We suggest not substituting the Buttermilk, with regular milk, adding lemon juice or vinegar to regular milk, etc., until you have mastered producing fluffy biscuits with this real buttermilk recipe.
If your baked biscuits seem dry or clunky increase the Buttermilk slightly until you know the perfect mix for your area and oven.
There is a definite knack to baking light and fluffy biscuits. A couple of secrets to good biscuits is very cold Butter and Buttermilk, not mixing the dough much, and folding and patting the dough several times.
Properly mixed biscuit dough almost looks like it hasn’t been mixed all the way. The other secret is a very moist mix.
Never use an electric mixer or dough machine when mixing up biscuits. Use a fork, and use it as little as possible.
Also old stale Baking Powder (opened and on the shelf for awhile) looses its ability to create the bubbles required to raise good light biscuits. Pitch the old stuff and use fresh.
Mix your dry ingredients together with a wire whisk.
Shave cold butter with a potato peeler or other type of cutter. Keep butter very cold until ready to mix in.
Then stir in the cold shaved butter into the mixed dry ingredients. Alternatively if your chunks are big you can “cut it in" into the dry ingredients using a shortening cutting tool, made for that, or two knives. All pieces should be pea size or less. Mix in the first 1 1/2 cup of Buttermilk gently (Do not over mix) using a fork. If dry add more in small amounts until dough is almost too sticky to handle (flour your hands)
The buttermilk in this recipe is part of the leavening (makes the bubbles) The acidity of the Buttermilk reacts with the Baking Powder & Soda. Don’t substitute the buttermilk with something else for this ingredient if you are new to making biscuits.
The dough should be sticky. Probably more sticky than you think. Mixing the ingredients too much, or too dry is the killer of soft and fluffy biscuits. Plop the sticky dough out on an extremely well floured bread board.
Flour your hands. Don’t roll dough out, but pat or gently flatten with your well floured hands (about 1 1/2 inch thick. Fold the dough in half over on itself and gently pat the dough to 1 1/2 inch thick. Repeat the fold and pat two more times.
Preheat a regular oven to 400 degrees. (Dutch Oven Coals for 400°F-Don’t pre-heat the Dutch Oven)
Cut rounds with biscuit cutter or top of a small drinking glass, can, etc.
Place biscuit rounds on a cookie sheet or into the bottom of the Dutch Oven up against one another. Closely placed biscuits will also be much more moist when done. Biscuits placed next to each other will rise much higher than those placed with gaps between them. Cover with a towel and let the biscuits rest for 10 to 15 minutes before putting them in the oven, or putting the heat to the Dutch Oven.
In a regular kitchen oven Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until golden brown on top. If Baking using charcoal in a covered Dutch Oven, it is also 14-18 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
It is assumed you know proper coal/heat techniques for Dutch Oven baking
Click this link below in Recipe Notes if you need help with Dutch Oven Coal counting? We prefer the 3 uppy-down rule!
Serve hot with butter, jam, gravy, etc.