When you make biscuits you want them to be light and flaky. The best way to do this is to keep the dough cold so I always handle the dough as little as possible with my warm hands and I used cold ingredients. That means cold butter and yes even your other ingredients such as your buttermilk and flour should be cold. The reason for this is that you will have small little bits of butter throughout your dough when you make it and you want to keep those bits of butter solid and not melted until you bake your biscuits. When you bake your biscuits your butter will then melt and you will then have little air pockets throughout your biscuits, which will make your biscuits light and flaky. Below find my recipe for a delicious Southern buttermilk biscuits.
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
6 tablespoons of cold butter
1 cup of cold buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon of water
You will want to take a food processor and add in your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar and pulse your ingredients together a few times. Then add in your cold butter and pulse until your mixture resembles coarse crumbs. I think at this point its important for me to explain why I am using a food processor. One of the important things in making biscuits is to keep the butter cold so touching it with your warm hands as little as possible is important and using a food processor allows you to handle the dough as little as possible.
You will now want to then dump your mixture into a large mixing bowl. I found that if I mix the ingredients with the buttermilk in a food processor it will over mix the dough and create tough biscuits, so add in your buttermilk into the bowl and mix together with a large spoon and stop when your dough just comes together.
Now take a small bowl and quickly mix together your egg and 1 teaspoon of water. You are creating an egg wash to brush on top of your dough before it goes into the oven.
This is the point you want to preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
Now, turn your dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead the dough a few times until it is a mostly a cohesive ball. Now take a wooden rolling pin and roll out your dough evenly to about 3/4 of an inch thick and then take a biscuit cutter or the rim of a small glass and press down to create rounds. You will have scraps left over when you do this, so gather your dough scraps and pat into a circle, being careful not to overwork the dough since overworking it makes tough biscuits. Now roll our your dough to 3/4 of an inch thick and then stamp out the remaining biscuits. You will want to brush the top of your rounds with your egg wash and then place them on an ungreased baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Now place your baking sheet into your preheated oven and bake at 450 degrees F. until your biscuits are golden brown. This should take 12 to 15 minutes.