"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Buttermilk Biscuits with Goat Cheese and Chives

Ever wonder what the difference is between scones and biscuits? The light, sweet scones enjoyed in England are nothing like the heavy, somewhat dry scones we usually have here in the states. They are more like our biscuits, but sweet. Of course "biscuit" in England means what we here would call a cookie. So confusing.

I set out to make a light, savory scone, and in the process learned that, at least here in America, what I was making would more normally be called a biscuit. Here, therefore, is a recipe for delicious buttermilk biscuits, made with goat cheese and chives, and shaped into wedges (the shape of American scones). You can shape them any which way you like. Oh yes, and as for the difference between scones and biscuits? Here in America, scones tend to be a little heavier and drier, made with an egg, sweet, and usually including fruit such as cranberries or raisins. Biscuits are usually savory, light and fluffy, and made with buttermilk. But the distinctions are blurry, even here.

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of freshly chopped chives (can also use chopped green onions)
1 5-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup buttermilk (plus an extra tablespoon for finish)

1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 heavy baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper.

2 Whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Using fingertips, rub butter into dry ingredients until coarse meal forms. Stir in the chives. Add cheese and buttermilk; stir with fork just until a sticky dough forms (bits of cheese will be visible in dough).

3 Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently 8 times with floured hands. Do not over-knead! Form into a round, about 3/4-inch to an inch thick. Cut the round into 8 wedges. Use a pastry brush to brush on some extra buttermilk over the surface of the wedges.

4 Arrange wedges about 1/2 inch apart on an ungreased large baking sheet and bake in middle of oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Makes 8 large biscuits. Best eaten just baked and warm, with a little butter.

Recipe adapted from combining various recipes from Gourmet and Bon Appetit.

Simply Recipes

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