A few weeks ago I told you I would be testing several biscuit recipes so today I'm posting a recipe for free-form buttermilk biscuits that a friend shared with me. For this recipe you don't need a biscuit cutter - the dough is divided into 12 equal portions which are then formed by hand, so each biscuit has a unique shape and there are no dough scraps left to press together and re-roll. The recipe also calls for cake flour and a touch of sugar, resulting in very tender and tasty biscuits (they're really good the next day too!). I hope you'll give them a try.
Note - I tested a batch using just all-purpose flour and they turned out very well, so don't miss making these if you don't have cake flour on hand. Alternately, you can make your own cake flour as directed below:
To make 1 cup of cake flour -- measure 1 cup of all-purpose flour, subtract 2 tablespoons of the flour and replace it with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch (corn flour). Whisk well to mix together.
Free-Form Buttermilk Biscuits
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 cup (4 ounces) cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, cold, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
3/4 cups cold buttermilk
Preheat oven to 450F.
Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt.
Using two knives or a pastry blender, "cut in" butter cubes until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Stir in the cold buttermilk just until all the flour is moistened and forms a ball (don't over mix - there should be lumps).
Gently pat the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 12 equal portions.
Shape each portion into a biscuit and place on a cookie sheet.
Brush tops with buttermilk and bake until golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Enjoy