on bread baking: buttermilk biscuits

I am not a bread baker. The process of baking bread intimidates me. I keep telling myself that I’m going to just try it, but I always chicken out. I’ve been eyeing some recipes lately – like this one for brioche by Brian and this one for focaccia by Jen – so maybe I’m close to giving it a go.


But until then, I’ll stick with baking biscuits. I can do that.

One of the best biscuit recipes that I’ve made is this one for rosemary cream drop biscuits. I’ve made them with and without the rosemary, and they are delightful both ways. The recipe I’ve included in this post is for another new favorite – buttermilk biscuits.  Over the Thanksgiving holidays, I made these for my family. Wait. Who am I kidding? I made them for myself.

But I did let my daughter have one. So there.

Warm buttermilk biscuits, slathered with some good butter and drizzled with honey…it was a tummy-warming and soul-satisfying snack. This, my friends, is my new go-to biscuit recipe.

By the way, if you have any favorite bread recipes, or if you want to give me some bread-baking encouragement, please leave me a comment. I need all the support when it comes to mustering up the courage to bake my first loaf of bread.

Yield: 6 biscuits.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Slightly adapted from Gourmet 2005. I decreased the sugar and I omitted the sifting of the flour since I'm no longer a believer in sifting. Here's a great post on why sifting is not necessary.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Whisk together until well-incorporated and aerated: the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add butter and blend in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir with a fork until a dough just forms (dough will be moist and sticky).

Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and knead gently 6 times. Pat dough on a floured surface with floured hands, reflouring surface if necessary, into an 8- by 5 1/2 inch rectangle. Trim all 4 sides with a knife, dusting knife edge with flour before each cut. Cut rectangle in half lengthwise, then into thirds crosswise to form 6 biscuits, flouring knife between cuts. Transfer biscuits with a metal spatula to an ungreased baking sheet, arranging them 2 inches apart. Bake until pale-golden, 12-15 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.