Biscuits are a quick and easy thing to make when you want to serve bread as a side dish, either on a weeknight or during a big holiday meal like Thanksgiving. I often use buttermilk in my biscuits because it adds a nice flavor to them and helps to tenderize the dough. Buttermilk isn’t the only ingredient that makes a great biscuit, however, and these Flaky Sour Cream Biscuits are good enough to give buttermilk biscuits a run for their money.
The tender biscuits are made with butter and sour cream. They have a wonderfully moist and light interior, and plenty of layers that make it easy to split the biscuit in half and slather it with butter, jam or honey. Sour cream has a subtle tang to it that gives the biscuits a nice flavor without making them seem too rich. Regular sour cream is the best choice for these biscuits, but low fat sour cream will also work well if you want to cut out a little bit of the extra fat from the recipe.
The trick to getting really flaky biscuits is to knead the dough. Some recipes warn you not to over-handle biscuit dough, but to get those nice layers you really need to work it a little bit. Knead the dough by pressing it flat (no particular shape or size required), folding it in half and repeating the process a few times until the dough is fairly smooth. Rotate the dough as you knead it to create even layers. Then, let the dough rest for 15 minutes, while you preheat the oven, to allow the gluten in the dough to relax slightly and ensure that your biscuits get a nice rise.
These biscuits are the best on the day they are made, when their tops are slightly crisp and the centers perfectly moist. They can, however, be stored in an airtight container or bag for a day and refreshed in the oven for a few minutes if you want to bake them ahead of time.
Flaky Sour Cream Biscuits
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Rub in butter with your fingers until butter is brown down into pieces that range from pea to almond size and the mixture is sandy. Stir in sour cream with a fork until dough comes together (dough may still be slightly crumbly).
Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes, until dough comes together and is smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Roll dough out until it is 1 inch thick. Using a 2 1/2 – 3 inch round cutter, push straight down through dough, then flip biscuit upside down and place on prepared baking sheet. Gather up any excess dough, roll out again and repeat.
Bake for 17-20, until tops are golden brown.
Makes 8-10 biscuits, depending on size.