Monday, May 26, 2014

Ramp Drop Biscuits

Sometimes I wish we lived in the South (or at least closer to the South).  Then again, if we lived closer to good barbeque and biscuit sandwiches, I would probably weigh a good 5-10 pounds more.  So maybe that's not such a good idea.  Every once in awhile I get a little anxious for a good BBQ and/or biscuit fix.  I tried to convince Alex a few weeks ago that we should go to Chapel Hill for a weekend in June so I could eat pulled pork at Allen & Sons and biscuit sandwiches from Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen and Bojangles.  Alex shot me down.  But I convinced him to make ramp drop biscuits today and we bought a Fast Pass for Big Apple BBQ in early June, so I will have to make do.  I am generalizing a bit here, but drop biscuits tend to be less flaky and layered and more tender, with a nice crust.  In my opinion, they make really good biscuit sandwiches.  Alex prefers flaky biscuits, but drop biscuits are nice because they are quick to make and aren't as messy - if you're feeling lazy you can totally make them in your food processor or your stand mixer in a matter of minutes.  You don't have to cut in the butter by hand and then roll them out on a cutting board before cutting them with a cookie/biscuit cutter (which inevitably results in a huge mess and lots of wasted dough scraps).  These biscuits came together so quickly and so easily that I was halfway tempted to declare that we should only make drop biscuits from now on.  But there are times when I want a really flaky biscuit so that plan isn't going to work.  Ramp biscuits aren't for everyone - they leave an interesting lingering (somewhat garlicky) aftertaste.  I think these biscuits would make an excellent breakfast biscuits - some scrambled eggs and ham or bacon would work really nicely with the flavor and texture of the biscuits.

Recipe after the jump!

Ramp Drop Biscuits
Available at Serious Eats
4 cups (about 20 ounces) all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
About 12 young ramps, bulbs chopped fine and leaves cut into thin strips (about 2/3 cups)
2 cups buttermilk, plus more for brushing
Freshly ground black pepper

Set a rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 400°F. In bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Turn mixer on to low speed, then add butter and mix until butter is in pea-sized or smaller chunks, about 4 minutes. Add ramps, then drizzle in buttermilk. Once buttermilk is mostly absorbed, turn off mixer and carefully fold any stray flour or buttermilk into the dough with a rubber spatula.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Scoop biscuits into 1/2 cup mounds, leaving at least 2 inches between each biscuit on all sides. Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate pan, reduce heat to 350°F and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until lightly colored on top and firm to the touch, Allow to cool slightly before eating.

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