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Buttermilk Tea Biscuits

Tea biscuits seem to be a versatile "old standby" comfort food that never seems to...well, get old!!

These little beauties are great plain, although, I like mine toasted with butter and homemade jam or jelly...they can also be split in half and piled high with eggs and a sausage patty for a delicious breakfast sandwich! Used to sop up every last bit of soup or stew or slathered with juicy berry sauce and whipped cream for a quick shortcake!

Either way, you will want to make these PDQ since they are a cinch to whip up and they just might make you want to watch reruns of "Little House on the Prairie"...I always wanted to be Caroline Ingalls...her biscuits looked good!

First of all, pre-heat your oven to 450 will want that baby nice and hot to give your biscuits a good rise...then, in a large bowl, you will need 2 cups of all purpose flour,

1 tablespoon of white sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt (no photo of the salt but I figured you would get my drift!),

4 teaspoons of baking powder...give this mixture a stir to evenly distribute the salt and baking powder.

Add a 1/2 cup of cold butter, cut up into chunks (I use unsalted butter...salted is fine but I find that with the salt and baking powder it adds too much "saltiness")...I really overused the word "salt" in that sentence!

Using a pastry cutter (or two knives...that's a pain in the arse though), cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until it looks like coarse pea-sized crumbs...or in my case, lima bean- sized crumbs. (You may also shred frozen butter on a cheese grater...this works best really!)

Next, add 1 cup of cold buttermilk,

...then use a fork to stir the buttermilk into the flour mixture until it almost forms a sticky dough.

Throw a little flour on your hands (maybe don't "throw" it...lightly dust your hands...unless you like cleaning!), and lightly form the dough into a ball. Don't over work the dough, as that makes for some pretty good skeet shooting discs...just barely enough that it stays together.

Turn dough on to a lightly floured surface ( I put down some waxed paper first...makes it easier to clean up...I know it creates extra waste but I'm already making homemade biscuits darnit and I work full time...I the laundry...sorry, that just came out!) Pat the dough into a rough 2 inch thick disc,

...and cut into "biscuits" using a biscuit cutter dipped in flour between each cut...I used to use a juice glass to "cut" my biscuits but the edges are round which pinches the dough down and doesn't allow your biscuits to rise as well...and yes, I am quite smart...actually, I read that somewhere!

Place biscuits on a baking sheet (I sprinkle my pan with cornmeal for the extra crunch and it keeps the biscuits from sticking to the pan, but you can use flour on your pan instead if you like)...bake in a pre-heated, 450 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack.

Serve with butter and jelly or with a savoury dish like stew or even as a vehicle for sausage gravy!

Tea Biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tbsp. white sugar

1 tsp. salt

4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

1 cup cold buttermilk

1. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.

2. Using a pastry blender, cut cold butter into flour mixture to form coarse crumbs...add cold buttermilk, stirring with a fork until sticky dough forms. (You can also shred frozen butter using a cheese grater as well vs. using a pastry blender.)

3. With lightly floured hands, form sticky dough into a loose ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently pat dough into a 2 inch thick disc.

4. Cut into biscuits and bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown!


* Oven temperatures may vary

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