Thanksgiving was wonderful, full of family and food and winter-y goodness without snow and freezing weather… it was great. There was a precious little baby, and in-laws that don’t live close enough, and excitement over a future wedding… and did I mention the food? Great. Really good food. And lots of it. We cooked together, in the kitchen, all the women in the family, just kneading and mixing, and baking, and covering and checking temperatures and tasting. (The tasting is the best part.) I made a few things, one of those things will be seen later in the week, but this may have been my favorite thing when I think about it.
Savory biscuits are perfect for holiday dinners… better than brown and serve rolls, soft, and not so hard to make that you can’t make them the day of. In fact, I had most of the ingredients in the pantry. (Alright, lets be really honest, I keep an awkwardly stocked pantry when it comes to baking stuffs… I have an entire cabinet just for baking stuffs… I am strange, and I accept that.)
These are just cheesy and herby enough to go well with a meal without being overwhelming. The don’t really need any extra butter, and they are best right out of the oven.
Gruyere and Herb Biscuits, adapted from The Cheese Board: Collective Works
(The original recipe called these scones, but I decreased the baking time for a lighter, fluffier, moister pastry)
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely ground yellow cornmeal
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ pound Gruyere cheese, grated
½ cup chopped herbs (I used thyme and chives)
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cayenne pepper, and salt together into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add cornmeal and whisk together.
Add the butter to the dry ingredients, and, using the paddle attachment, beat on low speed until butter is the size of small peas. Add the Gruyere and herbs and mix just until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Put the buttermilk and cream together in one bowl or liquid measuring cup, and then slowly add to the mixture on low speed until it is just combined and there is a little flour left on the bottom of the bowl. You may not need all of the liquid!
Empty the contents of the bowl onto a floured surface. Pat the dough together and work in any pieces of dry dough. Sprinkle some flour on the top of the dough, and, either using a rolling pin or just your hands, press the dough until it is about 1 ½ inches thick. Using a circular cookie cutter, dipped in a little flour each time, cut out the scones. Feel free to roll any scraps together and cut those, too. (Alternatively, you can shape the mound of dough into a rectangle about 9 by 6 inches, divide the dough in half lengthwise, and then cut each piece into 6 even triangles.)
Place biscuits onto prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Brush the beaten egg onto the tops of the scones and bake for about 15 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through, or until light brown on top.
Yields about 12 biscuits.