Monday, January 21, 2013

Rosemary, Parmesan, and Black Pepper Biscuits

 I'm not gonna lie: I make pretty amazing biscuits. Like, the best biscuits you've ever tasted. I definitely take advantage of my talents in this area by making all kinds of biscuit variations: pot pies, shortcakes, and flavored biscuits. My favorite things to add to biscuits are herbs and cheese.

For these biscuits, I added fresh rosemary and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, along with freshly cracked black pepper. I served these for dinner alongside a white bean and tomato soup, and it was a delicious combination.

Biscuits are actually easy to make well, if you follow a few simple tips. First, I start my biscuit dough in the food processor. To get really high and fluffy biscuits, you want to cut your butter into the flour as small as possible, and it's just faster and easier to do that with the food processor. Make sure that the mixture looks like cornmeal; you don't want to see any big pieces of butter left.
Next, don't overwork your dough when rolling it out. You can roll the leftover dough out for a second time after you've cut out the first biscuits, but after that, the dough will start to get tough. You can also just roll a rectangle and then cut square biscuits. If I'm really feeling lazy, I'll just skip the whole rolling pin thing altogether and pat the dough into a big circle right on the cookie sheet, then cut it into wedges.

I like soft, fluffy biscuits, so I bake them close together on the sheet. For crunchier sides, space them farther apart.

Finally, a quick egg wash will give the biscuits pretty, golden-brown tops. It also allows you to add toppings- I added a little extra parmesan and a grind of black pepper to these.
Obviously, these are best eaten directly from the oven, as soon as they have cooled enough so you don't burn your mouth. Or possibly even before. I've found that leftovers stored in a plastic baggie taste surprisingly decent the next day, especially if warmed in the oven for a minute.

Rosemary, Parmesan, and Black Pepper Biscuits

Makes 8-10 biscuits
1 3/4 cups flour, plus extra for rolling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon milk
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon black pepper
Beaten egg (for tops, optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 450.
2. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and rosemary to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 20 seconds to combine.
3. Add the butter, and pulse for 30 seconds to combine, or until mixture resemble cornmeal. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
4. Stir in cheese and pepper into the butter and flour mixture. Add the milk all at once, and stir until just combined.
5. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead briefly. Roll dough to 3/4" thick. Cut with a biscuit cutter or glass and place on a cookie sheet.
6. Brush biscuit tops with the beaten egg. Top with a sprinkle of cheese and pepper. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until tops are golden brown.
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  1. Sounds wonderful! Anything with rosemary catches my attention.

  2. Made these last night. They are delicious!
    Thanks for sharing!