Monday, July 25, 2011

Cheesy Chivy Buttermilk Biscuits

Lately I've been obsessed with the chives growing in a planter in our front yard. It's the only herb I've managed to keep alive of all the ones I planted a few months ago and it's thriving! I like to snip a few leaves and add them to everything as a garnish, but I also like to incorporate them into recipes whenever I can for their wonderful subtle flavor. Like these beautiful cheesy chivy buttermilk biscuits adapted from this recipe. They're light and fluffy and full of flavor. Alan says they remind him of the cheddar biscuits at Red Lobster, but I think these are way better since you can add whatever you want to them. We had leftover gruyere and asiago in the fridge, so that's what I used, and I wouldn't do it any other way. They're crazy rich, but in a good hearty way. Originally I thought about serving these at brunch alongside bacon and eggs and other heavy items, but on second thought, they'd probably be just as good with a simple green salad or for afternoon tea.

Cheesy Chivy Buttermilk Biscuits

Makes 10-12 large biscuits

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
9 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon cold unsalted butter
1 cup grated asiago
1 cup grated gruyere
1 3/4 buttermilk
a handful of chives, roughly chopped
1 large egg

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and put it in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes. In the meantime, cut the butter into chunks and leave out at room temperature (you want it malleable, but not soft).

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat it to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the chilled dry ingredients, the cheese, and the butter in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for a few minutes, until the chunks of butter are no bigger than a large pea or a small bean. (In the oven, the water in the chunks of butter creates steam, which in turn will create lovely pockets of air within the biscuits.) Since I don't have a standing mixer, I used two knives to combine/cut up the butter chunks.

Add the buttermilk and chives to the bowl and mix on low just until the dough comes together. (I used a spoon.) Turn the dough out onto a floured board, dust your fingers with flour and gently knead it a few times. Quickly and carefully pat the dough into a large rectangle about 1/2 an inch thick.

Dip a 3-inch round cutter with sharp edges in flour and then cut the biscuits using an even downward motion, without twisting the cutter. Transfer the rounds of dough to the baking sheets, leaving an inch or two of space between them. When you've cut the first batch of biscuits, gently pat the dough into another rectangle and cut a few more -- discard the dough or add the funky leftover shapes to the baking sheets after the second batch is cut (if you shape the dough a third time, the biscuits will be tough).

Beat the egg with a splash of water (if you're feeling fancy, you can then pass it through a fine mesh sieve to get rid of any clumps of egg white that might burn). Brush the tops of the biscuits lightly with egg wash and bake for about 20 minutes, rotating halfway through, until the biscuits are a deep golden brown. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets but serve them while still warm!

3 comments:

T said...

these would be amazing for eggs benedict. thanks for sharing, sob!

Crosby Kenyon said...

I was always fascinated by chives as a child and would love to try them in biscuits.

Sobrina Tung said...

I highly recommend these! :)

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