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From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I've never been a biscuit lover, but we were recently at a get-together where cheese biscuits were served alongside a wonderful pulled pork. I thought the combination was unusual, but in worked really well. While I tried, I was unable to get the recipe for the biscuits from the hostess, so I began a search to find one I hoped would produce a biscuit as good as the one she served. I have special sites I visit when I'm looking for a recipe that I hope will be outstanding. Food52 is one of them, and sure enough, I was able to find a terrific recipe in their archives. The directions for their biscuits are self-explanatory and need no embroidery to make them work. I know those of you who make these will be pleased. They are truly outstanding and a perfect accompaniment for meals that can handle distinctly flavored sides. I personally think they are wonderful for breakfast and, by extension, for an afternoon tea. They work really well when served with a smear of current jelly, but any of the tarter jams or jellies could be used as well. The egg wash gives the biscuits a lovely shine and a crust that imparts a slight resistance when it is bitten. The interior of the the biscuit has a lovely color and soft crumb that is really enjoyable. I do hope you'll try this recipe. It is a keeper. Here's how the biscuits are made.
Cheese Biscuits...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Food52
3-1/2 cups minus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
2 tablespoons baking powder
2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
9 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cold unsalted butter (use a good brand, like Plugra, with a high butterfat content)
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1-3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1) Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and put it in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cut butter into chunks and leave out at room temperature (you want it malleable, but not soft).
2) Position a rack in center of oven and heat it to 400 degrees f. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine chilled dry ingredients, cheese and butter in bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for a few minutes, until chunks of butter are no bigger than a large pea – or a small bean. (When in oven, water in the chunks of butter creates steam, which in turn will creates pockets of air within biscuits.)
3) Add buttermilk to bowl and mix on low just until dough comes together. Turn dough out onto a floured board, dust your fingers with flour and gently knead it a few times. Quickly and carefully pat dough into a large rectangle about 1/2 an inch thick.
Dip a 3-inch round cutter with sharp edges in flour and then cut biscuits using an even downward motion, without twisting cutter. Transfer rounds of dough to baking sheets, leaving an inch or two of space between them. When you’ve cut first batch of biscuits, gently pat dough into another rectangle and cut a few more -- discard dough or add oddly-shaped leftover scraps to baking sheets after the second batch is cut (if you shape the dough a third time, the biscuits will be tough).
4) Beat egg with a splash of water (if you’re feeling fancy, you can then pass it through a fine mesh sieve to get rid of any clumps of egg white that might burn). Brush tops of biscuits lightly with egg wash and bake for about 20 minutes, rotating halfway through, until biscuits are a deep golden brown. Cool for a few minutes on baking sheets but serve them while still warm!
Yield: 10 to 12 large biscuits.
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