I always wondered what biscuits were when I was growing up. In books and films they were eaten with gravy or meat, and I just couldn't get my head around a biscuit that I would enjoy for my supper with a glass of milk, or something sweet and delicious that my Mum baked and served from a tin and something someone would eat with meat, and gravy.
When I went to Tennessee I had my first biscuit, with chicken and gravy. I was surprised to discover a biscuit was a type of bread and that it was similar to the savoury scones my Mum made for us when we came home from school. She topped them with cheddar cheese, and mixed in a bit of mustard. They were delicious, and I'll share that recipe with you soon.
As the tale end of Hurricane Kata batted at my door this week, I knew I needed something yummy, filling and good to eat, with a big bowl of leek and lentil soup. Biscuits came to mind and I created this recipe from memory of the biscuits I had eaten in the states. Similar to Irish scones, but are made without eggs, and have a nutty flavour.
Biscuits originally come from Louisiana and can be eaten plain, or with a sweet or savoury topping. How do you like to eat yours?
Makes 12 – 16 depending on cutter size
- 450g coarse wholemeal flour (plus extra for rolling)
- 4tsp baking powder
- 175g butter cubed
- 1 ½ tsp of baking soda
- 1tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tsp golden caster sugar
- 1 tsp runny honey
- 5 tsp finely grated Parmesan
- 400ml buttermilk
- Small handful of chives finely chopped
- 50g grated cheddar cheese (or you can use more Parmesan)
- Aga – cook on the second set of runners in the top oven, otherwise preheat to Gas Mark 8, or 230’C.
- Line a cookie sheet with baking paper – I use the Aga cold shelf
- Mix all dry ingredients together
- Rub in the butter, by hand or using the pulser on your food processor – the mixer will resemble coarse crumbs
- Make a well in the centre and pour in the 390ml of buttermilk, pulse or stir until the mixture forms a soft dough – do not over mix
- Stir in the chives, and Parmesan
- Flour your work surface, your hands and your rolling pin
- Turn the dough out on a floured service, and lightly roll until it is about 1” thick
- Cut into rounds using a 3-4” circular cutter, and set each one onto the cookie sheet about an inch or so apart
- When all the dough is used up press down on the top of each biscuit with your thumb to form an indentation
- Brush the top of each biscuit with buttermilk, and add a scattering of cheese
- Bake for 10 minutes until crusty, and fairly brown, turn the heat down to Gas Mark 6/200’C or lowest set of runners and continue to bake for another 4-8 minutes, a skew will come out clean.
- Set on a wire rack to cool
- These are perfect served with hot soup, or cut in half and used as the bread for sandwiches. I like to dunk mine whole into pipping hot chunky soup.
That's it for now...
Salt and Sparkle = Life Remarkable