Buttery Biscuits

Meta’s Buttery Buttermilk Biscuits

April 14, 2020

I woke up this morning remembering a whimsical fact: When my youngest child was a very small grasshopper, he nicknamed one of his best buddies “Buttery Biscuit” : )  No particular reason, Charlie shrugged when asked why. He just liked the name. Moving to the sunny kitchen today, I thought, “Why not make some now?” which led to a search through recipe card files, for the first recipe I was ever given: Meta’s Buttery Buttermilk Biscuits. Tall, with tender layers inside and perfect golden tops that crumble when you bite ‘em, the biscuits were part of the farm breakfasts my first babysitter, Meta, made me in Riesal, TX, where I was born.

Meta gave me the recipe on my last visit to her farm, when I was 17. I had been up early with Meta’s husband Arthur, a very tall, very quiet man, with a shock of wavy white hair, twinkling eyes and an impish sense of humor. Arthur farmed the land and raised some sheep and chickens. I think he had a milk cow, too. That rainy Spring morning, we’d gone to the feed store, bought stiff blue coveralls to put on over our clothes, and came back to the farm to plant some rows of sweet corn in a plot near the house.

Arthur dug long furrows, with the fresh black dirt mounded in soft, crumbly rows alongside. He handed me a handful of corn kernels and told me to plant them about a foot and ½ apart. Which I did, in the mounds—much to Arthurs amusement, as the kernels were supposed to go in the furrows. Or was it was the other way around? Anyway, I got it wrong and by the time we’d finished digging up and replanting the seeds, Meta had a breakfast of homemade sausage, eggs, coffee, jam and these biscuits ready for us. I will never forget all the smells! The rain, the fresh earth, the sausage and biscuits, with the aroma of good strong black coffee threaded throughout.

I hope you will enjoy these biscuits as much as we do. I make them with a quick jam—any pint of blue, black or raspberries will do. You just smash the berries in a pot with 1/3 cup of sugar, stir and heat over low flame until bubbling, and stir in 2 Tbsp of tapioca starch to thicken.

When making the biscuits, just work with light hands, pinching the butter bits into the flour quickly, and tossing until none of the bits are larger than peas. Meta used a ¼ cup of cream with the ¾ cup buttermilk, but if you want, you can make these with all buttermilk. Don’t overhandle the dough, just pat it out, fold and pat it out again. The folding is what will give you nice flakey layers in the biscuits. Use a 2 ¼-inch round biscuit cutter, dipped into flour and pressed straight down in the dough to cut out the biscuits. Don’t twist the cutter, or the biscuits won’t rise properly. Enjoy! (Photo below: Charlie on the right, with Aiden–aka Buttery Biscuit)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meta’s Buttery Buttermilk Biscuits

Meta’s Buttery Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 2 cups self-rising flour, plus ½ cup for dusting surface and dipping the biscuit cutter
  • ¾ cup (1 and ½ sticks) butter
  • ¼ cup cream + 3/4 cup buttermilk (OR 1 cup buttermilk OR 1 cup whole milk you have clabbered by adding 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with oven rack just above center position.
  2. Whisk 2 cups of flour into a large, wide bowl.
  3. Dice the butter into small pieces. Sprinkle three fourths of the butter bits over the flour.
  4. Working lightly and quickly, pinch and break up the butter bits with your fingertips, tossing and working them lightly in the flour and continuing until none of the bits are larger than peas.
  5. Add the rest of the butter and repeat until all of the butter has been dispersed in the flour, and no large bits remain.
  6. Make a well in the mixture. Add the ¼ cup of cream and 3/4 cup of the buttermilk (OR 1 cup of buttermilk if not using the cream) and stir with a wooden spoon until the mass has gathered up into a ball. (Note: if your dough is still too dry, add an extra Tbsp of milk—but it should be pretty moist without.) Do not overwork dough.
  7. Spread a clean work surface with plastic wrap. Sprinkle with a little of the reserved flour. Place the dough on the work surface, sprinkle with flour and lightly press and flatten dough into a circle or oblong about 8 inches across. Fold dough, sprinkle very lightly with flour again and gently flatten again. Sprinkle very lightly with flour again. Fold again. Lightly pat and press into circle about an ¾ inch tall.
  8. Using a 2 ¼ inch biscuit cutter—or the size you have available, dip cutter in flour and press straight down in the dough to cut each biscuit. Gather remaining scraps to hand form one or two remaining biscuits. Place biscuits on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake at 400F for 5 minutes. Rotate pan and bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Serve piping hot, split and filled with butter and jam.
http://lostrecipesfound.com/metas-buttery-buttermilk-biscuits/

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