Amazingly soft, flaky, and tender biscuits. These warm biscuits will make a statement in your Thanksgiving table.
2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup cake flour)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
5 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
1/2 cup cold sour cream
1/4 cup cold whole milk
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans, preferably toasted
Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 425 F. Get out a sharp 2-inch diameter biscuit cutter, and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. Drop in butter and, using your fingertips, toss to coat the butter pieces with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You’ll have pea-sized pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces the size of everything in between- and that’s just right.
Stir the sour cream and milk together and pour over dry ingredients. Grab a fork and gently toss and turn the ingredients together until you’ve got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick gentle kneading- 3 or 4 turns should be enough to bring everything together. Toss in the pecans and knead another 2 to 3 times to incorporate them.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour and pat the dough out with your hands or roll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high. Don’t worry if the dough isn’t completely even- a quick light touch is more important than accuracy.
Use a biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of this first round. Transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. gather together the scraps, working them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits can be made to this point and frozen on a baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting- just add a couple more minutes to oven time).
Bake the biscuits for 14 to 18 minutes, or until they are tall, puffed and golden brown. Serve warm.