Do you rate recipes that you try? I can't remember when I started it, but every time I make a new recipe I give the end result a star rating so I can remember if it was a winner or not. 5 stars means it was excellent and I will make it again and again, 4 stars means very good, but maybe I will only make it again occasionally, 3 stars means it was okay but not worth the effort. 2 stars and 1 star recipes I normally don't have to rate since they were so bad that it would be impossible to forget them. When I lived with my sister and we'd try recipes together, she'd write her own ratings on top of the recipes, too. They weren't in star form, but they still got their point across. I still laugh when I run across a page of a cookbook I used occasionally and see a 2 star rating from me and a big "YUCKY" from her.
The rating system works pretty well for me, but every once in a while I come across a recipe that I like so much that 5 stars isn't enough for it. It's the kind of recipe that is perfection for me, and these few recipes get 6 stars. They often get an exclamation point after the stars, too, since I'm usually in food bliss when I write the rating down. This biscuit recipe is one of them. It makes buttery, fluffy biscuits that aren't dense or floury. They have a deep, rich flavor from the buttermilk and a lovely, soft texture. They are a slight modification of a drop biscuit recipe so they are less work than rolled biscuits, but they still look beautiful when they are baked. I only make them when I know other people will be around to eat them because I am likely to eat the whole pan in one sitting. The recipe isn't difficult, but do make sure that you move quickly once you add the buttermilk because the faster you get them in the oven, the fluffier they will be. Don't worry, though. Once you know what they taste like, you'll have no problem rushing to get them in the oven.
Mile High Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cupsall-purpose flour
1 tablespoondouble-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoonbaking soda
4 tablespoonscold unsalted butter cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 1/2 cupscold low-fat buttermilk
To form and finish the dough:
1 cupflour distributed in a rimmed baking sheet
2 tablespoonsunsalted butter melted
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Spray the inside of a 1/4 cup measuring cup with non-stick spray. Spray a 9 inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.
In a food processor, combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda. Pulse a few times to mix. Distribute the butter pieces over the top of the flour mixture and pulse until the consistency of somewhat pebbly, coarse cornmeal, about 8-10 pulses. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and add buttermilk. Mix with a rubber spatula until just incorporated. (Dough will be wet and sticky and slightly lumpy)
Working quickly and using the sprayed 1/4 measuring cup, scoop level 1/4 cup of dough and drop onto baking sheet with the 1 cup flour. (You may need to use a small spoon to help you drop the dough onto the sheet.) Repeat with remaining dough until you have 12 even mounds on the baking sheet. Using floured hands, scoop up a ball of dough and gently roll it in the excess flour. Shape gently into a ball, shake off excess flour, and place in prepared cake pan. Repeat with remaining 11 pieces of dough. (You should be able to fit 9 dough balls around the outside of the pan and three in the middle.)
Brush tops of biscuits with melted butter, taking care not to flatten them. Bake at 500 degrees for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 450 degrees and bake an additional 12-15 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove from the oven, let sit in the pan for 2 minutes, then invert the pan on a clean kitchen towel and carefully break apart biscuits. Cool 5 minutes longer and serve.