It is no secret, I'm a Barefoot Contessa fan. I think her book "Parties" was the reason I started Occasions 6 years ago. When I'm looking for some inspiration, I always start by flipping through my Barefoot cookbooks. This time was no exception!
I was looking for my one indulgent component for the menu I was working on for my parents visit to our house. I hate having too many over the top and heavy recipes as part of a menu - it makes everyone too full and uncomfortable.
I try to concentrate on having just one indulgent treat per menu. I had thought about macaroni and cheese, cheesy potatoes, blue cheese souffle, etc. to accompany the filet mignon, fresh confetti corn, and bibb lettuce with heirloom tomatoes. As I was flipping through my books, I spotted this recipe... Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits. Perfect.
Biscuits are one of those things that when done well, can be amazing. However, they can be challenging - too dense, too flat, too dry. I knew that The Barefoot's recipe would work perfectly - they always do.
Make sure the butter is really cold - just out of the refrigerator.
I pulsed the dry ingredients together with the pieces of butter in a food processor until it looked like sand.
I whisked together the egg and buttermilk with a fork.
I added the milk and eggs to the dry ingredients, then mixed in the cheese. Be careful not too over-mix.
Cut the biscuits on a floured board with a round cutter.
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken
1 cold extra-large egg
1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water or milk
sea salt & black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Place 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas.
Combine the buttermilk and egg in a small measuring cup and beat lightly with a fork. With the mixer still on low, quickly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix only until moistened. In a small bowl, mix the Cheddar with small handful of flour and, with the mixer still on low, add the cheese to the dough. Mix only until roughly combined.
Dump out onto a well-floured board and knead lightly about 6 times. Roll the dough out to a rectangle 10 by 5 inches. With a sharp, floured knife, cut the dough lengthwise in half and then across in quarters, making 8 rough rectangles. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the egg wash, sprinkle with salt, if using, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through. Serve hot or warm.
This recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa's Back to Basics cookbook.