Thursday, April 15, 2010

Homemade Biscuits Make Brunch a Major Hit

It seems like every time company comes to visit it’s a food whirlwind, trucking from one delicious eating opportunity to another. Maybe it’s related to my general life obsession with food and eating but no matter the reason it’s always an adventure. My folks were in town visiting recently and so Sunday brunch with my in-laws was a big item on the to-do list. We had been out to eat a ton so I figured we should do brunch at my house where people could relax and avoid the hassle that can be a restaurant brunch. However, I didn’t want to spend my entire morning in the kitchen so I had to do some research.

I found these spectacularly easy but delightfully delicious buttermilk chive biscuits while trolling smittenkitchen. Now I have never in my life made biscuits from scratch before, but armed with my new found obsession with bread making (and the pastry blender I picked up recently) I figured, what the heck.

And OH MY!!!! Easy to make especially with my little pastry cutter but you could certainly use your fingers to break the butter into the flour. The texture was sinful, flaky, buttery, light but rich in flavor. I could not stop eating these little guys! The best part --- after shaping the biscuits and placing them onto cookie sheets, I wrapped the whole thing in tinfoil and plopped it in the freezer the night before (and I am sure you could make them days in advance) and baked the biscuits up in no time flat straight from the freezer before we sat down to brunch. A major homemade touch that took maybe 10 minutes to mix the dough and form the biscuits and 15 minutes to cook. Easy as pie and a major winner on the brunch table. I will be making these again and again. Maybe next time I’ll add bacon pieces too!

Buttermilk Chive Biscuits
(From SmittenKitchen)

Makes 12-18 servings (depending how large or small you make them)

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup minced fresh chives
1 cup buttermilk, cold

Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large bowl to blend.
Using pastry cutter (or fingertips) cut/rub chilled butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Stir in chives.
Add buttermilk and stir until evenly moistened (this will not be an overly moist looking dough but if you need to add another 1/8 cup of buttermilk, that's ok. There will be a bit of loose flour in the bottom of the dish.).
Using 1/4 cup dough for each biscuit, drop biscuits onto baking sheet lined with a silpat (optional), spacing 2 inches apart. (I used my hands to form loose balls of dough but try not to handle the dough too much. You don’t want the heat from your hands to melt the butter.)
At this point you can wrap cookie sheets in tinfoil and freeze.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425°F. Bake until biscuits are golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm. (If freezing in advance, bake straight from freezer, do not defrost.)
Note: You may also rolled the dough out on well-floured counter and cut them with a 3″ biscuit-cutter. Take care to handle the dough as little as humanly possible, so not to warm or soften it too much.

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