This holiday season, Invisible Publishing asked our authors to contribute a recipe to our chapbook Dinner Party, available exclusively from our website, and full proceeds will go to Food Banks Canada! If you buy one of the contributor’s books, also from our website … we’ll throw in a copy in a copy of Dinner Party for FREE! What a steal!
Here’s a taste from Tyler Hellard whose debut novel Searching for Terry Punchout is just begging for some fresh biscuits to warm the tummy as you sit rinkside in support of your local hockey team!
Skillet Buttermilk Biscuits
by Tyler Hellard, author of Searching for Terry Punchout
1 stick of unsalted butter, cold (plus a tablespoon more for brushing)
2 cups of all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 1/4 cups of buttermilk
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
Fistful of chopped chives
Moderate to copious amounts of shredded cheddar
Anthony Bourdain once wrote “I don’t care what they tell you they’re putting or not putting in your food at your favorite restaurant, chances are, you’re eating a ton of butter … it’s almost always the first and last thing in the pan.” This recipe is the best because it’s easy, it’s versatile, and it lets butter do most of the heavy lifting. I use a cast iron skillet for this, but a standard cookie sheet will do.
First, pre-heat your oven to 400°F. Or 375. Or 450. You know your oven better than I do, and we’re going to eyeball the finish anyway. Grease your skillet with butter—not a lot or it’ll pool when it melts.
Next, mix the dry ingredients—flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt—in a large bowl. Take a knife and cube the stick of butter. I aim for cubes to be about 1/2 an inch in size, but you do you. Throw the cubes into the mix. Now get your hands in there and start pinching the cubes into the powder. Try and get most of the butter pieces to at most pea-sized—this will take three or four minutes. When you’re done, the mix should look kind of crumby.
Optional step: Remember how I said this recipe is versatile? At this point, you can throw in pretty much anything. I like to use some garlic powder and/or chives and/or cheese depending on my mood. Go nuts! Or add nuts! Whatever!
Next, pour in the buttermilk and mix it in with a wooden spoon. The goal is to make all the dry bits wet, and when you’re done, it should be like a soft dough. If it’s too dry, add a little more buttermilk; if it’s too wet, toss in some more flour. When you’ve got the consistency where you want it, use an ice cream scoop and place balls of dough into the greased skillet. These things will get bigger as they bake, so give them space. I usually get about five into my pan and do two batches.
Throw the skillet in the oven for ten minutes. While that’s happening, melt a tablespoon of butter on the stove. When the ten minutes is up, brush the biscuits with the melted butter. They should be done after five more minutes, but it’s best just to check them every couple minutes and take them out once they are the perfect shade of golden brown. Also, get them out of the skillet right away, or they may burn on the bottom.
Best enjoyed while still warm. Even better next to eggs.