From: Cook's Illustrated American Classics pg.44
Makes: 12 biscuits
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk, preferably low-fat
To form and bake biscuits
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 500 F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Also, spray the inside and outside of a 1/4-cup measure
with nonstick cooking spray.
2. To make the dough: Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and
baking soda to the bowl of your food processor. Pulse a few times to
combine. Scatter the butter evenly over the dry ingredients then pulse
8-10 times, or until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Dump the
contents of the food processor into a large bowl and add the buttermilk.
Stir with a rubber spatula just until everything is incorporated (the
dough will be quite wet and sticky and somewhat lumpy).
3. To form the biscuits: Using the 1/4 cup measure you sprayed earlier
and working quickly, scoop level 1/4 cup mounds of dough and drop them
into the flour on the baking sheet. Continue until you’ve scooped all
of the dough – you should have 12 mounds of dough. Use some of the
flour from the baking sheet to dust the top of each mound. Flour your
hands, then, one at a time, pick up each piece of dough (coating with
extra flour if necessary so you can work with it) and gently shape it
into a rough ball. Shake off the excess flour and place in the prepared
cake pan. Repeat with the remaining mounds of dough, fitting 9
biscuits around the outer edge of the pan and 3 in the middle.
Gently brush the top of each biscuit with some of the melted butter
(don’t press down and flatten them).
4. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce
the oven temperature to 450 F and continue baking for another 13-15
minutes, or until the biscuits are deep golden brown. Remove the pan
from the oven and let the biscuits cool for 2 minutes, then invert them
onto a clean kitchen towel. Flip the biscuits over and break them
apart. Allow to cool 5 minutes longer before serving.