Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cheddar, Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Biscuits

The brilliant thing about this recipe is you can make it just about any filling you want. The original recipe called for bacon, cheddar & chive. You could do almost any cheese (parmesan or gouda would be good substitutes), and the herb or 'filler' variations are endless. Mix it up!

 Ingredients (makes just over 1 dozen biscuits):

  • 3-3/4 cups bread flour
  • 1-1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1-1/4 tsp salt, plus more to finish
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted, cold butter, plus more for melting
  • 2-1/2 cups (packed) coarsely grated cheddar cheese (I used a mix of Beemster and 2yo Cheddar)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil (more if you want)
  • 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (more if you want)
  • 2 cups chilled buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Blend to combine well. Add butter in cubes; blend to a coarse meal. Transfer mixture to a bowl. At this point, check with your fingers for any big clumps of butter ... if they're there, just pinch and mix it with your fingers. You want the butter to be in small balls, just not big ones.
  2. Add basil, sun-dried tomatoes and cheese to bowl. Combine. Slowly add buttermilk, stirring to combine evenly. Your batter will be still a bit mealy, but should hold together when you ball it with your hand.
  3. Loosely form about 1/2 cup patties with your hands and drop onto the baking sheet. You don't want to pack it too tightly or the biscuits will be like pucks, but you also don't want them to crumble to pieces. Melt about 2 tbsp butter and brush the tops of each biscuit.
  4. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until lightly browned and a toothpick tester comes out clean. Sprinkle with a touch of salt. Serve just warm or at room temperature. They're great on their own, or make them into a sandwich. Yum!

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