Of the countless styles of biscuit out there, my favorite is the simple but often forgotten drop biscuit. This rustic biscuit offers a unique duality of textures: a crisp and craggy golden-brown exterior full of hills and valleys and a tender, fluffy interior. To refresh day-old biscuits, heat them in a 300-degree oven for 10 minutes. -- Sandra Wu

ingredients

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (about 5 minutes), plus 2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing biscuits

directions

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees F. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Combine buttermilk and 8 tablespoons melted butter in medium bowl, stirring until butter forms small clumps (see photo above).

Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated and batter pulls away from sides of bowl. Using greased 1/4-cup dry measure, scoop level amount of batter and drop onto parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet (biscuits should measure about 21/4 inches in diameter and 11/4 inches high). Repeat with remaining batter, spacing biscuits about 11/2 inches apart. Bake until tops are golden brown and crisp, 12 to 14 minutes.

Brush biscuit tops with remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Black Pepper and Bacon Biscuits: Cut 6 strips bacon in half lengthwise and then crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces; fry in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel–lined plate and cool to room temperature. Follow recipe for Best Drop Biscuits, adding crisp bacon and 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper to flour mixture in step 1.

Cheddar and Scallion Biscuits: Follow recipe for Best Drop Biscuits, adding 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions to flour mixture in step 1.

Rosemary and Parmesan Biscuits: Follow recipe for Best Drop Biscuits, adding 3/4 cup (11/2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary leaves to flour mixture in step 1.

Recipe reprinted by permission of America's Test Kitchen. All rights reserved.

RecID 11991

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