Tuesday, June 23, 2009
IGA Item of the Week
King Kullen never has buttermilk. The IGA always has it. Just another reason to appreciate our local market. Somebody there must be a baker.
Buttermilk adds tangy flavor to everything from chocolate cake to waffles to muffins. The acids in buttermilk react powerfully with baking soda and baking powder, resulting in incredibly bubbly and light baked goods.You can experience these effects in minutes if you make a batch of buttermilk biscuits. Bake them at a high heat for the best rise, and pull them from the oven as soon as they are golden on top. They're small and will dry out quickly otherwise. I added some parsley and chives from Quail Hill and served them last night with pan-fried, panko-coated chicken breasts and spinach salad.
Buttermilk Biscuits with Parsley and Chives
Makes 10 biscuits
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into bits and frozen for 10 minutes
3/4 cut buttermilk, plus 1 or 2 tablespoons extra if necessary
1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the flour, baking powder, bakign soda, sugar, salt, parsley, and chives in a mixing bowl and mix by hand or on the lowest speed with an electric mixer until combined.
2. Add the chilled butter to the bowl and mix (you can rub the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers if your hands are cool, or use a mixer on the lowest speed if you are afraid your hands will melt the butter) until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the buttermilk until the dough just starts to form large clumps. Do not overmix!
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured countertop, gently roll it out to a 3/4-inch thickness, and use a 2-inch biscuit cutter to cut as many biscuits as you can from the dough, transferring them to the baking sheet. Press the scraps together and cut more biscuits (don't re-roll the dough or it will toughen up in the oven) with the remaining dough.
4. Bake the biscuits until they are light golden, about 10 minutes. Serve them warm or at room temperature. They're best eaten an hour or two after baking.