- 3 cups self-rising soft wheat flour
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled, plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted for brushing the tops
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place the flour and chilled butter in a medium mixing bowl. Work the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingertips until the butter pieces are a little larger than an English pea, but not larger than a lima bean. If you are using your fingers, work quickly so that the heat of your hands won't melt the butter.
Pour in all of the buttermilk and, using light pressure, fold the mixture a few times with a plastic spatula until it holds together. Do not overmix. In order to make light biscuits, it is important to work the dough as little as possible.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead it quickly and gently 6 to 10 times or until it begins to be almost homogenized. There will be large pieces of butter throughout. Sprinkle a little flour under the dough so that it won't stick to the board and lightly dust the top of the dough so that it won't stick to the board and lightly dust the top of the dough so that it won't stick to the rolling pin. Roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thickness.
Cut the dough into 2-inch rounds, place on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes. I like the biscuits to be crispy and brown on the top and bottom, but not dry in the middle. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and brush the tops of the biscuits with the melted butter. Serve right away.
Now comes the important part: deciding how many biscuits you want to eat. When they are served, take that many. Then, instead of using a knife to cut them, use your fingers to separate the tops from the bottoms. Butter the centers lavishly and replace the tops. Another taste treat, a southern tradition that has all but become history, is to mix together equal parts sorghum and butter with a fork and spread on your hot biscuits. If you can't find sorghum, use regular molasses. The results won't be quite as exquisite, but you'll get the idea.