Eula Mae's buttermilk biscuits (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles…)
Ever have a craving for biscuits? Not the hockey pucks, but those tender, lighter-than-air biscuits. The ones so delicate they have to be homemade and eaten fresh, while they're still warm. Maybe with a little tang from buttermilk, and a crumb that perfectly balances flaky and crumbly. These biscuits were adapted from Gourmet magazine (November 1992), and the recipe is demonstrated in the video at left by Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter.
Eula Mae's buttermilk biscuit recipe is one of the favorite holiday recipes we've collected in our "Los Angeles Times Holiday Handbook." The book shares more than 110 seasonal recipes to help you celebrate Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year's. We've also updated last year's "Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookies," so it now includes 65 recipes from a wide range of sources, including world-famous pastry chefs and home cooks.
Each book is $4.99, and they are available at the Los Angeles Times bookstore for Kindle, Nook and iBooks.
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Eula Mae's buttermilk biscuits
Total time: 35 minutes
Servings: About 1 1/2 dozen biscuits
Note: Adapted from Gourmet magazine, November 1992
1/2 cup dried cranberries (if desired)
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) flour, plus extra for kneading
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into bits
1 cup buttermilk
1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. If using the cranberries, place them in a small bowl and cover with boiling water for 5 minutes to soften. Drain the berries, pat dry and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, into a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Sift these dry ingredients together 4 times; this will lighten the final dough. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal, then add the buttermilk and the prepared cranberries if using and stir the mixture gently until it forms a sticky dough.
3. With floured hands, transfer the dough to a well-floured surface and knead it lightly 8 times. Pat out the dough to one-half inch thickness, and cut out biscuits using a floured 2-inch round cutter. Arrange the biscuits upside down on a greased baking sheet so they just touch each other. (The cutter pinches the edges together, so turning the biscuits over after cutting allows them to rise a bit higher.) Gather the scraps, pat out the dough and cut more rounds in the same manner until the dough is used.
4. Bake the biscuits in the middle of the oven until they are golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve the biscuits warm.
Each of 18 biscuits: 95 calories; 2 grams protein; 13 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 4 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 mg. cholesterol; 168 mg. sodium.