Friday, August 5, 2011

Almost Buttermilk Biscuits

So I've come to realize and accept that I cannot get buttermilk here in Japan.  The commissary on base has it, but it is completely frozen and anyone that has ever taken a milk product and frozen, then defrosted it knows it is a weird consistency and just doesn't quite look right after that.  That fat separates.  So, it is with regret that I've decided to looking for buttermilk alternatives.  Oh, how I love buttermilk and need it so.   This is the first recipe I tried a yogurt replacement with.  It worked beautifully!  My husband couldn't tell a difference between these biscuits and the ones I use to make in the states for him.  So yeah for my new buttermilk replacement - milk and yogurt combined! That is why I called these "almost" buttermilk biscuits.  They lack that very key ingredient but certainly don't lack in flavor and you won't even realize it is missing. 

Almost Buttermilk Biscuits:

1 ½ tsp yeast
¼  c. warm water
2 ½  c. all-purpose flour
½  tsp baking soda
½  tbsp baking powder
½  teaspoon salt
1 tbsp. sugar
½ c. shortening
1/2 stick cubed butter, cold 
3/4 c. 2% or whole milk
1/3 c. whole milk plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add yeast and 1 tsp. of sugar to warm water and allow to sit.  Sift the dry ingredients together into a bowl. Cut in shortening and butter with a fork until it looks like coarse sand.  I just use my hands though.  Combine the yogurt and milk and whisk to combine.  It should be slightly thick, like the consistency of buttermilk.  This should equal about 1 c. once the milk and yogurt are combined.  But depending on your milk and the yogurt you use you might need to slightly adjust it to add a bit more milk or yogurt to get your desired consistency.   Add the yeast, water and the yogurt-milk mixture and mix until combined.  Again, I just use my hands as I find it is easier to get the feel for the dough that way.  Add more milk if necessary.  Pour dough onto a floured surface and bring together. (Use plenty of flour under and on top of dough) This dough is really really sticky  when removing from the bowl so you can be generous with your flour on the board and on top of the dough while kneading it.  Gently press the dough into a rectangle until it is between 1/2 and 3/4-inch thick. Use a round cutter that has been floured to cut the biscuits. Place on a baking sheet (or in a cast iron pan) so they are touching each other. Brush the top with melted butter.  Bake for 15-18 minutes.  I start to check on them around 15 minutes and give them a few minutes more if needed until they are slightly golden on top. This makes about 8-10 biscuits depending on the size you make.  Brush tops with butter once they come out of the oven. 

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