My friend Stacy asked what I put my apple butter on, and I went through a list of things, but totally failed to mention my favourite thing to top with apple butter...
The trick to these fluffy, tender (but with a crispy outside) biscuits is using frozen butter, and not overworking the dough.
The science behind this, as explained by Chef Michael Smith, is that frozen butter gets into the layers of the dough and as it heats up in the 400 degree oven, the little bits of butter release steam, which creates flaky layers. Grating the butter in, is not only fast and easy, but it allows for less working of the butter (let's face it, cutting butter into pastry sucks, and the food processor may heat it up a bit), and the small pieces mean more poofy little flaky parts.
This hint would work with any flaky pastry, like pie crust. You can thank me by sending me baked goods. Thanks.
I took Chef Smith's recipe for Frozen Butter Buscuits and halved it. I didn't modify it at all (not that there was much to modify)...truth is, it's perfect the way it is! (I didn't add salt and pepper to the top because it was for breakfast, but if I make these at dinner, I do)
One of the most awesome things about this recipe, besides how easy and delicious they are, is that it takes about 20 minutes from start to finsh (as long as you planned ahead and put the butter in the freezer).
Frozen Butter Biscuits
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick frozen butter
3/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Grate in frozen butter (I cut the stick in half and grate one at a time, leaving the other in the freezer). Toss gently until butter is evenly distributed amongst the dry mixture.
Using the handle of a wooden spoon (it's gentler), mix while pouring milk into the bowl, until dough ball begins to form. Add another tablespoon or two of milk to gather up the dry bits if there are some, and fold to make sure everything is combined.
Make a flat disk on a lightly floured counter and cut into wedges (or whatever) and place on baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, until golden brown, and serve warm.
(No photo would show how tender, flaky and delcious this biscuit was)