Hot Crusty Buttermilk Biscuits

Chef Scott Peacock shares some secrets for this southern stapleBy Chef Scott Peacock, Watershed Restaurant, Decatur, GeorgiaINGREDIENTS5 cups sifted White Lily flour (measured after sifting)1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoonHomemade Baking Powder1 tablespoon kosher salt1/2 cup (1/4 pound) packed lard, chilled1 1/4 cups buttermilk3 tablespoons unsalted butter, meltedHomemade Baking Powder1/4 cup cream of tartar'2 tablespoons baking sodaDIRECTIONSPreheat oven to 500 F.Put the flour, homemade baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl, and whisk well to blend thoroughly. Add the lard, and working quickly, coat it in flour and rub between your fingertips until approximately half the lard is finely blended and the other half remains in large pieces, about 1/2 inch in size. Pour in the buttermilk, and stir quickly just until the dough is blended and begins to mass.Turn the dough immediately out onto a floured surface, and with floured hands knead briskly eight to ten times, until it becomes cohesive.Gently flatten the dough with your hands into a disk of even thinness; then, using a floured rolling pin, roll it out to a uniform thickness of 1/2 inch. With a dinner fork dipped in flour, pierce the dough completely through at 1/2 inch intervals. Lightly flour a 2 1/2- or 3-inch biscuit cutter and stamp out rounds, without twisting the cutter in the dough. Cut the biscuits from the dough as close together as you can, for maximum yield. Transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet, placing them so that they just barely kiss. Don't reroll the scraps. Just arrange them around the edge of the sheet, and bake them ? cook's treat.Put the baking sheet immediately on the center rack of the preheated oven. Bake 10-12 minutes, checking after 6 minutes or so, and turning the pan if needed for even baking. When biscuits are golden brown, remove from the oven and brush the tops with the melted butter.Makes about fifteen 2 1/2-inch biscuits.Homemade Baking Powder
Sift all of the ingredients together three times, and transfer to a clean, tight-sealing jar. Store at room temperature, away from sunlight, for up to six weeks.
Makes about 1/2 cup.Courtesy: MSNBC Interactive

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