Butter my biscuits!

Classy Cooking with Cassie

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Cassie Duncanson/PSU Vanguard

Biscuits are one of those delicious dishes that can be eaten right out of the oven and make your home smell like butter. (Julia Child is my patronus.) What more could you ask for? Biscuits are great with soups, with breakfast, when running out the door, with butter, with jam—they’re a very versatile side dish. If you can master the buttermilk biscuit (and you can!), then you can always fill up your kitchen with love in the form of gluten and butter.

(Look, I was raised by a woman who learned how to cook via French grandparents and Betty Crocker cookbooks. It is important for you to know, if we’re going to move forward, that I adore all things gluteny and buttery, and you are only going to be able to pry them from my cold, dead hands. I love a challenge, and I love being able to feed all of my friends who have various preferences and tolerances for my two dearest loves…but please know that flour and butter are close to my heart, often literally, and I spend much time spreading their gospel).

The other day, I accidentally picked up some green garlic from Spring Hill Organic Farms while looking for scallions at the Saturday market. The find was a happy accident. After doing some research, I learned green garlic is a younger version of the standard garlic plant, with a taste somewhere between a scallion and a mature garlic clove. Its leaves are edible, but I prefer to save those for flavoring broths and stocks and instead use the green garlic like leeks, using the white and green-white parts of the stem. I decided to use them in these herbed biscuits.

Ingredients:
—2 cups all-purpose flour
—2 teaspoons baking powder
—1 teaspoon salt
—¼ teaspoon baking soda
—½ cup frozen butter + extra for brushing the biscuits
—½ teaspoon green garlic, sliced
—small handful chives, chopped
—¾ cup buttermilk*

*Buttermilk is one of those fancy ingredients that you never need until you’re unable to run to the grocery store. The good news is there’s a great trick to solve all your out-of-buttermilk needs. Before you’ve begun gathering your ingredients, measure out a scant cup of milk (just under a full cup, important because of the reaction with this ratio of milk:vinegar) and mix in a tablespoon of vinegar (white or apple cider). Let it sit for five minutes…et voila, homemade buttermilk. It will form a skin; don’t worry, this is supposed to happen.

Making the biscuits:
Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients and the herbs (a fork will work just as well).
  2. Shred the frozen stick of butter with a cheese grater into the mixture. Coat the butter with the flour.
  3. Add in the buttermilk and stir all the ingredients together until just combined. There will probably be a little bit of flour left on the bottom on the bowl. THIS IS FINE. DO NOT OVERMIX. DEAR GOD, WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T OVERMIX.
  4. Flour the counter.
  5. Gently roll the dough into a rectangle approximately ½” thick.
  6. Fold into thirds.
  7. Turn the dough halfway and repeat steps 5 and 6 twice.
  8. Cut into rounds with a glass, a mason jar, or whatever circular object you have on hand. When cutting into rounds, DO NOT TWIST. Simply press down and lift. If you find the biscuits are sticking to your cutter, lightly coat with flour between biscuits.
  9. Place the rounds on baking sheet and brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter. No brush? A paper towel or your fingers work just as well.
  10. Bake for 12–15 minutes, until golden brown.
  11. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy.

 

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