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Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits

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Yields about eight 3-inch or twelve 2-inch biscuits.

Other delicate fresh herbs (tarragon, chives, chervil) will work in this recipe in place of the dill. For a browner crust, brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter before baking.

  • 9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour   
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill or 2 tsp. dried dill
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 Tbs. vegetable shortening or lard, well chilled and cut into small chunks
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, well chilled and cut into small chunks
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. buttermilk

Position an oven rack on the center rung and heat the oven to 450ºF. Lightly flour a small cutting board and set aside (this portable surface is easy to transfer to the refrigerator). Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and dried dill (if using) into a large, preferably shallow bowl. Mix in the fresh dill (if using) and the parsley. Add the shortening and butter to the dry ingredients. Combine with a pastry blender or two table knives just until a coarse meal forms. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk. With your fingers (or a wooden spoon) and using just a few swift strokes, blend the dough just until combined (it will be a sticky mess; this is fine). Turn it out onto the floured cutting board. Wash, dry, and flour your hands. Gently pat out the dough and fold it back over itself about half a dozen times, just until smooth. Pat it out again, this time into a round or oval that’s an even 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Cover the dough lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20 min.

Remove the cutting board with the dough-from the refrigerator. Cut the dough with a sharp biscuit cutter—avoid twisting the cutter— trying to get as many rounds as possible (the dough will toughen a bit each time you work it). Lightly pat the remaining dough scraps together, pat down evenly, and cut again. Position the biscuits at least 1/2 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through to ensure even cooking, until raised and golden brown (10 to 12 min. total for 3-inch biscuits; 9 to 11 min. for 2-inch biscuits).

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per 2-inch biscuit, Calories (kcal): 130, Fat (kcal): 5, Fat Calories (g): 50, Saturated Fat (g): 2, Protein (g): 3, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2, Carbohydrates (mg): 17, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1, Sodium (g): 300, Cholesterol (g): 5, Fiber (g): 1,

Photo: Amy Albert

These were absolutely delicious. My husband thought all biscuits were dry and tasteless due to his mom's lack of cooking skills growing up. These were tender and delicate with a nice balance of herbal flavor.

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