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An Ivy League Grad Learns How to Build a Beautiful Life

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An Ivy League Grad Learns How to Build a Beautiful Life

Suzanne Pollak

Sebastian thought he had learned all he needed to learn at Columbia. Double majoring in Classics and History—and graduating with honors, mind you—he believed his education had been as broad and as profound as any young sophisticate's could hope to be. 

He was wrong.

What Sebastian didn't realize was that there was a world of knowledge waiting for him outside the halls of academia. And, perhaps not entirely by chance, he stumbled upon the very heart of that world: the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits.

At the Charleston Academy, we welcome pupils at all levels—including slightly arrogant intellectuals. But there is one trial that all pupils must undergo:

The Charleston Academy Southern Biscuit Preparatory Exam

Our Columbia grad passed with flying colors, despite being a total neophyte to the art of the Southern Biscuit.

Watch his trial below and marvel at the mouth-watering portraits of the final product. 


CHARLESTON ACADEMY SOUTHERN BISCUIT

MAKES 12 to 18, depending on size of biscuit cutter

INGREDIENTS

3 cups self-rising flour, preferably White Lily

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 4 equal pieces

1  1/2 cups whole buttermilk

 

1.  Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.  Using two knives or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until it forms pea-size pieces.  Add the buttermilk and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough almost forms a ball.

3.  Place the dough on a silicone baking mat and begin folding up the sides, right and left, until a ball forms.  Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thickness.  Fold one side of the dough into the center and then fold in the other side.  Roll out again and refold in the same manner three to six times.  (Each roll and fold creates flaky layers within your biscuits.)  Roll out one final time until the dough is 3/4-inch thick.

4.  Cut the biscuits with a 2-inch biscuit cutter or an inverted glass.  Place the biscuits on a nonstick baking sheet.  Gather the scraps, re-roll, and cut out more biscuits until all of the dough has been used.  (At this point, you can cover the unbaked biscuits with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, or freeze up to 3 weeks.)

5.  Bake until lightly browned on the top and bottom, 10 to 12 minutes.  (Bake frozen biscuits at 425 degrees F for 25 minutes.)