1 cup all purpose flour (or sub half white whole wheat flour)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
6 tbsp very cold butter, plus more for brushing the tops and greasing the dish
1 cup sourdough starter discard, chilled
cold milk or buttermilk as needed
Chill butter in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 450°F. Lightly grease a baking dish or cast iron skillet with butter.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
Using a large-hole grater, grate the butter into the bowl. Mix to coat the butter evenly with flour.
Add the starter and mix to form a shaggy dough. It will be dry and you may have a little bit of dry flour. That’s okay.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press together to form a ball. If the dough still doesn’t come together at this point, you may need to add a very small amount of cold milk or buttermilk to moisten it just enough to hold together.
Press the dough into a rectangle, then fold it in half. Press down gently and fold it in half again, and then a third time.
Press the dough into a 1-inch thick rectangle. Use a floured biscuit cutter to cut biscuits, pressing straight down without twisting the cutter. Gently press the biscuit out of the cutter, and repeat, making cuts as close together as you can. Press the remaining dough together to cut the rest of the biscuits.
Place the biscuits in the greased baking dish or cast iron skillet, just barely touching. This will help them rise.
Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the tops are golden.
Remove from the oven and brush the tops with melted butter.(optional)
The cold butter is what makes flaky pockets in biscuits, so you want your butter to stay as cold as possible. I place the butter in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before starting. Then work quickly and handle the dough as little as possible with your hands (which will warm the butter).
You also want to make sure your starter discard is cold, for the same reason.
Press your biscuit cutter straight down into the dough without twisting. This will ensure that the dough is able to rise.
If you don’t have a biscuit cutter, a glass or jar will work to cut biscuits.
Sourdough starters vary in hydration levels. If your dough is too dry to come together, drizzle just a tiny bit of milk or buttermilk into it until it is moist enough to come together.
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