BA’s Buttermilk Biscuits

These WONDERFUL biscuits came into my life this past weekend through a happy grocery store accident. My dad has been shopping for the family more frequently and accidentally purchased some buttermilk when he was really in search of 2% milk. Accidents happen and my mom and I spent the weekend thinking of ways to use the rainfall of buttermilk that we found ourselves with! These were actually made with the last of the buttermilk and I ended up adding a little bit of regular milk + lemon juice in order to get to a full cup of buttermilk. These were delicious and a pleasant surprise after my series of biscuit falls.

Like most types of pastry, you have to be more delicate when handling biscuits in order to prevent the butter from melting prematurely and preventing flaky goodness. I try my hardest but always seem to fall short of the buttery layers that I find in commercially baked biscuits. This recipe has a fool-through method for creating layers, one that seems so simple I wish I had thought of it myself.

I don’t generally use Bon Appétit recipes because I find that they normally don’t work out very well when combined with my hodgepodge of kitchen know-how. This is absolutely the exception for me. This recipe is accessible and easy to pull off even with limited kitchen knowledge. One part of this recipe that I found indispensable is the food processor. Using the processor to pulse the butter works really well to let the chilled butter stay that way and not melt from the heat of your hands. I have a really small food processor so I ended up pulsing in two batches. I’m not sure if a regular blender would do the trick but you’re welcome to try! If you have neither, you can try the more traditional route of rubbing the butter in or using a knife/fork to break up the butter. Either way, I know that you’ll get a delicious biscuit in under an hour, a miracle in itself!

Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 1/2 cup All Purpose flour
  • 226 grams chilled, unsalted butter, cubed (1 cup)
  • 1 cup chilled buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. Pulse baking powder, sugar, salt, baking soda, and flour in a food processor until mixed.
  3. Add chilled butter and pulse until the mixture becomes crumbly and sand like with the butter the size of peas.
  4. Transfer to a large bowl and drizzle buttermilk while tossing the ingredients with a fork to incorporate.
  5. Knead a few times within the bowl until a shaggy, dry dough forms. This may take a few more kneads than you think but make sure that the mix stays together before you turn it out.
  6. Turn out onto a clean, floured surface and pat into a 1″ thick square.
  7. Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut the dough into four pieces. Stack these pieces and press to flatten.
  8. Lift the dough and flour underneath then roll out into a 1″ thick rectangle. The thickness is key to height, it will still be flaky if rolled thinner but may look sad.
  9. For neatness, you can trim a border around the rectangle for clean edges. Cut rectangle into a 4×3 grid to make twelve biscuits. Re-use scraps at your own discretion, they won’t have the same layers but can be used.
  10. Freeze for 10 minutes.
  11. Brush tops with melted butter and bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden on top.
  12. Cool and enjoy! Mine kept for a few days in an airtight container but they taste amazing fresh out of the oven.

Book Review: When in French

I read this book as part of a series of books that I’m reading at the moment on American expatriates who lived or currently live in France. I’m anticipating moving to France in a year or so and am currently trying to learn French as well as learn all that I can about the experiences of Americans in France. When I started to research the American expat experience, I turned to several well-known travel bloggers and collected book recommendations about it.

While Collins’ book is not actually about living in France, it details her journey to learn French, the primary language of her husband. The book itself is more of a meditation on language than it is a memoir. Collins delves into the intricacies of languages around the world, but also spends a large portion of the book reflecting on how language colors her own experience. By the end of the book, she finally feels empowered in her communication with her husband and is ready to start the new chapter of her life in Europe.

I would say that this book was good but the linguistic element did lose me at certain points. It’s rare that I put a book down once I begin and I found myself doing this multiple times while reading this book because I felt that I was not comprehending the content and that I needed a break. I found it to be more of a linguistic exploration rather than a memoir and would encourage those particularly interested in the history and development of language to read this. Because Collins lived in Switzerland rather than France, I felt that her living experience was not as relevant to my research. However, I really appreciated the time that she took to reflect upon the intricacies of the French language and will continue to reference her experience as I continue to learn the language myself.