Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Honey Biscuits ... or Honey, biscuits!

I don't know why I don't make biscuits more often. They're pretty easy. And fast. You mix, roll, fold, cut, bake, and you eat. That's it.

If you're thinking, "Biscuits, ho-hum. Been there, done that," you might want to think again.

I bake a LOT of bread. Every week, there are at least one or two new recipes rolling through here. It's gotten to the point where a loaf has to be pretty spectacular to get any lot of notice.

Otherwise it's just "nice bread" and we move along to something else.

On the other hand, these biscuits have been the subject of a lot of conversation, and there's been a request to make more. That doesn't happen all that often.

These biscuits aren't dessert-sweet, but you can taste the sweetness and richness of the honey. They're not so sweet that you couldn't eat then with dinner or breakfast. Or slathered with peanut butter. But if you wanted to, they would make a great base for strawberry shortcake.

Honey Biscuits

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a small bowl, combine the milk and honey. Stir until it is completely combined.

Cut the butter into chunks and add it to flour. With a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour until it's the size of small peas. Add the milk and honey mixture to the flour and mix gently just until there are no dry spots.

Flour your work surface and turn the dough out. Pat it into a rough rectangle, then roll it until it's about 1/2 inch thick. Fold it in thirds, like a letter, and roll it again. Fold in thirds again.

This time, roll it again to about an inch thick. With a 3-inch biscuit cutter, cut as many biscuits as you can. Re-roll the scraps and cut more biscuits. You can re-roll a third time, but I usually use the final scraps for a free-form biscuit.

Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet, If you like soft sides, place the biscuits so they touch. If you want the sides more crisp, keep them separated.

If you like, brush the top of the biscuits with milk, butter, or cream. Bake at 400 degrees until the tops are nicely browned, 12-14 minutes.