(cheddar biscuits are perfect sitting-on-the-porch food)
(simple ingredients such as flour and butter are spun into the most incomprehensible of delights)
Cheddar biscuits to be exact. If I was marooned on a desert isle, I would be just fine with a plate of these -- that's how wild I am for them. My sister-in-law introduced me to savory biscuits, via a lovely thyme and rosemary combination, as well as a fall-flavored pumpkin butter swirl biscuit . . . If your whistle's not wet now, you have stronger carb resistance than I. So it was with this inclination to add to an already PERFECT food that I decided on the famed cheddar biscuits -- I am thrilled that I did, as I thought they were just about perfect.
Because, when it comes down to it -- It's about carbs and salt sometimes. Good salt, I like Maldon flakes, and a flaky, tender, starchy little darling, ready to go down the hatch, unadorned and naked. These need nothing! This must be the Southerner within me, but I feel downright compelled when a hankering for a biscuit comes on. Far be it that I disobey the Gods of delicious, fattening, salty, cheesy objects. Then the devil might beat his wife around the bush or something to that affect . . . or is that when the it's raining and the sun is out? My mother is the knower of all the deep-South sayings and lore, I'll have to consult her and get back to you on the appropriate phrase for biscuit indulgence, if there is such a thing. In the meantime, make these sweet puppies, you'll be happy you did.
I used this Ina Garten recipe and followed it to the letter.
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken
1 cold extra-large egg
1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water or milk
Maldon sea salt, optional
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Place 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas.
Combine the buttermilk and egg in a small measuring cup and beat lightly with a fork. With the mixer still on low, quickly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix only until moistened. In a small bowl, mix the Cheddar with small handful of flour and, with the mixer still on low, add the cheese to the dough. Mix only until roughly combined.
Dump out onto a well-floured board and knead lightly about 6 times. Roll the dough out to a rectangle 10 by 5 inches. With a sharp, floured knife, cut the dough lengthwise in half and then across in quarters, making 8 rough rectangles. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the egg wash, sprinkle with salt, if using, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through. Serve hot or warm.