Buttermilk and Chive Biscuits
Buttermilk biscuits are always a hit when served with a weekend breakfast, and here they are made even more special by the addition of chives. Guests will be especially impressed if you use a vegetable peeler to shave curls of top-quality butter and place them on a small platter near the biscuits. Or, if you prefer, whip softened butter with a little maple syrup, spoon into a ramekin and place alongside the biscuits.
- 4 cups (20 oz./625 g) all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) cold unsalted butter, diced, plus 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) finely snipped fresh chives
- 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) plus 2 Tbs. buttermilk
Preheat an oven to 450°F (230°C).
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Add the cold butter and, using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the chives and toss to distribute, then stir in the buttermilk just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
Lightly flour your hands, gather the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Using your hands, form the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick and roughly 11 by 9 inches (28 by 23 cm). Using a dough scraper or a knife, cut the dough into 20 equal-sized pieces. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet, leaving a little room between the biscuits.
Brush the tops with the melted butter and bake until pale golden and puffed, about 14 minutes. Serve warm. Makes about 20 biscuits.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Bride & Groom Entertaining, by Brigit Binns (Weldon Owen, 2008)