Tuesday, April 5, 2011
In the years when my dad would plant onions in his garden, he'd have to thin out the plants as the season progressed to make room for the growing bulbs. First, he'd harvest some when they were young and skinny, then there would be some with small bulbs on the bottom. And later, we'd have full-sized onions.
I love onions in just about every form, but when I buy the skinny green onions, I'm just as anxious to make use of the green tops as I am to use the white part of the onion. If you can't find green onions, chives would work just as well.
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 ounces cheddar, grated
Green part of 1 scallion, sliced thin
1 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
In a medium bowl. combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, Whisk to combine. Cut the butter into several pieces and add it to the flour, With your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until you have very small pieces throughout. Add the cheese and scallion, and stir to distribute. Add the milk and stir to combine.
Flour your work surface lightly. Remove the dough from the bowl, put it on your floured surface, and pat it into a rough square about 9 inches across. Fold the dough in thirds, like a letter, pat it down again until it's about an inch thick, turn it 90 degrees, and fold in thirds again.
Dust your work surface with flour again, if needed, and roll the dough to a thickness of 1/2 to 3/4 inches. Using a biscuit cutter or other similar tool, cut circles from the dough and place them on your prepared baking sheet.
Re-roll the scraps. You'll get a better rise out of the next batch of biscuits if you keep the dough oriented the same way instead of rolling it up or smashing it together.
The folding in the previous steps has created horizontal layers that cause the biscuits to rise, just like the layers in pastry crust or puff pastry. So, when you combine the scraps, keep the horizontal layers horizontal as much as possible.
Cut more biscuit from the rerolled biscuit dough. If you don't want to end up with even more scraps, consider cutting the second batch into squares instead of rounds.
Rather than re-rolling a third time, you can make a few hand-formed biscuits from the last scraps. They won't be pretty, but they're fine as samples for the cook.
Brush the tops of the biscuits with milk or melted butter, if desired, and bake at 400 degrees until lightly browned, about 20 minutes