Thursday, September 9, 2010

Buttermilk Herb Gouda Biscuits

Since the Lee Bros. cook good Southern food, I thought what could be better with our salmon than some buttermilk biscuits?  So I sent Alex off to find us a new buttermilk biscuit recipe to try before remembering that I had a recipe for Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits from Ina Garten's Back to Basics cookbook that I had been wanting to try.  So I guess you could say I cut him off at the pass and decided to use my own recipe, rather than anything he came up with.  We didn't have any cheddar to use for the biscuits, but I knew we had some herb gouda in the fridge that would work nicely in a biscuit so I used that instead.

These biscuits came out amazing.  Just like the cookbook says, they are light and flaky, but still moist.  The biscuits are buttery and fabulously cheesy.  If we had some extra sharp cheddar in the fridge I think the biscuits would have been a little, well, sharper, but the gloriously flaky texture and cheesy flavor still would have been fantastic.  Alex said that he prefers these biscuits to the Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits that we typically make because these biscuits have a more typically tender, flaky crumb, whereas the other biscuits use both cornmeal and flour and so they have a grittier crumb along with a crust that forms on the bottom of the biscuits themselves.  I agree with him as far as texture goes - these biscuits have that perfect, flaky biscuit texture that I grew to love at UNC.  However, I do like the combination of cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and scallions in the other biscuits.  So I think it's a tough decision (or at least a tougher decision than Alex found it to be).  But I agree with him that these biscuits come out on top.  You just can't beat that wonderful biscuit texture and taste.

Recipe after the jump!

Buttermilk Herb Gouda Biscuits
Adapted from Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients
By Ina Garten

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional 
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
12 tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup cold buttermilk, well-shaken
2 cold large eggs
1 cup herb Gouda, grated (the recipe calls for cheddar, but we improvised)
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tbsp water (aka egg wash)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt.  With mixer on low, add butter.  Mix until the butter is pea-sized.

Combine buttermilk and eggs in a small class measuring cup.  Beat lightly with a fork to combine.  With the mixer still on low, quickly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix until just moistened.  Combine grated Gouda with 2 tbsp flour in a small mixing bowl.  Add cheese mixture to dough in the mixer and mix until ingredients are roughly combined, about 15-20 seconds.

Turn dough out onto a well-floured cutting board.  Dust lightly with additional flour.  This dough is pretty sticky so don't skimp on the flour or it will stick to everything.  Knead dough lightly about 6 times to combine.  Roll the dough out into a 5x10-inch rectangle with a rolling pin.  If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, sprinkle more flour on the dough and wipe some flour on the rolling pin with your hand.  With a sharp knife, cut the dough lengthwise in half and then across in quarters, making 8 rough dough rectangles.  Alternatively you can use a 3 or 4-inch biscuit cutter to cut round biscuits.  Your choice.  Transfer biscuits to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the biscuits with the egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake until biscuits are golden brown and the biscuits are cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.  Serve warm.

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