Buttermilk Biscuits with Walnuts

  • Yield: 12 servings


1 1/2cups all-purpose flour
1/2cup cake flour
2 1/2teaspoons baking powder
1/2teaspoon baking soda
1/2teaspoon salt
2tablespoons sugar
6tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter
3/4cup buttermilk
3/4cup (3 oz) finely chopped California walnuts
-- all-purpose flour for rolling out the dough
2tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F.  Get out a large baking sheet.  It does not need to be greased, but cover it with parchment paper if you wish, for easier cleanup.
  2. Combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a food processor fitted with the metal blade.  Process about 20 seconds, to combine and aerate the ingredients.  Cut the cold butter into small, irregular pieces, about 1/2-inch across.  Drop the butter into the dry ingredients, and process in about 18 to 22 on-off pulses until the butter has been blended into the dry ingredients and you have a mixture of small, irregular bits resembling fresh bread crumbs. 
  3. Add the buttermilk all at once, and all but 2 tablespoons of the walnuts.  Process again in several off-on pulses just until the dough holds together in a rough, damp, shaggy mass. 
  4. To roll out the dough, spread a handful of all-purpose flour on your work surface and scrape the dough onto it.  Put some flour on your hands, and knead the dough gently about 10 or 12 times, just until it is smooth and cohesive; this should take about 30 seconds, or less.  Pat the dough into a rectangle about 10 x 7 inches and 1/2-inch thick.  Brush the top with the melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of walnuts.  With a long, sharp knife, make 2 lengthwise cuts in the dough, and 3 crosswise cuts, thus cutting the dough into 12 biscuits, each approximately 2 inches square.  (The biscuits will expand a little when baked.)  
  5. Transfer to the baking sheet, leaving a little space between each biscuit.  Bake for about 14 minutes, until puffy and lightly browned.  Cool for a moment, then serve warm.