Yesterday, I was working on a recipe for a creamy chicken and rice soup. E had gotten some at the market one night this week when we were both too tired to cook or to clean up after ourselves. I haven't quite perfected my recipe yet, so I'll save that post for later this week, but what I do want to talk to you about is a new biscuit recipe.
You're probably going to say that recipes aren't really new, more variations or adaptations of something that's done before. And that's fair. This is really a new-to-me recipe: nothing that I've used before but certainly will in the future. One of the things I really like about the recipe is that it uses buttermilk powder. Until my mother introduced me to the pantry staple I was in the habit of using soured milk, which is a fine substitution. The only problem is that aside from generally not having buttermilk in my fridge, I don't have regular milk to sour. (I have powdered plain milk for emergencies.) Its easy to include the buttermilk powder in with the dry ingredients and then use water to bring the dough together.
The other thing that this biscuit adaptation allows is the use of any small pieces of cheese that may be lurking in your fridge, threatening to go bad if you don't use them sometime soon. In my cheese drawer there was a nutty aged gouda, some BeemsterLite, and Parmiggiano Reggiano. (I don't normally eat "lite" food, but the samples in the cheese department generally persuade me to make a purchase.) Each one was grated on the large holes of a box grater and tossed in after the butter had been cut into the flour. These biscuits are similiar to ones that my mother makes which are very delicate yet packed with cheddar flavor.
I had chosen to make biscuits along with the test soup for E at lunchtime. (Does that sound cruel? Serving a "test" to someone?) He had driven over 8 hours between yesterday and today, so thought I'd have one of his favorite things waiting for him. (Biscuits are among his favs, not trial recipes.) Upon entering he told me the house smelled wonderful and the biscuits looked great. He then he fell asleep on the couch, so the tasting had to wait, but he did enjoy them after all.
1 stick of butter, cold
3/4 cup water, cold
1 cup flour
1 cup cake flour
3 tablespoons buttermilk powder
2 teapoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 oz hard cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
Dice the butter and place in the freezer
Measure the water and put in the freezer
Place dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment
Pulse a few times to combine
Add butter to processor and gently toss with dry ingredients, being careful of the sharp blade
Pulse 10-12 times until the butter pieces are no larger than peas
Dump the mixture into a bowl, add the cheese and mix together
Add the water and stir to combine
Dump out onto a lightly floured work surface and form into a loose ball
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces
Gently roll each piece into a ball and place in a 9" round baking pan
Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 12 minutes
Remove the pan and let biscuits cool slightly
Remove the biscuits from the pan and place on a cooling rack