Seasonal Flavors: Buttermilk Biscuits

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Let’s just admit it: Thanksgiving is a carb-fest—because we love carbohydrates. They make us feel warm and cozy. They are delicious and comforting.

So if you’re already serving stuffing (dressing if you’re a Southerner), mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, peas, cranberry sauce and pie, do we really also need bread?

Answer: yes, absolutely!

And our family favorite for Thanksgiving has become the yeasted biscuit. With a combo of baking soda and baking powder, like the traditional biscuit, and yeast, as in traditional bread, this quick bread not only keeps in the fridge overnight, but allows you to mix it the day before and then roll, cut and pop it into the oven when the turkey exits.

We love them because the texture is something special—rich yet light.

I know you don’t have any spare refrigerator space at Thanksgiving, but this dough can be made the night before and then stored on the screened porch (my winter auxiliary refrigerator), or the garage if you’re desperate. Make it the day before and bake at the last minute. This recipe makes a large batch of biscuits—about two dozen depending upon the size—so if you don’t have twenty guests, as I will, you will have leftover dough that can stay in the fridge for up to two weeks. Hot from the oven with butter, these little biscuits make us so thankful.

Flaky Thanksgiving Biscuits

  • 5 cups flour (I prefer King Arthur)
  • 2 T plus 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 T sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold butter or shortening
  • 5 tsp dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 cups warm, cultured buttermilk

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, combine the flour, baking powder salt, baking soda and sugar. Cut the butter or shortening into the flour mix until it has a crumbly texture.

In a separate bowl, sprinkle the dry yeast over the warm water and stir. Allow the yeast to dissolve for about five minutes.

Add the yeast mix and the warm buttermilk to the flour mix and stir with a fork until a soft dough forms.

Now keep it cool: in the refrigerator if you have space, screened porch if the evening temperature won’t fall below 32 degrees, or a cooler with a cold pack.

On Thanksgiving Day, remove your turkey from the oven and allow it to rest. Turn the oven up to 400 degrees.

Take a portion of dough, knead briefly and roll out to an inch thickness.  Cut with your favorite biscuit cutter and bake for 12 – 15 minutes. Serve to your happy guests.

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