Showing posts with label biscuits from scratch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label biscuits from scratch. Show all posts

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Freeze and Bake Buttermilk Biscuits

Tender, buttery buttermilk biscuits that can be made then frozen until you need to bake them are perfect for rushed Thanksgiving or Christmas mornings.  Get a batch in your freezer today and you can thank me later. 

Ever since the theme #beingthankful for today’s Sunday Supper was added to our forum, I have been mulling over what I am most thankful for.  So I started writing this post with a very long list of blessings.

Then, as we sat down to eat dinner the other night, I was telling my husband all about it.  He said immediately, “Make sure you mention seatbelts.”  And I deleted everything I’d written so far and started over.

He called in the wee hours of the still dark morning, his voice shaking.  “We’ve been in an accident.  Head on.  We are okay.  Just come.”  It was 16 March 2003 and our elder daughter was in sixth grade.  Her school, the International School of Kuala Lumpur, had (still has!) a fabulous program for all Middle School students that required that they leave home for one week and experience rustic life in various environments, river, beach and mountain, all in the wilds of Malaysia.  Depending on the location chosen, there were no bathrooms, few creature comforts and students cooked their own meals.  Just lots of fresh air, exercise, experiential learning and team building.  Her bag was packed and as she slept that night, I laid in my bed and prayed before her early morning departure.  “Keep the angels around her.  Keep her safe.”  We had agreed that her father would take her to catch the bus, to avoid having to wake up her little sister so early on a Sunday.

The wildly flashing lights and horrific traffic as we approached in the dark almost completely undid me.  Another driver had fallen asleep at the wheel and crossed the highway median.  My husband and daughter both had serious seatbelt bruises across their chests and abdomens.  Her glasses flew off and out of the car on impact.  We never did find them.  And there was blood everywhere from the cuts caused by the shower of broken glass.  But they walked away from the totaled car.  Because they had their seatbelts on.

The red car was ours.  The cars were towed to the police station from the site of the accident. 

Seatbelts do save lives and words cannot express the enormity of my gratitude to Nils Bohlin, the inventor of the three-point belt now standard on most cars and to his employer, Volvo, which didn’t patent the invention but made the design available to all manufacturers.  Buckle up, folks.

If I hadn’t rewritten this post, way on down the list of large then small blessings, you’d have found these biscuits.  Because they are easy to make and easy to bake.  They bake up light and fluffy, whether you bake them immediately or after some time in the freezer.  They are a blessing on a busy day.

2 cups or 250g flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup or 115g cold unsalted butter
3/4 cup or 180ml cold buttermilk
Extra flour for the counter top and rolling pin
Small splash of milk for brushing on biscuits before baking.  (Perhaps 1/4 cup or 60ml if you are baking the whole batch at once.)

If you are planning to bake some of the batch after making it, preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  If you are going to freeze any, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk it all together.

Take your cold butter out of the refrigerator and cut it into small chunks directly into the flour mixture.

Use a pastry blender or two knives to work the butter into the flour.  It should turn a bit crumbly looking but you don’t want to get the pieces too tiny.  There should still be some butter visible. This is what helps the biscuits bake flakey, rather like rough puff pastry.

Now pour the buttermilk into the bowl and stir it around till a dough form.

Flour your work surface and tip the dough out onto it.

Knead a few times until it’s not too sticky to handle, sprinkling on a bit more flour, if necessary.

Roll the dough out with your rolling pin till it’s about half an inch or 1 cm thick.  Use a floured cookie cutter or drinking glass to cut out circles of dough and place them on your prepared pan (or pans, if you are baking AND freezing.)

Knead the leftover dough and roll it out again and cut more biscuits, until all the dough is used up.  My cookie cutter is 2 3/4in or 7cm across and this recipe made 13 full size biscuits and one little leftover-dough one.

I froze all of mine.  You'll want to space them farther apart if you are baking.  

Brush the biscuits with a little milk and bake for 12-15 minutes or until they are lightly browned on top and lovely and golden brown on the bottom.

Put the pan of unbaked biscuits in the freezer for several hours.  After they have frozen, pop them off the parchment paper and put them in a Ziploc bags.

To bake from frozen, put the biscuits on a greased cookie sheet and then preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C.  My oven takes about 15-20 minutes to get up to temperature and by that time, the biscuits are completely thawed.  If your oven is quicker, just take the biscuits out a little earlier, before you preheat.  Bake according to the instructions above.

Don't let the fact that they have butter already in them stop you from adding more! 
They also go ever so nicely with jam or syrup. 

Once last thing I’m thankful for today, besides you, my lovely readers, is the Sunday Supper group and our lovely host, Paula from Vintage Kitchen Notes.  You will never meet a nicer or more talented collection of food bloggers anywhere!  It is my honor and privilege to bake and cook with them most Sundays, encouraging folks to spend time together around the family dinner table.

What are you thankful for this year?