Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sage Buttermilk Biscuits

Let us once again talk about biscuits. In particular, let us talk about the best biscuits I have ever eaten. THIS IS NOT A HYPERBOLE.

Let me take you back to a time a few months ago. I was sitting at work, and long before it was an acceptable time to have lunch I was having hunger pangs. At the same time my eyelids were heavy and I was craving a warm cup of coffee. What would a woman do in such a trying time!?

Well, luckily I am blessed to work in an office in downtown Boston that is just steps away from the Back Bay location of Flour Bakery. If you live in Boston, I can only assume you already know the joys of Flour. If you have never been, or plan on visiting soon, let me suggest you make a breakfast or lunch stop at there. Freshly baked goodies line the countertop and they have an amazing selection of salads and sandwiches to choose from. Joanne Chang is the genius behind it all. And luckily for us, she has not one but two cookbooks to help us recreate the joys that one can find at Flour.

Back on this day, when things were not going as great as they could have been, I took a quick walk to Flour and came away with a warm coffee and the most delicious Sage Buttermilk Biscuit. Buttery, flaky, golden brown biscuits with flakes of fresh sage all throughout a soft, tender dough. Is your mouth watering yet?

When I found the recipe for Joanne's Sage Buttermilk Biscuits online, I did not hesitate to whip up a batch of my own. And then another 2 or 3 batches after that. Seriously, these biscuits are so addicting--they remind me why breakfast is the best and most important meal of the day.

I brought these biscuits to a brunch with a some good friends--I can't even begin to tell you how impressive our spread turned out to be! The biscuits were very well received by the whole crowd. Even kitties like to get in on a little biscuit action...after all, who wouldn't!

Here's what you need for Sage Buttermilk Biscuits* (Print Recipe!)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubed and chilled
1/2 cup cold low fat buttermilk
1/2 cup cold heavy cream
1 egg
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

Here's what you do

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Scatter the cold butter on top of the flour mixer and turn the mixer on to medium low speed. Continue to mix until the butter resembles course crumbs, about 1 minute.

In the meantime, whisk the buttermilk, heavy cream, egg, and sage together in a glass measuring cup. With the mixer still on medium low, slowly drizzle the milk mixture into the flour and butter just until the batter starts to come together. Stop the mixer then gather the dough in the bottom of the bowl, being sure to collect as many of the dry bits on the bottom as possible. 

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead about five times. Pat the dough into a smooth 1 inch tall round. Flour a 3 inch biscuit cutter and cut out biscuits, placing them on the prepared baking sheet. Recollect the scraps and pat out again, being sure to use up as much dough as possible--I was able to get 9 biscuits from this recipe.

Bake the biscuits for 40 minutes, until they are golden brown all over. Remove the pan from the oven then mix together the melted butter with the chopped parsley. Use a pastry brush and gently brush the tops of the biscuits with the butter while they are still warm. Serve at room temperature. Biscuits will last well-wrapped at room temperature for 3 days.

*Recipe adapated from Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe

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