My husband is an excellent cook and an especially great breakfast maker. His signature item is his biscuit. He makes one of the best biscuits I’ve ever eaten. Insanely fluffy, light and buttery. As amazing with a smear of butter and honey as they are with sausage gravy or, my favorite, strawberry shortcake. I call them Miraculously Fluffy Yankee Biscuits because they are, indeed, insanely light and fluffy and because these biscuits rival those served at many a southern restaurant despite the fact that he is one hundred percent yankee…born and raised in northern Ohio.
Until now, he’s kept his recipe well-guarded but decided to share it with us just in time for strawberry shortcake season. At first glance, it all seems remarkably straightforward. The secret, I believe, is in his technique.
He starts by mixing the dry ingredients in the stand mixer, adding roughly chopped hunks of cold butter as he goes. Then finishing things with a splash of milk or cream. The fact that he uses the mixer surprised me. I’d always been taught that a stand mixer would leave biscuit dough tough but he keeps the time very short and then turns everything onto the counter for rolling and cutting. The key throughout is to handle the dough as little as possible.
He cuts them to size — usually he uses a 2-inch cutter but when baking for a crowd he’ll often downsize to a 1-inch so that we can offer smaller, “slider-size” biscuits. These are especially ideal for shortcakes.
Then toss them in the oven and let them bake. Halfway through, he brushes the biscuits with melted butter and finishes baking until they are golden and flaky. Breakfast perfected. Save the leftovers for dessert and drown them in berries and cream for the ultimate shortcake. For that recipe, check out my Strawberry Shortcake Slider story over at The Inspired Home. We’ll be making a batch this weekend for a block party and perhaps even a second round for the Fourth.
Miraculously Fluffy Yankee Biscuits
Makes: 6 big biscuits or 12 small
2 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of cold heavy cream, buttermilk or regular milk (the heavier the better — whole or 1%)
1/3 cup of cold or frozen salted butter (little more than 2/3 of a stick — save the other third for melting and brushing on biscuits)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and mix together with the paddle attachment.
- Cut or grate 1/3 cup of butter into small pieces or shavings. Combine shaved butter with dry ingredients and mix together.
- Slowly add heavy cream/butter to dry ingredients and mix gently until dough forms (note: dough will be sort of crumbly, but you can add more milk or cream if you want)
- Transfer dough onto lightly floured table top and roll into 3/4″ or 1″ thickness
- Flour a biscuit cutter and cut dough into six round biscuit shapes (about 3″ in diameter) and place onto baking sheet.
- Place baking sheet in oven and cook biscuits for about 15-20 minutes
- While the biscuits are baking, microwave remaining butter (in a small bowl) for about 20 seconds
- Halfway through baking time, remove the biscuits from the oven and brush the biscuit tops using melted butter
- Place biscuits back into oven and bake until tops are golden brown. Let biscuits sit for a few minutes before enjoying.