A touch of vanilla bean and orange makes these ultra flaky buttermilk biscuits perfect for your holiday tables.
Whew. The Monday after Thanksgiving is always a rough one, isn’t it? I still feel like I’m on a bit of a people and tryptophan hangover. I love the holidays–being with family, cooking the feast and enjoying plenty of time around the table, Christmas shopping and putting up the tree–but this week I need to take a few deep breaths and detox before the full-on Christmas craziness sets in.
Speaking of detox, I hope you all had a chance to eat a salad or slurp down a semi-healthy smoothie this weekend, because here on the blog we’re jumping right in to Christmas baking season! I know, I know…no rest for the weary (waistlines). Truly, this is my favorite part of the year. I really enjoy roasting turkeys and whipping up side dishes for Thanksgiving, but holiday baking is my first love, and these Vanilla Orange Buttermilk Biscuits are one of my favorites.
I was always a rolls over biscuits girl until I visited Charleston, SC and tasted the most amazing biscuits of my life. There, a restaurant named Poogan’s Porch makes the best giant, fluffy biscuits with flaky layers that pull apart effortlessly. They’re rich and tender and buttery and oh sweet heavens, my mouth is watering just thinking about them.
Once I tasted that incredible biscuit, I was hooked. I had to figure out a way to enjoy them at home. Over the past two years I’ve tried probably six different recipes but nothing has matched its greatness.
This past year, when we went back to Charleston, I decided to take a cooking class. Biscuits were on the menu and I thought maybe, just maybe, I’d discover the secret I’d been missing. Lucky for me, I discovered not just one secret, but two.
- Use White Lily flour. I normally don’t buy a special flour for a recipe, but for this one it is absolutely, 100% worth it. This is what all the Southern cooks use. It’s slightly less gluten content makes the irresistibly light and tender biscuits we rave about. Plus, it includes all the baking soda and salt you need, which makes the base recipe for these biscuits only four ingredients. Hooray!
- Laminate the dough. You know how croissants have those gorgeous layers, each infused with butter? Those layers come from laminating the dough, which is just a fancy term for folding the dough on top of itself several times over. Using the technique on biscuits produces the same results. Mile high, super flaky biscuits, with butter in every bite. The technique is difficult to explain, but only takes about 20 seconds to do. I even made a short Instagram video to show you how simple it is!
Ever since discovering this trick, I’ve become a biscuit making fiend. Sometimes I like to go savory, but around the holidays I like just a hint of sweetness. These vanilla orange biscuits, made with Nielsen Massey‘s Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean Paste and orange extract, are the perfect compliment to a Christmas ham. With the rich, deep flavor of real vanilla bean and the subtle citrus notes of fresh orange zest, these biscuits are irresistible. Layers of butter and just a touch of sweetness will keep you comign back for bite after bite. Even the Mr. (who claims he’s “not a biscuit guy”), loved these. They’re perfect with butter or drizzled with honey. I even ate them for dessert one night with a little fresh whipped cream and jam.
Please run, don’t walk, to the kitchen to give these a try. Then commit this easy recipe to memory, because I promise you’ll want to return to it over and over again.
Got leftover buttermilk? I’ve put together a collection of storage tips plus over 50 leftover buttermilk recipes so it doesn’t have to go to waste!
Vanilla Orange Buttermilk Biscuits
If you don't have vanilla bean paste or orange extract, feel free to substitute with the zest of 1 orange and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- 2 cups White Lily self rising flour, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 6 ounces (1 1/2 stick, 12 Tablespoons) butter
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon Nielsen Massey pure vanilla bean paste
- 1 teaspoon Nielsen Massey orange extract
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the butter into small (1/2 inch) chunks then place in the freezer while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Whisk the flour and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, vanilla bean paste, and orange extract.
- Take the butter out of the freezer and add it to the flour mixture. Use two knives or a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse, pea sized crumbs.
- Add the buttermilk mixture, a little at a time, and stir the mixture gently with a wooden spoon until it starts to come together and form a ball.
- Sprinkle a flat surface with more flour. Turn the biscuit mixture out onto the flour and use your hands to pat it into a rectangle. Fold the left side to the center of the rectangle then fold the right side over the left side (think about folding a brochure). Roll the mixture out then fold again. Roll out a final time to ¾ inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter or upside down juice glass to cut out the biscuits, making sure not to twist the cutter when you remove the biscuits. Reroll the dough with any scraps until all of it is used. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet and brush with buttermilk.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown on top. Serve immediately or store wrapped loosely in a kitchen towel for a day. Reheat before serving.
This post was created in partnership with the wonderful people at Nielsen Massey. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands who keep NeighborFood running!