Tall and Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

from Cook’s Illustrated

Nonstick cooking spray

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp double-acting baking powder

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (or shredded on rasp)

1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk

2 Tbsp melted butter

Flour for dusting

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 500. Spray 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Generously spray inside and outside of 1/4 cup dry measuring cup with nonstick cooking spray. Place a good amount of flour on a rimmed baking sheet and spread evenly.

Place flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and combine. Using a pastry cutter, blend in the cold butter until the mixture resembles pebbly, coarse cornmeal. Add buttermilk to bowl and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated. The dough will be very wet and slightly lumpy.

Using the 1/4 cup measure, scoop level amount of dough; drop dough onto the floured baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough (you will have 10-12 piles of dough). Dust tops of each piece of dough with flour from the baking sheet. With floured hands, gently pick up a pile of dough and shape it into a rough ball. Shake off the excess flour and place in cake pan. Repeat with remaining dough, arranging the rounds around the edge first, then putting the remaining rounds in the center. Brush the tops with melted butter.

Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 450. Continue to bake until biscuits are deep golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Cool in pan 2 minutes, then remove from pan and break apart. Cool 5 minutes and serve. Preferably with honey.

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