Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Buttermilk Biscuits with Cheese & Chives

Forget that recipe I blogged over the summer. These are easier and more flavorful. They're delicious served warm, especially in the winter. Here I substituted Monterey Jack for white cheddar because it's what I had in the fridge again, and added chives because . . . well, why not?

Buttermilk Biscuits from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tbs plus 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
1¾ cups buttermilk, plus more for brushing

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Using a pastry blender (I used a food processor), cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few larger clumps remaining.

Pour in the buttermilk; using a rubber spatula, fold buttermilk into the dough, working in all directions and incorporating crumbs at the bottom of the bowl, until the dough just comes together. The dough will be slightly sticky; do not overmix.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. With floured fingers, gently pat the dough into a round about 1 inch thick, pressing in any loose bits. Do not overwork the dough. Use a floured 2¼-inch round biscuit cutter to cut out the biscuits as close together as possible. (Use one cut edge as the edge for the next biscuit.)

Place the biscuits about 1½ inches apart on an unlined baking sheet. Generously brush the tops of the biscuits with buttermilk. Bake, rotating the sheet halfway through, until the biscuits are golden and flecked with brown spots, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool.

Cheddar Biscuits Variation. Add 3 cups (9 ounces) grated sharp cheddar cheese to the flour mixture after the butter has been cut in. Proceed with the recipe.

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