*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
                         PERFECT BUTTERMILK BISCUIT
 Recipe By     : 
 Serving Size  : 12   Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Breads                           Breakfast
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
      1/2   c            Shortening
    2 1/4   c            Flour
    2 1/2   ts           Baking powder
      1/2   ts           Baking soda
    1       tb           Sugar
      1/2   ts           Salt
    1 1/4   c            Buttermilk
   Place shortening in small plastic food bag. Flatten
   shortening between plastic sheets so it is thin and
   return to freezer. This allows shortening to become
   hard enough to break, into tiny pieces when added to
   dry ingredients. Tear 2 pieces wax paper about 15
   inches long and place on counter, Sift flour, baking
   powder, baking soda, sugar and salt onto wax paper.
   Place empty sifter on top of bare sheet of wax paper,
   lift sheet of wax paper holding sifted dry ingredients
   by sides and pour through sifter, sifting onto bare
   wax paper. Sift back and forth 3 times, then sift once
   more into large mixing bowl. Remove shortening from
   freezer. Cut into small bits, about 1/4-inch square.
   Drop shortening bits into bowl of dry ingredients and,
   using fingertips, lightly rub shortening and flour
   together, occasionally tossing flour mixture so you
   touch all particles of shortening with flour. When
   mixture has bits of flour-covered shortening
   throughout, begin adding buttermilk. Using fork, add
   buttermilk, lightly stirring to mix with dry
   ingredients. Cover board or surface with dusting of
   flour. Gather sticky mass of dough and place on
   floured surface. Dust hands with flour and gently
   knead dough, adding enough flour only to make dough
   manageable. Pat dough with hands or roll with floured
   rolling pin into round 1/2-inch thick. Using 2-inch
   cutter, cut out biscuits and place touching each other
   in 3 rows, in center of greased baking sheet. Place on
   middle rack of 425-degree oven and bake 12 minutes, or
   until lightly golden. Remove from oven and serve hot
   or warm. Makes 19 (2-inch round) biscuits. ***NOTE::By
   Marion Cunningham Thanks to Eula Mae Dore, a great
   Southern cook from Avery Plantation, La., I've learned
   to make the best Buttermilk Biscuits I've ever had.
   Eula Mae says a good biscuit is one of the best things
   to have on hand for quick meals. She uses them in
   emergencies to make simple sandwiches filled with
   scraps of ham or cheese and serves them with pickles
   and a small salad. For dessert, she warms a biscuit or
   two and makes a shortcake with fresh fruits or
   berries. She has convinced me that you can't have too
   many biscuits on hand. Eula Mae learned to cook and
   bake from her grandmother, not from cookbooks, and the
   artfulness of her preparation was a joy to watch. Here
   are some of her biscuit-making tips: + First go out
   and replace your baking powder, unless you bought it
   within the last four months. More baking flops occur
   from old, tired baking powder than from any other
   cause. And don't rely on the old test of checking the
   freshness of baking powder by putting a spoonful in a
   glass of water to see if it fizzes. Baking powder,
   like a carbonated drink, can fizz a little and still
   be almost flat. Buying new baking powder costs very
   little when you consider the cost of baking failures.
   + Next, Eula Mae insists that sifting the dry
   ingredients four times is the reason her biscuits are
   perfect. I tested the recipe sifting and not sifting
   and, indeed, sifting does make a slightly higher, more
   tender biscuit. + After you cut the biscuit dough, put
   the pieces on a baking sheet upside down. This ensures
   a taller, lighter biscuit by making sure any edges
   crimped by the pressure of the cutting don't interfere
   with the rise. (The French use the same trick when
   making puff pastry.) + The tip that helped me the most
   was using less flour than usual. Eula Mae’s dough was
   soft and sticky. She handled it gently, dusting her
   hands and the dough with only enough flour to make the
   dough manageable. The result was a lighter biscuit.
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