How to make it

  • 1. Set rack at middle position and heat the oven to 450°.
  • 2. Mix or pulse first 6 ingredients in a large bowl or the workbowl of a food processor fitted with steel blade. With your fingertips, a pastry blender, 2 knives, or steel blade of the food processor, mix, cut, or process butter into the dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few slightly larger butter lumps.
  • 3. If making by hand, stir in buttermilk with a rubber spatula or fork until mixture forms into soft, slightly sticky ball. If dough feels firm and dry bits are not gathering into a ball, sprinkle dough clumps with additional tablespoon of buttermilk (or milk for the yogurt dough). Be careful not to overmix. If using food processor, pulse until dough gathers into moist clumps. Remove from food processor bowl and form into rough ball.
  • 4. With lightly floured hands, divide dough into 12 equal portions. Lightly bat a portion of dough back and forth a few times between floured hands until it begins to form a ball, then pat lightly with cupped hands to form a rough ball (see illustration below). Repeat with remaining dough, placing formed dough rounds 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet or pizza pan. Brush dough tops with melted butter or milk. (May be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 hours.) Bake until biscuit tops are light brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve immediately.
  • Note: Fluffy biscuit dough is too soft to roll and cut easily, so it is best formed by gently batting back and forther, then patting lightly with cupped hands.
  • If you are using yogurt instead of buttermilk in this recipe, note that 8 ounces of yogurt equals 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7/8 cup), not 1 cup as you might expect. Make sure that your oven rack is set at the center position. Baked too low, your biscuits will likely end up with burned bottoms. If your oven is accurate, stick with the 450° suggested temperature. If you suspect your oven runs hot, lower the temperature to 425.°
  • Variation: add 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves or 2 tablespoons minced parsley and 1 tablespoon either minced fresh tarragon or dill to dough.

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