Monday, September 10, 2012

Recipe of the Moment: Cheddar Cheese and Black Pepper Biscuits

I grew up eating very large, flakey Southern biscuits. I don't know if those are actually a thing (I mean, are Northern biscuits a thing?), but my dad made them all the time and they were delicious. I also, of course, ate canned biscuits. In fact, I would often eat the canned biscuits before they had a chance to cook in the oven. I'm sure that's safe.

Not knowing my father's recipe, being too lazy to call and find out, and not being allowed to eat canned biscuits because of chemicals/preservatives/other bad things, I have been pretty much biscuit-less for the last few years of my life.

No longer. I was craving biscuits late one night, so I decided to make them, adapted from this recipe. They turned out so well that they were gone within 24 hours. While I may not have eaten all of them (I had help!), it was probably mostly me.

The best thing about these biscuits is that they're no ordinary biscuits. They're soft and flakey and generally amazing, but what makes them better than the average biscuit is the cheddar and black pepper baked in them. Yes, you read that correctly. In short, they're pretty much perfect.

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2.5 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter
1.25 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup cold buttermilk*

*If you don't have buttermilk, substitute with milk and vinegar. Place 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in a 1 cup measuring cup. Add milk until it comes to the 1 cup line. Let stand for 5 minutes before using.

Preheat oven to 400.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a blender and blend. Add butter and slowly blend, using on/off turns, until dough forms.

Transfer to a large bowl and add the cheese.

Add buttermilk to dough.

Knead dough on floured surface for about 10 minutes.

Cut out biscuits and place evenly on a cookie sheet.

Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.