Buttery-rich and full of sprightly garlic flavor, these biscuits don’t need any extra butter. Serve them just as they are with soups and stews, and for a nice sweet-savory twist, with preserves and/or thin slices of cheese at breakfast or brunch. At our house, we like to split them and spoon on a pile of soft-scrambled eggs. This recipe is adapted from The Onion Book by Carolyn Dille and Susan Belsinger (Interweave Press, 1996). You can substitute 1⁄2 cup whole-wheat flour in place of the same amount of unbleached flour for a heartier biscuit. Makes about 1 dozen biscuits cut with a 2 1⁄2-inch cutter
• 2 cups unbleached flour
• Scant 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
• 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
• Dash cayenne pepper
• 1⁄4 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
• Generous 1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 cup nonfat or 1 1⁄2 percent buttermilk, or 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice added
• Generous 1⁄2 cup snipped chives
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cayenne, paprika and Parmesan in a large bowl and blend thoroughly. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
2. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk with chives. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir to form a soft dough.
3. Turn the dough onto a floured pastry marble or board, knead gently until it just comes together, and roll out to not quite 1⁄2-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 21⁄2-inch rounds and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
4. Bake the biscuits for 18 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove to a baking rack to cool slightly before serving. The biscuits are best served warm and right after baking. If you want to prepare them in advance, cool them completely and store them in an airtight container. Wrap them in foil and gently reheat in a 325-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
Susan Belsinger is a culinary herbalist who loves playing with food. She delights in kitchen alchemy — the blending of harmonious seasonal foods, herbs and spices. For more information on recipe conversions, visit www.baking911/bread_machines.htm.
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