Basic Biscuits

Well, I’m starting to think more and more about making some nice thick rib-sticking, healthy soups and chowders. I have a real craving for some New England clam chowder. I’ll report that recipe, but in order for me to really enjoy that particular treat, I need to do some prep work. I gotta have some biscuits to got with it. Biscuits, and with most things, go from simple basic biscuits, to elaborate almost main course cheese herb biscuits of seasoned bounty. But for now, a good chowder needs only nice fresh basic biscuits. So, here is my ‘basic’ perhaps a bit old-fashioned biscuits.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups basic white self-rising flour ( the lighter the better)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons shortening (the real stuff… I use Crisco)
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. No its important to use the lightest, finest grained,  self-rising four for lighter, taller biscuits. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better, you don’t want the fats to melt.) Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.

Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits on baking sheet so that they just touch. Remold the scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting

Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes.

Enjoy these with or without the bowl of chowder.