces about the size of a chickpea and place them in the freezer while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Using your hands and moving as quickly and lightly as possible, work the butter into the flour until the mixture is just combined. It will be mealy-looking, with some butter pieces about the size of a pea. Mix in the buttermilk, being careful not to overmix. The dough should still be slightly sticky, and the flour should be incorporated but not perfectly mixed.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and sprinkle a little more flour on top to keep it from sticking as you fold it over six times. Press it down to about a ½-inch (12-mm) thickness. Cut it into rounds and place the biscuits close together on a baking sheet. Combine the scraps if you would like by pressing them together just once or twice to use up all the dough. Bake until they are golden, about 10 to 12 minutes depending on the size of the biscuits. Serve warm.