From America's Test Kitchen Season 2: Ham, Biscuits, and Greens
With a high rise, light texture, and rich flavor, fresh-from-the-oven biscuits tend to disappear quicker than cookies in the test kitchen. So it’s a shame that many prospective bakers pass them up, just because the recipe calls for the strenuous step of cutting butter into flour, or the messy move of rolling out dough time and again to get every last piece into a round for the baking sheet. We wanted to make great biscuits that cut out these extra steps and used a basic combination of heavy cream, flour, baking powder, and salt. Instead of cutting butter into flour, we included a generous amount of heavy cream in our biscuits, which gave them a lighter and more tender texture. Kneading for just 30 seconds was enough to get our dough smooth and uniform. We used an extra bit of cream to soak up all the last bits of flour in the bowl, ensuring that nothing was wasted. To enhance the light flavor of our biscuits, we added a small amount of sugar. All there was left to do was shape them, then pop them into the oven immediately to keep them from spreading. Although it is easy enough to pat out this dough and cut it into rounds with a biscuit cutter, we devised a second strategy of simply pressing the dough into an 8-inch cake pan, turning out the dough, and then slicing it into wedges.
Makes Eight 2 1/2-Inch Biscuits
These biscuits come together in a flash and require no special equipment.