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Buttermilk Biscuits from St. Anselm

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As published in The Washingtonian by Ann Limpert // View Article.

The best buttermilk biscuits in the area right now come from a surprising place: St. Anselm, the cool-kid steakhouse near Union Market (and now also: your oven). Flaky, sprinkled with crunchy shards of Maldon salt, and very, very buttery, they’re fashioned from an easy-to-make dough that freezes beautifully. We can’t imagine a happier thing to wake up to. Or as chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley puts it:

If you bake someone biscuits for breakfast, you’re basically saying, ‘I love you.’

Marjorie Meek-Bradley

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients and freeze for at least 1 hour. Mix in the butter and freeze for another 30 minutes. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and set at medium speed, add in the buttermilk and mix until incorporated.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Mold the dough into a 1-inch-thick rectangle. Fold in thirds and, using a rolling pin, flatten into another inch-thick rectangle. Repeat the folding and flattening three more times. Roll the dough to a half inch thick. Cut into 2½-inch squares. Freeze or, if making them to serve right away, place the biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 11 minutes; rotate the pan and bake 11 minutes more. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with Maldon salt.

Makes 24 biscuits:

  • 1 1/4 pounds unsalted butter, frozen and either grated or cut into small pieces
  • 5 cups flour, plus more for dusting your work surface
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk, kept very cold
  • 1/4 pound butter, melted, for brushing
  • Maldon salt, as needed