Friday, March 5, 2010

The Best Biscuits I have ever eaten

About a year ago I was perusing my Google Reader when I happened upon a recipe for soft, tender, fluffy biscuits made without shortening. I was so excited as cutting shortening into flour ranks as #2 on my list of things I hate to do in the kitchen. In case you are wondering, peeling things is #1.

These biscuits contain no fats or liquid other than heavy cream. Now, reader, in case you don't know butter is made by beating heavy cream until your arm falls off. Alternatively, you can put it in a mason jar and shake it until your arm falls off. So don't go thinking these are healthy for you or anything.

I have made these biscuits several times over the last year and they never disappoint. Be careful top work them only as much as you absolutely need to so that you don't overdevelop the gluten and make hockey pucks instead of biscuits. Gluten basically is the stuff in bread that makes yeast breads chewy. Great if you are making pizza dough... not so great if you are trying to make fluffy biscuits.

I found this recipe on the Delish blog but the original recipe is from Cooks Illustrated. I would have been happy to provide a link to Cooks Illustrated directly, however I'm not willing to subscribe to their website in order to do so. :-)

Cream Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk dry ingredients together in medium bowl. Stir in the cream with a wooden spoon until the dough forms, about 30 seconds.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and gather into a ball. Knead the dough briefly until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Pat the dough into a 3/4-inch thick circle. Cut the biscuits into rounds using a 2 or 2-1/2″ biscuit cutter. Place the biscuits on the parchment-lined baking sheet.

The baking sheet can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 hours. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Yields: 1 dozen 2″ biscuits