Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Herbed Angel Biscuits
I dressed up these biscuits with fresh herbs from the Santa Monica Farmers' Market. I'm not entirely sure what I used; I think it was a mixture of parsley, thyme, and marjoram. They had crisp exteriors and fluffy, flaky insides. The herb flavor was subtle and paired nicely with chicken and soup.
Herbed Angel Biscuits
adapted from Sara Foster's Fresh Every Day
makes 12-15 2.5inch biscuits
1 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
3 cups self rising flour, or 3 cups all purpose flour mixed with 2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
8 tbsp (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces, plus more for buttering the baking sheet
1 cup well shaken buttermilk
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
about 2 tbsp minced herbs, optional
1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Lightly butter a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
2. Stir the yeast and sugar together in a small bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup of warm water. Set the bowl in a warm place for about 5 minutes, until the mixture bubbles and doubles in volume.
3. Meanwhile, stir the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add the shortening and the cold butter pieces and cut them into the flour with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir in the fresh herbs, if using.
4. Add the buttermilk to the yeast and stir to combine. Pour the buttermilk-yeast mixture into the flour-butter mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough just starts to stick together. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it forms a ball. Do not add more flour than is needed to keep the dough from sticking and do not mix or work the dough any more than is necessary to bring it together.
5. Roll the dough about 3/4 inch thick and cut with a 2.5 inch biscuit cutter, leaving as little space between each cut as possible. If the dough sticks to the cutter, dip the cutter in flour. (I shaped the dough into a square and cut it with a dough scraper).
6. Place the biscuits on the baking sheet. If you want the sides to be soft, arrange the biscuits with their sides touching. If you want the sides to be crispy, leave 1 inch between the biscuits. Lightly brush the tops with melted butter and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.
at 7:05 PM