So far, there’s only one. But stay tuned.
- 2 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour (or the substitute[s] of your choice, if you need to go the gluten-free route)
- 3 to 4 teaspoons of baking power (I usually just use a Tablespoon and call it good)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (don’t skip this, seriously)
- 3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt (use a specialty variety if you are feeling fancy, I like red Hawaiian, or pink Himalayan)
- 1/3 cup very cold (but not quite frozen) unsalted butter (cut into the smallest cubes you can manage, and if the cutting takes a while, pop it into the freezer for a few minutes)
- 1 cup very cold milk (I have used every type of milk available, and get pretty good results whether it’s from a cow, an almond, a coconut, a rice grain, or a goat; I’ve even resorted to yogurt and cottage cheese when in a pinch, but never the classic option of buttermilk, yet)
- Add-ons, like chopped fresh basil, dry basil (or any other herbs you like and have around), grated or shredded cheese (whatever variety you have in the ‘fridge)
- Heat your oven to 450 degrees. Use a piece of parchment or some foil or a silpat to get your baking sheet/stone ready.
- Sift dry items over your pea-sized butter bits, then blend with a pastry cutter. I’ve tried knives, and I’ve tried a food processor, but they don’t work as well, for me.
- At this point toss your add-ons in with the mix. Stir with a very large (huge!) fork.
- Sprinkle a bit of flour on your rolling surface/counter/kitchen table.
- (Make sure your oven and baking sheet/stone are ready to go, because once you take the next step, there’s no turning back.)
- (I mean it.)
- Pour in the milk/milk-like-product. Stir, turning over once it begins to get sticky. But don’t OVER mix it. As it begins to come together, pick up the dry pieces from the bottom of your bowl with the more moist chunks.
- Turn it out onto the floured surface and begin smashing it together, while giving it a quick quarter twist each time. Again, don’t over mix. A few rotations is all it needs.
- If it feels too dry, add a few drops of milk. If it feels too sticky, add more flour. The consistency should be solid and almost tacky.
- Press it flat, or use a rolling pin. I like ours pretty rustic, so I just use my hands. Then the biscuit cutter. (A glass or jar will also work.)
- Cut ’em and bake ’em. I turn my baking stone (front-to-back) at the 7 minute mark, then give them another 7. But use your own eye, and your own knowledge of the oven in front of you. They’re just biscuits, for gawdsakes, nothing is life or death here.
Let us know how yours turn out. I’ve never had a bad batch with these basics.