Some things have become a quest for me, perfect mac-n-cheese, the best pie crust and a buttery yet light biscuit. It seems that I goof around with recipes, tweaking them here and there hoping to hit that sweet spot of right ingredients and technique. By what I mean when I say technique is: can I make this easier?
I’ve conquered the mac-n-cheese (which has also been confirmed by my Café Paris customers as the best), I’m still searching for the perfect pie crust recipe (butter or lard or both, vodka, vinegar or water, eggs or no eggs, etc.). I’m quite happy to say that I’ve developed a recipe that is easy and produces buttery yet light biscuits.
Over the many years of being a dental assistant, doing dental hygiene and other things that have put wear and tear on my wrists the result being that I’ve developed carpal tunnel syndrome. For the most part I’m okay unless I have to do things that stress my wrist…like cutting fat into flour for biscuits and pie crusts. I wondered, can you use a food processor for biscuits like you can for pie crust?
Food processors are powerful machines and there is the hazard of over working the dough and getting a tough biscuit. I wasn’t looking for a recipe for hockey pucks, I just wanted an easy homemade biscuit recipe. To minimize the possibility of the dough getting overworked I did a couple of things. First I decided on a butter/lard ratio which ended up being perfect at a 50/50 mix; than I cubed by butter and my lard and put them in the freezer. Secondly I only used the pulse option on my processor, using short burst much like if I were using a pastry cutter. Lastly I poured the buttermilk in while simultaneously pulsing the mixture. Not so slow that I had to over pulse but not all at once either, it took me all of about 30 seconds.
After it was all mixed I turned my dough onto a floured surface and I pressed my ingredients together in the shape of a rectangle and the cut it into squares. Again to minimize the handling of the dough and make it as tender as possible. I ended up with a perfectly crumbly biscuit full of buttery flavor. The biscuits were buttery enough that they didn’t need an addition of butter, they held up well under a slathering of biscuit gravy and they freeze beautifully. All in all I can say that I am quite pleased and this will be my go to biscuit recipe from now on.
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup lard
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- Cut butter and lard into small cubes, store in freezer until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Place flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and baking soda into a large bowl of a food processor fitted with a pastry (plastic) blade or a metal blade. Blitz a couple of times until well blended.
- Add butter and lard. Pulse about 6 (1 second long) times or until mixture starts to resemble small peas. Slowly pour buttermilk in with simultaneously pulsing (about 30 seconds). Do not over mix.
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently press dough together forming a rectangle.
- Cut into 12 squares and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.