These biscuits are folded, creating a layered effect. These biscuits are well worth the effort--tender and very flaky. For best results, use White Lily all-purpose flour. It is ground from a special low-gluten soft wheat and is perfect for making biscuits.
- 4 1⁄2 cups white lily all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1⁄2 cup cold unsalted butter or 1⁄2 cup margarine or 1⁄2 cup shortening, cut into pieces
- 1 3⁄4-2 cups cold buttermilk
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, plus
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened to room temperature,cut into 1 tablespoon portions
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or 1 tablespoon margarine, melted,for brushing tops
- Preheat oven to 450° (500° if using a convection oven).
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
- Cut cold butter or shortening into dry ingredients with a pastry blender.
- (Mixture will resemble coarse crumbs, with no large chunks of butter.) If butter gets very soft at this point, refrigerate mixture for 20 minutes.
- Add 1 3/4 cups buttermilk, stirring just to moisten all ingredients.
- Dough should be soft and moist; add remaining 1/4 cup as needed.
- Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface and knead gently about 10 times, or just untl dough holds together.
- Roll or pat dough into a 14-by-10-inch rectangle.
- With short side nearest you, spread top two-thirds of dough with 3 tablespoons soft butter, leaving bottom third, closest to you, unbuttered.
- Fold dough into thirds (like you would fold a letter) by pulling bottom third up over center and then pulling top third over middle.
- Turn dough so short side faces you.
- Pat into a 9-by-12-inch rectangle.
- In same manner, spread again with 3 tablespoons soft butter and fold letter style.
- Turn once more in the same manner.
- Pat into a 9-by-12-inch rectangle; spread with remaining 3 tablespoons soft butter and fold up.
- Work quickly and gently so as not to overwork dough.
- Pat dough into rectangle 3/4-inch thick on floured surface.
- Cut into squares with a sharp chef's knife.
- Place on pan, 1 inch apart.
- Lightly brush tops with melted butter.
- Bake in center of hot oven about 20 minutes (about 12 minutes in convection), until golden brown and firm.
- Serve hot, warm or room temperature.