Mile High Buttermilk & Cream Biscuits (by Jessie Sheehan)

Back in the day (and by “back in the day,” I mean one million years ago) when I first began working in a bakery, one of my tasks was biscuit making. The bakery’s recipe was for cream biscuits – biscuits that do not call for butter – and it could not have been easier (which is probably why the head baker trusted me with it, as, truthfully, I had no experience preparing and baking anything . . .). Biscuit making became my jam and I believe it not only fostered in me a love of biscuits, that I had not heretofore realized existed (you see, I did not grow up in a home of biscuit makers, not even Bisquick makers, so I was quite late to the biscuit game), but also a love of easy-peasy baking. And for that I am grateful. The recipe here, for buttermilk and cream biscuits pays a bit of homage to the original biscuit I assembled and baked off a millennial ago, as it calls for some heavy cream. But also to a more traditional biscuit, as it also calls for buttermilk and butter, as well. I see it as the best of both worlds – and I hope you will, too. And, of course, it goes without saying, that the recipe could not be easier – even for the novice biscuit maker. Moreover, biscuits are as good for breakfast with butter and jam, or as the “bread” that holds your egg sandwich together, as they are for dinner, warm and piled up in a big basket, and even for dessert – as a good biscuit is essentially a shortcake: just add 1/4 to 1/3 cup granulated sugar to the dry ingredients and proceed with the recipe as is. Serve with whipped cream and homemade jam in winter, and with berries in the warmer months. You’re welcome.

To take a peek at the original blog post for my mile high buttermilk and cream biscuits and to peruse my collection of recipes, click here


INGREDIENTS

For the biscuits:

  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, chilled
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 6 Tbsp heavy cream

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • Flaky sea salt for sprinkling, optional

DIRECTIONS

Grease a 13-by-9-by-2-in pan with nonstick cooking spray or softened butter. Line the bottom with parchment paper.

Add the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade.

Cut the butter into small cubes, add to the bowl, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the buttermilk and cream and, using a wooden spoon or your hands, combine the wet into the dry until a shaggy dough forms.

Lightly flour a work surface and knead the dough a few times until it is no longer crumbly, and the dry and moist bits are fully integrated. If the dough is at all sticky, lightly flour your work surface again.

Gently pat or roll the dough into a rectangle at least 11⁄2-inches thick to ensure a tall biscuit. Using a 3-in biscuit cutter dipped in flour, begin cutting out biscuits from the dough rectangle and place in the prepared pan so they are touching (this helps them rise). You will not fill the whole pan. Collect the scraps and re-roll and cut as needed, although these ones made from scraps will not be as flaky and tender.

Freeze the biscuits, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, for at least 2 hours or, preferably, overnight. The unbaked biscuits can be frozen for up to a week.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

For the egg wash Combine the egg and salt and brush the wash on the tops of the frozen biscuits. Sprinkle with the flaky sea salt, if using.

Bake for 5 minutes, decrease the heat to 400°F, and bake for about 15-20 minutes more, rotating the pan halfway through baking. The biscuits are ready when they are golden brown on top and lightly browned on the bottom. Let the biscuits sit a minute or two in the pan until they are easy to handle and then serve with salted butter and jam.

Biscuits are best eaten the day they are made, but can be stored, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, on the counter for up to 3 days. To reheat, wrap them in aluminum foil and warm in a 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes.