Here at the farm, we like to stay active, get fresh air, and eat the freshest fruits and vegetables we can find. With that being said, what is the famous phrase?
Work hard, play hard eat everything?
It was probably about 9:00 at night, we had just settled in for some late night television and began our Friday tradition of speed flipping between Discovery channel and A&E. Amongst the crime solver stories and trips to Singapore, there it was. The biscuit commercial. The one where that strange, blue eyed, dough man wearing nothing but a scarf and a chef’s hat convinces you to buy his roll of ready to bake biscuits. You know the guy, his baked good are usually so good that you lose all sense of etiquette and stick your finger right into his stomach until he “hoo-hoo’s”?
Well it’s time to show that little guy that YOU wear the pants in your kitchen. Scarf and hat optional.
We call these our [almost] healthy buttermilk biscuits. The “almost” reminds us that there is significantly less butter in them than many recipes I’ve found and they also contain 3 tablespoons of Erdenheim Farm honey.
A lot of biscuit recipes we’ve tested use the drop method. Similar to chocolate chip cookies, where you spoon the batter out onto a tray for baking. This recipe borrows a technique from puff pastry dough. And don’t worry, it’s the easy technique. After your dough is rolled out, you’ll fold the sheet like you fold a standard 8 x 11” paper for an envelope.
It is also important that you work quickly and keep all the ingredients as cold as possible. In recipes like this, the butter acts as a steam burst. When you have many cold, tiny pieces of butter or fat throughout a dough, the water in the pieces release steam while baking. This creates nice little pockets of air in your pastries, thus creating the “flakes” we know and love. If your butter is soft and warm, it will blend right into the dough you are making and become one homogenous mass. This will create a denser product, like a sugar cookie or your friend of a friend’s famously mediocre pie crust.
Before we start, let’s talk about buttermilk. The liquid that is left after churning butter is what we call buttermilk. It sounds heavy and unhealthy but there’s actually less fat in it than milk. It’s not an item everyone buys to have in a pinch, so if you only have regular milk, that will work too. Pour your milk into a large bowl and for every cup your have, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and let it sit for a few minutes. It will curdle, be acidic, and look weird – it’s perfect, you’re ready.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
You’ll also need:
1) Combine your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt) in a large mixing bowl. (note: 9oz of flour is 2 1/4 cups)
2) In a separate bowl, whisk together butter milk and honey.
3) Add your cold, cubed butter into the dry ingredients. Quickly mix the butter into the four mixture with your fingertips by pinching the cubes into smaller pieces and rubbing them in. The mixture should look coarse and mealy. If you have a pastry cutter, this is a perfect time to use it.
4) Put the butter/flour mixture in the fridge for about five minutes. We’re serious about keeping things cold!
5) Remove butter/flour mixture from fridge and add the buttermilk and honey.
6) Use a spatula or wooden spoon and stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
7) Turn dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle about 9 inches long and 5 inches wide.
8) Fold rectangle into thirds.
9) Put dough in the fridge five minutes.
10) Pull out dough and place on your lightly floured surface. Roll out just as you did before, into a rectangle 9×5.
11) Fold into thirds.
12) Roll out one more time so your dough is flat at about 1 inch thick.
13) Use pastry cutters or a thin walled glass to cut out circles. Place circles on a sheet tray lined with parchment. I used a 2 inch cutter and got about 9 biscuits.
15) Let cool on cooling rack – or eat them hot! We won’t tell anyone.