Buttermilk Biscuits

Warm, light, flaky, biscuits = pure satisfaction. And they are so simple to make.

5 cups all purpose flour, plus more for working, as needed
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 cup very cold butter, cut into cubes
2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3 Tbsp melted butter

1. Preheat oven to 500°F with rack in upper third. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

2. Add cold butter cubes to the flour mixture and coat well. Working quickly, rub the butter between your fingertips until roughly half is coarsely blended and half remains in larger flat pieces (3/4 inch size)

3. make a well in the center of flour-butter mixture and add buttermilk all at once. Stir quickly with a wooden spoon, just until mixture begins to come together into a sticky dough. (the dough will not form a ball at this stage and will, in fact, look unpromising).

4. Immediately turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead briskly 8 to 10 times, just until a cohesive ball of dough forms. With your palms, gently flatten dough into an even thickness and rounded rectangle; then roll out to a 3/4-inch thickness, working from the center of the dough outward with a floured rolling pin. (Flour rolling pin as needed, but avoid flouring top of dough).

5. Using a dinner fork, pierce dough completely through at 1/2-inch intervals (flour fork if needed).
Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter*, stamp out rounds as close together as possible, taking care not to twist the cutter. Place rounds end to end on a parchment-lined backing sheet. Place dough pieced that remain after cutting on sheet too. Bake biscuits until crusty and rich golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove biscuits from over and bush with melted butter. Serve hot. Store in airtight contain for 3 to 5 days.

*In absence of a biscuit cutter I use a wide-mouth canning jar ring.

• To help the biscuits rise to their fullest potential, take care not to twist the cutter (thus pinching the edged together) when cutting out the rounds of dough. When you look at them, you can see the layers that will result in flakiness.
• Don't be afraid of brown biscuits. That crusty exterior provided contrast to the tender, light interior.
• To reheat biscuits, toast in a toaster over or on a cooling rack on a 350°F oven for about 5 minutes.

Very slightly adapted from Martha Stewart Living.

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