Twitter Chef Avatar Fun – January: Thomas Keller’s Buttermilk Biscuits

Kayte of Grandma’s Kitchen Table who is not only a baking buddy of mine, but also a twitter pal, was talking about changing Twitter avatars each month around a certain chef. This means, each month we bake or cook a chef’s recipe and change our avatars accordingly.

This month’s chef is Thomas Keller. I’ve never heard of him before, but I did some research on the internet and realized that he’s a pretty famous chef with fancy and very time consuming meals. What I lack at the moment is time, so I knew I had to find a simple recipe that wouldn’t take forever. So here’s my go at it – Thomas Keller’s Buttermilk Biscuits from his book “Ad Hoc at Home”. Nope, I don’t own the book, but I found the recipe here.

There were quite a few people on the internet complaining about the saltiness of these biscuits, so instead of 1 T + 1 t salt I used only 1 teaspoon of salt. They didn’t really rise much in the oven (wonder if the overnight rest in the fridge could explain that) and I served them warm for breakfast. And yes, I got up extra early (5:30 am) to take them out of the refrigerator and put them in the oven (am I a weirdo?). Tastewise, these biscuits were ok. I don’t think I’ll make them again, because I have a biscuit recipe that is MUCH better: Nick Malgieri’s Pecorino Pepper Biscuits (which, by the way rose beautifully in the oven).

This is what the other Twitter chef avatar fun people made:

Kayte – Marinated Feta with Olives, Margaret – Chicken Pot Pie, Abby – Caramel Corn, Marthe, Nancy, Di, Tracey, Leslie, Phyl, JoVonn


Buttermilk Biscuits

(adapted from “Ad Hoc at Home” by Thomas Keller, found here)


  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 T  + 1 t kosher salt
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 2 sticks(1/2 lb) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, plus 1 to 2 T for brushing
  • 2 to 3 T unsalted butter, melted


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor and fulse a few times to blend. Add the chilled butter and pulse several times, until the pieces of butter are no bigger than small peas. Do not overprocess; the dough should not come together.
  3. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour in the buttermilk. Stir and lift the mixture with a sturdy spoon, gently working the flour into the buttermilk. The dough should begin to come together but not form a solid mass, or the biscuits may be tough.
  4. Dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Pat the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cutter, cut out the biscuits. Place the biscuits on the baking sheet. The dough trimmings can be gently pushed together, patted out, and cut one more time; do not overwork the dough.
  5. Brush the tops of the biscuits lightly with buttermilk. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until a rich golden brown. As soon as you remove the biscuits from the oven, brush the tops with melted butter. Serve warm.

Makes 12 biscuits.



8 responses to “Twitter Chef Avatar Fun – January: Thomas Keller’s Buttermilk Biscuits

  1. So happy to have you playing along this year! It was actually Nancy who came up with the chef idea after my bread avatar pick for last year’s theme. Wasn’t that a good idea? I am really looking forward to making something from all the chefs we have all picked for the year, some of them I had not heard of either! Your biscuits look tasty, I must say, I would love to try one of those. And, Nick Malgieri’s biscuits are so very good, aren’t they? I always have trouble with all biscuits rising. I am about to try NM’s biscuits from his Bake! book this week to see if I have better luck with those.

  2. Nice job, Andrea! And thanks for the recipe, as I don’t have any TK books yet, either. Qeustion on the salt: I woder if the people who complained abou the saltiness were using table salt instead of kosher? That amount of kosher salt would be about 2 tsp of table salt.

    • As far as I understood the complaints, TK specifies ONE certain brand of kosher salt which ways only about 60% or so of another brand of kosher salt. And those people weren’t using the brand he was pointing out in the beginning of the book or so…

  3. I don’t have a lot of time either, so I’ve been trying to find a quick recipe as well. Still haven’t made anything, though–hopefully before the month is over. =) Sorry to hear that these biscuits didn’t turn out as well as you’d hoped.

  4. Pingback: Twitter Chef Avatar Fun – February: James Beard’s Macaroni and Cheese | Family & Food & Other Things

  5. Pingback: Twitter Chef Avatar Fun – March: Emeril Lagasse’s Latkes | Family & Food & Other Things

  6. Pingback: Abby’s Cheese Hoppers by Emeril Lagasse | Family & Food & Other Things

  7. What a fun challenge. If only I knew what an avatar was! I do have a Twitter account. I started it when I began BBA challenge, but within a week I had 14 people following me and I really had no where to lead them. I haven’t quite figured out this whole twitter thing but now that my kids are nome from school for the summer, maybe they can teach me.
    No suprise that NM’s biscuits are superior. He rocks!

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