One of the first things I learned to bake as a child was baking powder biscuits. They remain a favourite to this day; I love them hot out of the oven, slathered with butter and jam. When I spied a jar of Heritage Corn Flour from Barkley’s Apple Orchard in my recent Farmers’ Feast basket from the Ottawa Farmers’ Market, I had a hunch that special flour would make for very delicious biscuits, and that maple butter (thanks to Maple Country Sugar Bush) would be the ideal topping. I was right on both counts. These flaky biscuits are so easy to make and keep well in an airtight container for a couple of days.
For the biscuits:
- 1 cup (250 mL) corn flour *
- 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
- 5 teaspoons (25 mL) baking powder
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon (75 mL) cold, salted butter
- 1 cup (250 mL) buttermilk
* can substitute with very fine cornmeal but NOT cornstarch
For the maple butter:
- 3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine the flours and baking powder in a medium bowl.
- With a grater, shred the cold butter directly into the flour mixture. With two forks, toss the butter and flour together until they are evenly combined.
- Pour the buttermilk into the flour and butter and quickly stir together with a wooden spoon.
- Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead it just enough to incorporate all the flour into the dough, which will be soft and shaggy.
- With floured hands, pat the dough out into a rectangle about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick.
- Using a three inch (7.5 cm) round cutter or a similar sized drinking glass, cut the dough into seven or eight rounds.
- Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 13 – 15 minutes or until tops and bottoms of biscuits are golden.
- While biscuits are baking, put softened butter in a small bowl. Add maple syrup and stir vigorously to blend together, creating a smooth spread.
- Serve hot biscuits with maple butter on the side. If you’re like my husband, you might also enjoy them topped with a fried egg.
Makes 7 – 8 three inch biscuits.