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Mile-High Drop Biscuits

“Mile-High” Drop Biscuits
Our all-time favorite biscuit.  Tall, fluffy and tangy.  The Holy Grail of biscuit making.
Makes 12


2 C flour, unbleached all-purpose
1 TBL baking powder (double acting)
1 TBL sugar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
4 TBL cold unsalted butter, cut into
   ¼-inch cubes
1 ½ C cold buttermilk, lowfat is best (we like sour milk—1 TBL cider vinegar per 1 C milk)

1 C flour, unbleached, in medium bowl,
    or distributed in rimmed baking sheet
2 TBL unsalted butter, melted

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position.  Preheat oven to 500ºF.  Spray 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Set aside.  Generously spray inside and outside of ¼ C dry measuring cup with nonstick cooking spray.  (Or use a standard ice-cream scoop).  Sprinkle ¼-inch layer of flour on baking sheet for dusting biscuit dough.
  2. Dough:  In food processor, pulse flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda to combine, about six 1-second pulses.  Scatter butter cubes evenly over dry ingredients; pulse until mixture resembles pebbly, coarse cornmeal, eight to ten 1-second pulses.  Transfer mixture to medium bowl.  Add buttermilk to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until JUST incorporated (dough will be very, very wet and slightly lumpy).
  3. To Form and Bake Biscuits:  Using the dry cup measure or ice-cream scoop, and working quickly, scoop ¼ C of dough; drop dough into flour on baking sheet or bowl.  Repeat with remaining dough, forming 12 evenly sized mounds.  Dust tops of each piece of dough with flour from baking sheet.
  4. With floured hands, gently pick up piece of dough and finish coating with flour.  Place in prepared cake pan.  Repeat with remaining dough, arranging 9 biscuits around perimeter of cake pan and 3 in center.
  5. Brush or drizzle rounds with hot, melted butter, taking care not to flatten them.
  6. Bake 5 minutes at 500º.  Then reduce oven temp. to 450º.  Continue baking until biscuits are deep golden brown, about 15 min. longer. 
  7. Cool in pan 2 minutes, then invert biscuits from pan onto clean kitchen towel; turn biscuits right side up and break apart.  Cool 5 minutes longer and serve.


(Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, but I don't remember which year).


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