Any day that starts with biscuits is a great day. A few ingredients and a couple of steps gets you a breakfast that people don’t forget, which may be why Southern grandmothers have been bribing people with these things for years.
Over the years of biscuit obsession, I’ve learned a few things about making biscuits that are tall, fluffy, light and unforgettable. The inclusion of beer doesn’t just make these memorable because you’re popping a pint before noon, but because beer is a mild leavening agent, giving the biscuits a lighter texture.
The second secret is what I call “the letter method.” Form the dough into a rectangle, then fold into thirds like a letter going into an envelope. This step gives you those nice flakey layers and helps the dough rise high.
Not only do you now have the secrets to making unforgettable biscuits, you also have a great excuse to have beer for breakfast.
Yield: 6 to 8 biscuits
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 8 tablespoon unsalted cold butter, cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2/3 cup wheat beer
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- To a processor, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.
- Pulse to combine. Add the cold butter; process until combined. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the buttermilk and beer; mix with a fork until just combined.
- Turn out the dough onto a well-floured flat surface; pat into a rectangle. Using a cold rolling pin (preferably marble), gently roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 1 inch in thickness, using as few strokes as possible.
- Fold the dough into thirds as you would a letter about to go into an envelope. Roll lightly, once in each direction to about 1-inch thickness; fold in thirds again. Gently roll into about 1 1/2-inch thickness (this will give you the flakey layers).
- Using a biscuit cutter, cut out 6 to 8 biscuits. Place in a baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
- Brush the biscuits with melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake at 400 F for 12 to 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
Photo credit: Jackie Dodd