Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Biscuit quest


I am on a quest. A quest, for the Holy Grail... of biscuits. And sadly, this is not them, either.

Granted, these aren't bad. If you wanted to slather some salted butter on them, or pour gravy over them, they'd be divine. They're nice and soft and light and have a nice tang of buttermilk.

But sometimes, you want the bad stuff. Sometimes, you know you can make French fries in your oven from real potatoes, but you just want the ones from McDonald's, even though you know how bad they are for you. And sometimes... well, sometimes you want biscuits so good that they don't need gravy, or honey, or butter, or anything at all.

I'm talking about the power duo of horribly-unhealthy, ridiculously-delicous biscuits: KFC and Cracker Barrel. Say what you want about their food or its nutritional value -- those biscuits are heaven. But despite my repeated attempts, I just can't figure out how to make them myself, from scratch. Is it the chemicals and preservatives that makes them so good? I don't know. My quest continues.

In the meantime, I'll share these, 'cause they're still pretty decent biscuits, as long as you're planning to put something on them. They're good. They're just not great.

Adapted from AllRecipes

2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Dash of salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 c butter, slightly softened and cut into pieces
3/4 c buttermilk

1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
2. Mix in the buttermilk and knead the dough just until it comes together.
3. Pat the dough out onto a floured surface until it's about an inch or so thick, then cut with a 2-inch biscuit cutter (or the rim of a glass, if you don't have a cutter).
4. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, until the tops are barely browned and the bottoms are golden.

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