This classic buttermilk biscuit has a ratio of three parts dry ingredients to
one part tangy liquid, which creates a dough that bakes high, fluffy, and crisp-crusted.
Brown biscuits are traditional Southwest breakfast fare with honey and butter.
3 tablespoons each flour and cornmeal, mixed, for sprinkling
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, lard, or solid vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment
paper and sprinkle with the flour and cornmeal.
In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour,
baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or 2 knives
until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, with no large chunks of butter. If
the butter gets very soft, refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Add the buttermilk, stirring just to moisten all the ingredients. The dough
will be moist, then stiffen while stirring. It should be slightly shaggy, but
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently
about 10 times, or just until the dough holds together smoothly.
Roll or pat out the dough into a rectangle about 1 1/4 inches thick. Take
care not to add too much flour, or the biscuits will be tough. Cut with a floured
knife into 16 equal squares.
Place on the baking sheet no more than 1/2 inch apart.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.
Let rest a few minutes and serve hot.
Makes 16 large biscuits
Variation: Add 1 cup dried blueberries or chopped pitted dates to the dough.