Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cheddar Biscuits

This morning I decided to try to make Cheddar Dill Biscuits (from Gourmet April 2009) instead of the Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits (from Gourmet, September 2004).  I decided that we might as well use up some of the dill we had leftover from the roast salmon we made last week, and why not try something new?  While my husband isn't thrilled by dill in general, he was game.  So we hit the local grocery, bought some fresh cheddar and made some biscuits. 

I have to admit that I was expecting a little more brightness from the dill, and a slightly saltier kick from the cheese.  But all in all, it was an interesting little biscuit.  I have to say that the Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits are still my favorites, but because of the addition of corn meal in the drop biscuits and the non-traditional texture they might not be for everyone.  The corn meal makes them a little crunchy/crusty on the bottoms and makes them a little less tender and more "toothsome."  However, they are gloriously cheesy and the addition of Parmigiano-Reggiano gives them a very nice salty kick.  The Cheddar Dill biscuits have a very nice, more traditional biscuit texture to them, but they just aren't quite as interesting.  After this experiment, I have to admit that I agree with my husband in the preference of scallion over dill for biscuits.  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the buttermilk biscuits, but the next time I make some I will make sure to take pictures for you guys.

Recipes for both after the jump!
Cheddar Dill Biscuits
April 2009

1 1/2 cup, plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp salt
5 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tbsp chopped dill
1 cup coarsely grated sharp Cheddar (*I actually used 3/4 cup sharp and 1/4 cup extra-sharp)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F with rack in middle.  Whisk together dry ingredients (1 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, paprika, and salt).  Add butter and blend with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until just combined and dough forms.  With floured hands, divide dough into 8 equal portions.  Arrange biscuits 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake about 30 minutes, or until bottoms are golden and biscuits are cooked through.    Transfer to rack and cook completely.

Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits
September 2004

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal (stone-ground)
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
6 oz (2 cups) grated extra-sharp Cheddar
3 tbsp finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 scallions, finely chopped
1 1/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F with rack is in the middle.  Butter one large baking sheet.  Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in a bowl.  Then blend in cubed butter with fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Stir in cheeses and scallions with a wooden spoon.  Add buttermilk and stir until just combined.  Drop dough in 8 equal mounds about 2 inches apart on baking sheet.  Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.  Transfer to a rack and cook about 10 minutes.

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