Tag Archives: scones

Spicy Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits

Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a.k.a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!

At first I was a little annoyed at this months Daring Bakers Challenge. Biscuits? Please. I’ve made those so many times I can do that in my sleep. (insert pretentious snort here)

But my biscuits have never been this light and airy, which certainly have their place. However, when making sweet scones (my favorite being cranberry orange), this recipe wouldn’t work for me. I need my scones to have a little more muscle so they survive the multiple dips in coffee. These are not meant for coffee. They are meant just as a delicious snack, or as a side to dinner. They shine all by themselves.

The moral of the story is…I learned something new. That’s what I get for being snooty.

The great thing about biscuits (or scones, whatever you want to call them) is they are easy and quick to make.

Some pointers:

  • Always, always use very cold butter. Cube your butter and then put it back in the refrigerator. The key to flaky biscuits is cold butter. As the butter melts in the oven it releases steam, which creates your height and layers.
  • Always, always use cold liquid ingredients.
  • You can use your mixer, a pastry blender, or your hands. Whatever works for you. I used my mixer.
  • Sift your dry ingredients. This recipe suggests triple sifting, which I have no patience for. I sifted once and still had delightfully airy biscuits.
  • You can season this however you like. I will provide the base recipe provided to us, and then I will give you the adaptions I used. If you make sweet biscuits, add some sugar to your dry mix.
  • I did two versions. First, I just rolled out to a rectangle then cut into squares (or maybe still rectangle?). The second version I just patted the dough into a cast iron skillet (that had been buttered. Right, we needed more butter) and I liked this version better. Something about cast iron skillets! I cut the dough before baking it to make for easy grabbing after it was done.
  • If you use a cookie cutter to create round biscuits, do not twist the cutter. You will destroy your layers and have flat or lopsided cookies. Just press straight down.

And one more reminder…use cold butter! This picture was taken three years ago and was my first attempt at making biscuits (using a different recipe, but equally delicious. I’ll try and post that one soon). I left my butter out too long. The biscuit on the right had room temperature butter. The one on the left is cold butter.

Seems like just yesterday I was scratching my head as to why my biscuits were flat!

Yield: About 8 biscuits

Time: 30 minutes from start to finish

Difficulty: Very easy

One Year Ago: Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies

Basic Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1 cup  (140 gm/5 oz)  all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 TB frozen grated butter (I just used diced cold butter)
  •  ½ cup (120 ml) cold milk
  • Optional 1 tablespoon milk, for glazing the tops of the scones

1. Preheat oven to 475F. Sift your dry ingredients into your mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix on low until butter mixture resembles very coarse corn meal (slightly smaller than pea size). Watch carefully. Any smaller than that and you will start to lose your layers.

2. Add your milk and mix until just combined.

3. Very lightly dust a clean surface and knead a few times to create layers. This particular recipe is very wet so it will be difficult to knead. Just try a couple kneads and don’t get frustrated if it is sticky.

4. Roll out or pat to 1/2″ thickness. If you are baking in a cast iron skillet (highly recommend!) do not roll, just pat the dough into the pan and pre-cut before baking. Brush lightly with milk.

5. Bake for about 8 minutes if cut into individual pieces; if in a skillet it will take longer. Bake until edges are golden. Let cool slightly and then melt butter on top. Eat.

Spicy Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 1 cup  (140 gm/5 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  •  1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • 4 TB frozen grated butter (I just used diced cold butter)
  •  ½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk

Follow the same instructions as above, sifting the baking soda, mustard, and cayenne in with the rest of the dry ingredients. Knead the cheese in last and sprinkle a little on top. Enjoy!

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Savory Scones – Bacon, Onions, and Gruyere

I’ve made scones many a times. I almost always make cranberry orange. I love cranberries and I love the buttery goodness of a scone. This time, however, my hubby requested I make savory scones for his students on the first day of class. I’ve talked of making savory scones (on that long list of Things To Make. I should write that list down someday) but just never did until now!

Making savory scones isn’t really much different than sweet. You just add different goodies at the end. The rest is the same. This particular recipe I added pepper with the dry and a pinch less sugar, but otherwise, the base is essentially the same. Which means if you don’t want savory scones, you can still use this recipe and just add whatever you desire!

These turned out really, really yummy. In fact, people scarfed these down faster than my sweet scones! Perhaps it was the bacon? Or maybe that it was something different? Really all that matters is people enjoyed these immensely. Which makes me happy!

I didn’t measure my bacon, onions, or cheese. But here’s the suggested amounts:

  • 45 g (1/3 cup) Caramelized onions
  • 45 g (1/3 cup) Cooked Bacon
  • 40 g (1/4 cup) Gruyere

I cooked my bacon first then used the bacon fat to cook the onions:

Let those cool and drain on a paper towel and continue on with the recipe.

Bacon and Caramelized Onion Scones with Gruyere

Recipe from Ciril Hitz Baking Artisan Breads and Pastries

  • 400 g (3 1/4 cup) All purpose Flour or Bread Flour (I prefer half each)
  • 4 g (1/2 tsp) Salt
  • 1 g (1/4 tsp) Pepper (omit if using a sweet filling)
  • 56 g (1/4 cup) Sugar
  • 24 g (2 TB) Baking powder
  • 148 g (10 TB) Unsweetened Butter, Cold
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Egg white (save the yolk for egg wash)
  • 230 g (1 cup) Buttermilk
  • Egg wash, as needed

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Whisk together the dry ingredients.

3. Cut the butter into cubes, but keep cold. If using a mixer, mix the butter into the flour using a paddle attachment. If not using a mixer, use your hands or a pastry cutter. Work the butter in until it is the texture of cornmeal. Be careful not to over mix.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. Slowly add the liquids to the flour mixture. Mix just until combined!

5. Move your dough to a work bench and get ready to knead! Get your things together before this step: Rolling pin, dough cutter, dowels, egg wash, pan with silpat or parchment, and knife or pizza wheel. And flour for dusting. Very important.

6. Work your dough into a nice ball. It will be pretty sticky at this point so you will need flour. Knead it by folding it over on itself, then rotate 90 degrees and repeat. This will create layers which will make your dough flaky.

7. Once the dough has come together fairly well, add the onions and bacon and knead to work it in. You may want to do this in batches.

8. Now that all the goodies are worked into the dough, roll out the dough to 1/2″. This is where you need the dowels. Again, if you don’t have dowels, use a ruler.

9. When you are at 1/2″, use your knife or pizza wheel to cut triangle. I like to cut squares and then triangles.

10. Move to your pan. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with the cheese.

11. Bake until golden, which should take 15 to 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

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