Blue Cheese Scallion Biscuits

Halloween. Scary times. Baking. Biscuits to be precise. Scarier times.

Baking always feels like a crap shoot. First, there is little room for mistakes. You flub the measurements, you either end up with something that that can be used for spackling compound or something hard enough to be used as a stepping stone. Second, there are many things in baking that are assumed, but not stated. Sift the flour. Let the butter warm to room temperature. These are not absolutes, but they can have a profound affect on the result.

Today’s baking was Blue Cheese Scallion Biscuits care of the wonderful Smitten Kitchen. The recipe is as follows:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick or 3 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups crumbled blue cheese
4 scallions, finely chopped
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450°F. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, then blend in butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in blue cheese and scallions. Add buttermilk and stir until just combined.

Drop dough in 12 equal mounds about 2 inches apart onto a buttered large baking sheet, or one lined with parchment paper. Bake in middle of oven until golden, 16 to 20 minutes.

There is no tinkering here (baking, remember?) so follow the above as stated.

Sift your flour. You can find one of these pain-in-ass sifters in just about any grocery store. It looks pretty safe, but you’d be surprised the number of times I have cut myself on this contraption. I would not hand it to a child. Load it up with flour and start sifting. No measuring? Correct. You measure what comes OUT of the sifter, not what goes in.

With the flour and other dry ingredients mixed, cut and portion the remaining ingredients.

Time to get your hands dirty. As stated in the recipe blend the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers. What I do is work in the butter until there are no large chunks remaining. The result should resemble the following. Whether this is how “course meal” looks, I do not know.

Combine in the blue cheese and scallions and then finally the buttermilk. You’re not mixing paint here so go easy and stop when the ingredients have come together, like so:

Notice that its not one big wad of dough. Its more like Play-Doh that’s been in-n-out of the can a few times. You’re now ready to make your biscuits, but DON’T forget to grease the cooking sheet (parchment paper works too).

I make my biscuits like snow balls, forming a ball of dough that is larger than a golf ball, but smaller than a tennis ball. Place the ball on the sheet and give it a little mash. They are far from perfect, but the taste will make up for the appearance.

The recipe states 16 to 20 minutes for baking time. The first time I baked these I erred towards 20 and ended up with burnt biscuit bottoms. For subsequent bakings, I’ve pulled them out at 15-16 minutes and they’ve been fine.

If you can only eat one, you have issues. I had four.

~ by Genevieve on 2010.10.31.

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