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Mar 19, 2011 05:54 AM

good biscuit recipe with just butter?

Buenos dias. . .

I have about a pint [473.1 ml for any and all EU members] of buttermilk left over from fried chicken and the obvious solution is make some biscuits and cover with sausage gravy.

Does anyone have a recipe that doesn't use shortening? I don't bake very often, and i know it lasts forever but i can't see buying one of those big damn cans of shortening so that i can use up buttermilk.

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  1. Buenos dias to you, too!

    Cook's Illustrated's Best Drop Biscuits sound like just what you're after! I love these:

    Also, for your future reference re buttermilk, do you know of powdered buttermilk?
    My mom introduced me to it. No leftovers when you just make the amount you need. :) Enjoy your B&G!

    7 Replies
    1. re: kattyeyes

      interesting. I don't know if a vermonter like christopher kimballl knows anything about biscuits, but this is basically what i was after. thanks.

      1. re: j8715

        I'm a (Connecticut) Yankee--I just know what I like. Hope you like 'em, too. ;)

        1. re: kattyeyes

          Kattyeyes, the CI biscuits are among the best I've ever eaten. So good, in fact, that it's my standard biscuit recipe. This from a southerner whose grandmother made ethereal biscuits twice a day for who-knows-how-many-years. My mom (granny's daughter), sister, and other locals also love these (and ask for the recipe). I think butter, rather than shortening, is a key reason why these taste so darned good. As I recall from the magazine article, they were also trying to get good leavening without a strong baking powder taste, something I'd never really thought about until I tasted my first CI biscuit, and kinda got it.

          The texture is also grand. Light. What I think of as a proper biscuit crumb. The on-line recipe, linked in a post below, omits a point made in the magazine article: it's important that the melted butter should still be warm when it's poured into the buttermilk, in order to get the curdy texture they're looking for. In their experiments they found this made a difference. (I've made them when I let the butter cool too much, didn't get the curdy texture, but the biscuits were still good.)

      2. re: kattyeyes

        Thanks for the tip on the powdered buttermilk! I have been doing baking soda biscuits with butter trying to use my normal staples. That solves the buttermilk/baking powder issue.

        IMO, cold butter substitutes for shortening fine in biscuits but I live in Tucson. We don't really have an entrenched biscuit heritage.

        1. re: shrimp13

          Biscuits are part of Western chuck wagon/dutch oven cooking.

          1. re: paulj

            Good point! I should be looking for a good authentic chuck wagon recipe.

            1. re: paulj

              Turns out my baking powder biscuit recipe with shortening is pretty much a chuck wagon recipe, the big difference is bacon grease and a dutch oven. I'm on it!

        2. Biscuits can be made with any fat, even oil. If your recipe calls for shortening, just use the same amount of butter. If your butter frozen, you can just grate it on to the flour, and lightly toss (no rubbing it in).

          1. This recipe, adapted from CI, makes delicious tall and fluffy style biscuits. I've been making them for about seven years now.


            2 Replies
            1. re: TrishUntrapped

              Yes, verrrry cold butter and a very hot preheated oven make great biscuits. Taste way better than hydrogenated fats, which have no flavor at all. Cold butter, all other ingredients room temp. Mix lightly but quickly-tossing with a fork works well. Bring togehter with your hands but don't over work. Knead only three or four times. Pat down or roll, wichever is quicker. Cut and place on ungreaes sheet 2" apart. Bake at 425 or 450. Watch to prevent overbrowning.

              To shape, use a sharp cutter and don't twist, push straight down, or one side can get 'stuck' while the other rises.

              Don't re-use the scraps--they'll be dense and a bit tough. Instead, take those small pieces and dip in melted butter, then cinnamon sugar and bake at the same time. Kids of all ages love 'em.

              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                This is a wet recipe, arranging balls of dough side by side in a cake pan. They support each other, rising tall rather than spreading out. The goal is a tall, light biscuit. If your goal is flaky, use a different method.

                Copyright 1996 Shirley Corriher, Touch of Grace biscuits, Cookwise.

              2. well i'm glad i made this recipe. i didn't even think about the fact that i don't have a biscuit cutter, although i guess a glass works in a pinch.

                anyway makes something akin to those biscuits made from bisquick, not the flaky layered kind of biscuit. tastey.

                2 Replies
                1. re: j8715

                  Hey there, so glad you liked! They ARE very similar to Bisquick biscuits--not the flaky, layered kind. But did you roll them out and cut them with a glass? I do it the lazy way per the recipe--just scoop out the batter using a 1/4 cup scoop.

                  1. re: kattyeyes

                    The wetter batter (Touch of Grace style) has to be scooped. It's too wet to roll and cut. There are recipes for drop biscuits, which are just a bit wetter than the rolled kind.

                    My lazy way of forming biscuits is to dump the dough into a baking pan (10" shallow dutch oven in my case), spread it out and score it. This produces the wedges that Americans often associate with scones.