The forth time was the charm.
I made these biscuits four times (five, if you count the time during our cooking class) to get to the recipe and the technique I felt comfortable with.
You see, I am a northern girl that wasn't raised making biscuits. I am also a cook that much prefers less rather than more messiness when following a recipe such as this one.
I totally get the concept behind the very wet dough producing a tender and moist biscuit, but I confess, my gut was horrified as I looked into the bowl of soupy mess. Even though each batch baked up well and tasted delicious, I personally could not get past the goop-y, shapeless globs.
I don't have a photo, but the batter did firm up a bit after resting 3 minutes as shared in the directions.
But, still a very wet, cottage cheese like texture.
So, I experimented.
First by increasing the flour from 7.5-ounces to 9-ounces.
Better but I still wasn't pleased that the dough/batter ran together.
As you can see in the photo above, they baked nicely but the individual biscuits were indiscernible.
Then I decided to lighten the whole recipe by using lower-fat and less milk, thus reducing the calories. It also took away the uncertain amount of additional flour sprinkled on during shaping.
You can see the difference in these photos
Now, I am happy with the results!
Here is what I did. The steps are the same as in the photo collage above.
Lightened Feather-Light Buttermilk Biscuits
adapted from Viking Cooking Class Shirley's Feather-Light Biscuits
yield 8 biscuits
Ingredients:shortening for greasing the pan
9-ounces soft wheat, self-rising flour (I used King Arthur)
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons chilled shortening (preferably zero trans-fat)
3/4 cup cold buttermilk made by stirring together 1 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 cup 2% milk and measuring 3/4-cup for recipe
1/4 cup cold fat-free half & half
1 1/2 Tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Adjust an oven rack to just above the middle position. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan with shortening.
With a whisk, combine self-rising flour, baking soda, salt and sugar in a medium-mixing bowl. With a pastry cutter, work the shortening into the flour mixture until there are no shortening lumps larger than a big pea.
Stir in buttermilk and half & half, just until combined and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes to allow the liquid to be absorbed.
Spray a 2-inch ice cream scoop with cooking spray; Spoon dough onto baking pan beginning with one in the center.
Brush biscuits with melted butter, and bake until lightly browned, about 17 minutes. Cool for 1 or 2 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a cooling rack.
My very favorite way to enjoy biscuits is with jelly or jam and a cup of chamomile tea :)
The next day, I love them sliced and toasted!