The secret to making light biscuits is to handle the dough as little as possible. Biscuits, unlike bread, should not be kneaded. MAKES 8 (3-INCH) BISCUITS
• 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into 8 pieces
• 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp or smoked cheddar cheese
• 1/4 cup fresh chopped chives
• 2⁄3 cup buttermilk
• Mustard Butter (See below)
• Chives, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Pulse first 3 ingredients in a food processor 4 times or just until combined. Add butter and pulse 5 to 6 times or until the mixture is crumbly. Add cheese and chives and pulse just until blended. Add the buttermilk and pulse just until blended. (The dough will still be crumbly.)
3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat dough to a 3/4-inch thickness; cut with a 3-inch round cutter dipped in flour. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden. Serve with Mustard Butter.
Add more or less mustard to suit your personal taste, but this is how I like it.
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
• 1 tablespoon country-style Dijon mustard
• 1 garlic clove, pressed
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl; beat at medium speed with a handheld mixer until blended. Serve at room temperature. Store butter in refrigerator.
Lynn Alley is a food, wine and travel writer who lives in Southern California. She has written five cookbooks, including The Gourmet Slow Cooker (Ten Speed Press, 2003), and has a sixth, 50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker (Andrews McMeel, 2011), just out.
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