Friday, September 20, 2013

Bacon Biscuits

I love biscuits, and they're so easy to make, once you've figured out the technique. And they're fast. I can whip up a batch of biscuits while I'm waiting for a roast to rest - they're that fast.

I usually opt for smaller, taller biscuits, but this time I opted for wider, thinner biscuits for breakfast sandwiches. And, since I was thinking about breakfast, I added bacon to the biscuits.

These were also great for one of my favorite summer treats - tomato sandwiches. The hint of salty bacon was just right.

Bacon Biscuits

See the flaky layers? That's from folding the dough.
3 cups self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-4 strips of bacon, cooked until crisp, chilled
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups cold milk
Flour for dusting work surface

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the self-rising flour and salt in a large bowl. Chop the bacon into very small pieces and add it to the flour. Stir to combine.

Add the butter and cut with 2 knives or a pastry cutter until the butter is in small pieces - about the size of peas.

Add the milk and stir just until all the flour is moistened and the milk is absorbed. At this point, it's a pretty gloppy dough. That's fine.

Generously flour your work surface and turn out the dough, Flour the top of the dough. Roll the dough to approximately 16 inches square (ish). It doesn't need to be square. A vague roundish blob is fine.

Biscuit cutters from Good Cook - 3 sizes, two cutting sides.
Fold the top third of the dough over the middle third. It's good to use a dough scraper for this, since though dough isn't very cohesive at this point. Fold the bottom over the top piece.

Now fold the left and right over the center in the same way. You should have a mostly-square piece of dough.

Flour the work surface again to keep the dough from sticking and flour the top so the rolling pin doesn't stick. You shouldn't need as much flour as the first time.

Roll the dough again to about 16 inches square and fold as before.

Now, roll the dough to about 10 inches square to make 3-inch biscuits. The dough should be about 1/2 inch thick.

Cut nine 3-inch rounds from the biscuits using a biscuit cutter. Place them on the baking sheet, leaving a little space between them.

Tomato sandwich with yogurt cheese on a bacon biscuit.
Gather the scraps together, stacking them so that the horizontal layers you've made stay horizontal. Roll the dough to 1/2-inch thick, in a shape that will let you cut three more rounds.

The remaining dough scraps can be baked for biscuits, but the more you re-roll, the tougher the dough will get. I usually just bake odd-shaped pieces for snacking. If there's room on the same baking sheet, put the scraps there, or put them on a separate sheet to bake.

If you like, you can brush the tops of the biscuits with butter or milk.

Bake at 450 degrees until the biscuits are nicely browned, about 12-15 minutes.

Remove the biscuits from the pan and let them cool on a rack.