I find that when I tell people that I make my own bread, I somehow earn a new level of respect as a home cook. I do love making bread by hand. It is wonderfully satisfying, but I wouldn’t say it’s easy. It is an art and takes time and practice. I also have a bread machine that I love because I don’t always have the time. But biscuits? Well, I made them for the first time a week ago (documenting as I went along for this post) and they turned out perfectly. So I can now say with certitude that biscuits are easy. Respect.
Here’s my adaptation of Epicurious’s baked-potato biscuit recipe. And I make the potato optional, so no worries if you don’t want to bother with it.
- 1/2 cup leftover mashed potatoes (optional, but really delicious)
- 2 cups flour (+1/4 cup if not using the potatoes)
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 6 tbsp cold butter, cut in to small cubes
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup cheddar
- 1/4 minced scallions
- 1 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 425º. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper. Then add the butter and combine using forks or your hand as if making a pie crust dough. When it resembles coarse crumbs, mix in the cheese, scallions and potatoes (if using). If you have omitted the potatoes, add an extra 1/4 cup of flour. Stir in the buttermilk using a wooden spoon. The resulting dough will be extremely sticky. This is ok! Keep your bag of flour close; you will need to add flour a few times so the dough doesn’t stick too much. Turn this dough on to a heavily floured surface and sprinkle on another good layer of flour. Knead gently to even out the dough, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. Then, fold the dough onto itself 4 times, giving the dough a quarter turn at each fold and turning every time in the same direction adding flour as necessary. Pat down the dough into a 3/4 inch round and cut out your biscuit with a 2-inch cutter. Put them on a greased cookie sheets as you go. Gather the dough scraps and cut out more biscuits. Repeat until you’ve used up all the dough. This makes 15-20 biscuits.
Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool slightly before serving.