Buttermilk Biscuits: Two Ways

Buttermilk Biscuits

The November 2007 issue included a fairly awesome buttermilk biscuit recipe, along with three suggested variations.  I made the mixed herb variation, M made the black pepper variation, and G went really rogue on the cheddar variation which you will soon learn about in another post.

Those little flecks are flavor.

Those little flecks are flavor.

Like many other recipes in this issue, I could only find the base recipe for buttermilk biscuits but no discussion of the variations.  So basically, if you want to make the mixed herb variation, do this:

In step 1, add a 1/2 cup of your favorite fresh chopped herbs.  I did a blend of thyme, chives, and dried parsley (because it’s what I had).  Add less of the intensely flavored herbs live thyme and rosemary (if you choose rosemary) and more of the lighter herbs like parsley and chives.

*adpated from page 48, November 2007, issue 47

It is a pretty simple recipe.  You make the dough, you roll the biscuits out, you cut them out, you bake them.  No surprises.  They are really tasty.  I loved the flavor of chive in the biscuits.  I just ate them straight.  They were so flavorful they didn’t need butter.  After the second or third one, I started to realize how salty they were.  Salty in a good way, but easily that salt could have been cut without really cutting the flavor.

I mentioned this to M before she made the black pepper variation.  Let’s hear about it, M!

If you want to make the cracked black pepper variation do the following:

In step 1 add 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper to the dry flour mixture.  In step 3 after brushing biscuits with butter, sprinkle them with ½ teaspoon more cracked black pepper.

*adapted from page 48, Issue #47, November 2007

Biscuits with cracked black pepper.

Biscuits with cracked black pepper.

I completely agree with B and the simplicity of the buttermilk biscuits.  I did stray from the actual recipe for two ingredients.  Following B’s recommendation, I decreased the salt to only 1.25 teaspoons not two.  I also used a cultured buttermilk powder (which you can find at most grocery stores in the baking aisle with the flour and sugar).  My mom turned me onto the powdered buttermilk because I hate wasting food and I would never use all of the fresh buttermilk that I would buy.  So powder it is and I think it works great!

I did find the biscuit dough very wet before adding flour to it on the work surface.  It reminded me of drop biscuit batter.  In the future if I want to cut corners with the recipe I may just drop the dough on a cookie sheet and bake them that way.  The dough was fine once I added quite a bit of flour to it.

I served my biscuits for dinner as a side to vegetarian chili.  They went very well together.  P and I really liked the black pepper flavor and of course the butter!  I must confess my biscuits don’t look quite as nice as B’s, for at least two reasons.  First, I don’t have a round cookie cutter, so I used a football.  Second, I blame it all on my less than mediocre oven.


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