This week for Tyler Florence Fridays I tried a batch of Tyler's Better Buttermilk Biscuits. There are a few biscuit recipes on the foodnetwork website with Tyler's name on them, but these had the best rating and I love buttermilk biscuits so I just had to give them a try.
Better Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk
In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients together with a fork. Cut in the shortening using a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add buttermilk. Quickly fold dry ingredients into buttermilk with your hands until a sticky dough forms.
Turn dough out onto floured surface. Gently fold the dough over itself 3 or 4 times to create layers. Roll dough out to 3/4-inch thick. Cut with a 3-inch biscuit cutter. Transfer dough rounds to a sheet pan. Gather scraps and repeat. Make a dimple in the center to help the top rise evenly. Brush with butter. Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven until golden brown.
Look at that biscuit height!
Changes I made to ingredients were using a 1/2 cup of margarine (one stick of Blue Bonnet) instead of vegetable shortening. I probably would have used butter flavored Crisco sticks but didn't realize I was out. I was debating using butter or margarine but figured I'd give the margarine a try and it worked perfectly! That was the only change to ingredients. I decided to try mixing the ingredients in my food processor and that was also a success, first I pulsed the dry ingredients, then the margarine in until it was the texture of coarse crumbs, then I added the buttermilk and pulsed until it was all mixed together. It looked a little dry...
but it really was not, once I touched it I knew it was perfect biscuit dough consistency. I smooshed it all together, then went through Tyler's method of folding over about four times to make layers, and then patting back out. I used a heart cookie cutter instead of a biscuit cutter (you could really use anything, an upside down glass, basic shaped cookie cutter, etc.) and was able to get 10 biscuits out of the dough.
I brushed the tops with melted butter, then sprinkled red sugar sprinkles on 3 of them, parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning on 3 of them, and left 4 plain with just butter.
I dropped the baking temp to 375, I was afraid of burned bottoms at 400 -- but may try 400 next time just to see if I could get the tops more brown. I'm just so leery to use 400 because I hate burned bottoms -- you know, now that I'm thinking about I bet 400 on an insulated baking sheet would probably be just perfect -- I used a single ply sheet this time. The browned tops didn't end up mattering much after we tasted these though. I bet cooking them in a cast iron skillet would be wonderful as well and will have to try that next time.
The bottoms were a perfect crispy golden brown, the insides were tender and flaky, the flavor was perfect!
We loved these biscuits. One of the best part of the recipe is how easy it it, especially utilizing the food processor for the mixing. I can not wait to make strawberry shortcakes with these biscuits when strawberry season arrives! Strawberry shortcakes are a favorite dessert of my husband and I make them all the time in the summer. I may even have to buy some off season strawberries and make shortcakes next week for my husband's birthday :)