Last week we shared a bit of a healthy bread-- today? It's all about the love, baby.
In anticipation of next week's lovefest-- how about you get the weekend started with some of Arabella's magical love biscuits. You need to know two things: Arabella is Scottish and these biscuits are insanely good.
As she says, “These biscuits of love aren't really good for you from a HEALTH perspective, but they are good for your SOUL. This is what you make for people when you want to tell them how much you love them. This is what you make when someone needs some lovin' or some soul healing.”
What you need: 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for your countertop) 3 tablespoons of sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (kosher not table) 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) VERY cold unsalted butter 1/2 cup cold buttermilk 1 cold extra-large egg 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water or milk (for egg wash)
What you need to know: (the secrets) There are two really important things about good biscuits. They have to puff up and they have to have layers so they break apart.
Secret #1: The folding process: Cut the dough. Layer it. Roll it out a little. Cut...layer...roll. THIS is what makes layers.
Secret #2: MOST important – it’s about the cold. When cold butter hits a hot oven it gives off steam and this is what makes biscuits light and fluffy. It the butter isn't cold enough...your biscuits won't fluff. Trust me on this one. So touch your finished dough as little as possible with your hands and the freezer thing? it really helps.
What to do: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Mix the buttermilk and egg beat with a fork and put it back in the fridge until you are ready for it. Get out your butter. Cut it up - into lots of small pieces. But do it quickly before it warms up! Stick it back in the fridge. Now, put your 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, sugar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.** Mix all the dry stuff until it's combined. With the mixer on low, add the butter and mix until the butter is broken down but still "lumpy". The butter should be about the size of peas. With the mixer still on low, add the buttermilk mixture to the flour/ butter and stop the mixer as soon as everything has combined.
(**If you don't have a mixer you can TOTALLY do this with your hands. Just make sure you use the tips of your fingers, which are cooler than the palms of your hands. Or use two knives to cut the butter into the flour. That works too.)
You can do the rest with your hands. Dump the dough out onto your counter with a little extra flour. Use your hands to incorporate the mixture together so it is all the same consistency. BUT don't go overboard with the touching! You don't want to warm up the dough. Pat your dough into a square-ish shape.
TIME FOR SECRET #1: Use a rolling pin to roll it out a little. It should still be pretty thick - maybe 1/2 to 1 inch thick. Then cut it in half. Put one half on top of the other and use your rolling pin to GENTLY roll it out again. Repeat about 4 times. Do NOT worry about making the dough smooth and perfect. Make sure you end up with a square-ish or rectangle-ish shape that is about 3/4 - 1 inch thick.
Cut your dough into individual biscuits with a sharp knife. This should make you about 8. Put them on a cookie sheet. If you are being fancy, make yourself an egg wash (one beaten egg) and brush it on the tops and sprinkle with a little sugar.
TIME FOR SECRET #2: Stick those babies in your freezer. Your hot little hands have been all over them. They need to be nice and cool when they hit the oven. So give them 5 minutes of good freezer time and I promise they will puff up and be lovely. Then sling them in your hot oven and wait. I find that 23 minutes is about perfect. Anything between 20 and 25 is good depending on your oven. You should be able to smell when they are done. Serve hot. With more butter. Or jam. Or, if you are my babies, it's all about the honey.
THANK you, Arabella! These are heavenly.
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