Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix flour and baking soda. With a pastry brush, cut butter in flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in center of flour mixture. Add buttermilk all at once.  Stir until moistened. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Quickly knead dough 10-12 times. Roll dough to about 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with biscuit cutter and place 1-inch apart on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 10-15 minutes. Brush with melted butter.

I’ve been making this recipe for Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits for years…and I’m talking years.  These go way back to when I was a newlywed in 1978.  I honestly cannot tell you where I got the recipe, but I will tell you that the recipe card is stained and written in a handwriting that has evolved over the years.  Did I really write like that and get by with it? 

These biscuits have failed me only a few times and my children will probably tell you about it. If you don’t have self-rising flour on hand, you can make your own by adding 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder to each cup of regular flour.  

 Make sure the butter is the real thing (not margarine) and it’s cold.  
You can also make your own buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon white vinegar or fresh lemon juice to 1 cup of whole milk.  I prefer the real stuff, but buttermilk is an ingredient I just don’t keep on hand.  On any given Saturday morning I might decide to whip up these biscuits and I always have milk and lemons.  Those two ingredients are staples at my house.
 You want the mixture crumbly…but take it easy. 
 Overworked dough will result in flat biscuits.  
 Knead, knead, knead…but no more than 12 kneads.  
 Roll gently until you have approximately 1/4 thickness.
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