Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 cups pastry flour
2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
4 ounces butter, cold, and cubed into 8 equal pieces
2 cups buttermilk, cold
6 ounces butter, softened and cut into 12 equal pieces
Additional butter, melted, for brushing the tops of the biscuits
Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients Add the cold, cubed butter and cut into the flour, using a pastry cutter or a fork. If you choose to use your hands, work fast, you don't want to warm the butter up too much. Continue to mix the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, with pieces about the size of peas. If the butter is soft, allow dough to chill for 10-20 minutes. Add 2/3 of the buttermilk and gently mix with hands to moisten. Add the remaining buttermilk and mix again until just combined. The dough will be quite sticky. Sprinkle the a board with flour and place the dough onto the board. Dust the top lightly with flour and gently knead until the dough holds together. With floured hands, pat the dough out into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Spread 4 tablespoons of butter onto 2/3 of the dough. Fold the remaining 1/3 of the dough onto the buttered section, and the other edge of the dough over the middle, like a letter. Gently press out once more, flouring the table if needed. Spread another 4 tablespoons of the butter onto the dough, making sure to do it on the same portion of dough you did the first time. Repeat the folding process once more. Sprinkle a little more flour and press out again, repeating the butter layering and process one final time.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently flatten the dough out to 3/4 inch thick. Using your desired cutter, cut out as many biscuits as you can. You can't reuse the scraps, so cut them close together. Place on the parchment lined pan and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes. Brush the tops with melted butter. Sprinkle the tops with a little salt, if desired. Place the biscuits in the oven and bake until golden brown and firm, checking after 12 minutes for color. Once the biscuits are done, remove from the oven. Allow to cool slightly before serving.