- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring your work surface and rolling pin
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
To make the honey-butter
Bring 2 Tbsp water to a boil in a small pot. Slowly whisk in the butter, piece by piece, letting each piece melt completely into the water before adding the next one. Add the honey and salt, and whisk everything together until you have a shiny, well-combined liquid.
Let the honey-butter sit in a warm area of the kitchen, or over the lowest possible flame on the stove, until you're ready to use it. It's important to keep it warm so it will spread easily - and the longer you let it sit, the better the honey-butter will be.
To make the biscuits
Preheat the oven to 215°C.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar. (If you don't have a sifter, you can use a whisk.)
Add the buttermilk and use your hands to mix everything together, turning the mixture until it forms a dough. Then keep turning and kneading until you've got a roughly shaped ball of dough. If things get sticky, add a little bit of flour.
Flour a board or countertop well and turn the dough out on it. Flour your rolling pin then roll the dough out until it forms a round, approx. 1/2 inch thick. Fold the dough round into thirds, like you're folding a business letter. Slap the dough down hard with the palms of your hands to really bring it together, and then roll it out and fold it in again. Do this 7 times in all, skipping the folding step the seventh time. Re-flour the work surface, the dough and the rolling pin as you go.
Flour a 3 1/2-inch round pastry cutter and cut out as many rounds of dough as possible (you should have 8-10 or so). Re-flour the cutter as you go. (When we make these at the restaurant, we usually bake off the leftover pieces and eat them ourselves.)
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, lay the biscuits on it and put it on the middle oven rack. At about the 10-minute mark, turn the baking sheet so that all the biscuits bake evenly.
When the biscuits are baked through and the tops are golden-brown (about 20 minutes), pull them out of the oven. Using a big pastry brush, coat the tops of the biscuits with the honey butter. The biscuits will be very soft and flaky inside, with just a little bit of crispness on the outside. Serve them while they're hot.