Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cheddar Chive Biscuits

Cheddar Chive Biscuits

1 3/4 cup flour + 1 tablespoon flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon paprika
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons COLD unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons minced chives

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Place 1 3/4 cups of flour, baking powder, baking soda, paprika, red pepper flakes, and salt into food processor and pulse for 10 seconds to mix. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (you can also do this part with a pastry blender or fork).
3.  Place mixture into large bowl. Stir in the buttermilk all at once.
4. In a separate bowl, toss the cheese and chives with 1 tablespoon of flour. Stir into biscuit dough.
5. There are several options for cutting these out, depending on how much time you want to spend and what you want your biscuits to look like. For the picture above, I brushed a muffin tin with melted butter and dropped the dough into the muffin cups. You can also roll the dough out and cut it out with a biscuit cutter, roll a rectangle of dough and simply cut into squares, or roll one big circle and bake it on a sheet, then cut it into wedges after it's baked.

Hayley's Biscuit Making Rules
There are several elements that determine the quality of a biscuit:
1) The butter must be very, very cold. Do not let it sit out before using it. When you are ready for it, take it out of the fridge, cut it into small pieces, and add it to the flour. Keep the butter cold when cutting it in- don't ever use your fingers to mix it, because your fingers will melt the butter. Also, mix it quickly. This is why I prefer to use a food processor for this.
2) The size of your crumb after mixing your flour and butter determines the flakiness vs. fluffiness of your biscuit. I prefer a fluffy, soft biscuit so I cut the cutter in very small. If you like a flaky, layered type of biscuit, leave the crumb a little larger.
3) Try not to manipulate or roll out your dough too much. The more it's worked, the tougher the dough will get. I usually prefer to cut square biscuits or make one big circle because then I don't need to re-roll any extra dough and there's no waste.
4) Using buttermilk really does make a difference. You can subsitute milk, but it's won't taste quite the same.


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