Dreaming of biscuits!
At 6:00 this morning I woke up with the idea of making a new flavored biscuit. Shouldn’t there be something else I’m thinking about the first thing in the morning; like are my knees going to bend this morning? or that pile of laundry that’s staring at me in the laundry room, or what’s for dinner tonight or at least something more profound than a BISCUIT. But what can I say….
Maybe I woke up thinking of this biscuit because I spent so much time yesterday entering all my herbs in a garden app on my iPhone. I spent a couple of hours walking through my yard photographing newly planted flowers — morning glories, delphiniums, snap dragons, hummingbird bush, and herbs; the list goes on and on.
Recently we relocated my herb garden from one side of the yard to up next to our house where I had bat face growing for the last 4-5 years. It was time for it to give up this prime, sunny location to some struggling herbs that were not thriving in their old home.
My husband has recently gone pot crazy and now we have 92 pots in our back yard (I counted them twice). On his way to a fishing trip a few weeks ago he and a friend stopped at Marshall Pottery in Marshall, Texas and came back with 7 pots for $100. (Now that was worth the trip just for the pots and he actually caught his limit of white bass also.) I like having my herbs in pots and now I have a huge assortment of potted herbs even closer to my kitchen than they were and they are loving their new spot in the yard.
This biscuit is getting gussied up with some dill and chives from my herb garden and a little grated white cheddar really compliments this biscuit. They are delicious for breakfast and would probably go great with a country style dinner; and there’s hardly a bread recipe that’s quicker to make than homemade biscuits.
I made a discovery when making these. I remember my mother putting melted bacon grease (liquid gold) on a cookie sheet before putting the biscuits on the sheet. But what I don’t think I remembered was that the cookie sheet and grease were both hot when the biscuits went on. I heated my cookie sheet, then put a couple of tablespoons of bacon fat on it, put it back in the oven to reheat the fat and then put on my biscuits. They came out with crunchy bottoms just like the ones we use to love that our mother would make; we would even beg her to bang them on the counter so they would not rise as much and we would have crunchy tops and bottoms. I now like a bigger, fluffier biscuit and I love the crunchy bottoms I got on this recipe.
Finely chop the dill and chives and grate your white cheddar.
Using a pastry blender, cut the butter and shortening into the flour.
After cutting the butter and lard into pea size pieces, add in the fresh dill, chives and cheese then stir in the buttermilk.
Mix just until you have a shaggy dough and then put on a floured surface.
Dust a little flour on top and fold over a few times in all directions until you have a smooth dough. Do not over knead.
Use a 2-3″ biscuit cutter and cut out your biscuits. Put on a cookie sheet that you have preheated in the oven with the fat. (This will make really crunchy bottoms.)
I love having my herb garden in this spot.
Ready to eat. I used a vintage electric bread warming basket that I have of my grandmother’s. I remember her putting rolls in this for every family dinner.
Chive, Dill and Cheddar Biscuits
2 c. all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp. shortening, chilled
4 Tbsp. cold butter, cubed
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. buttermilk, approximately
1 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
1/2-3/4 c. shredded white cheddar cheese
Extra buttermilk for brushing tops.
Preheat the oven to 450°.
Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add in cold shortening and butter and using a pastry blender, cut in the butter/shortening until you have pea size pieces.
Add the fresh dill, chives and the cheddar cheese. Quickly, stir in the buttermilk stirring just enough to mix everything together. Do not over mix because you do not want tough biscuits.
Put some flour on your cutting board and spoon out your dough. Sprinkle with a little more flour, just enough that your hands don’t get all sticky, and fold over several times in all directions until you have a smooth dough. Pat or roll out with rolling pin to about 1/2-3/4″ thickness (I did about 3/4″).
Heat your cookie sheet (with an edge) in the oven for about 5 minutes. Add your 2 tablespoons of bacon fat or shortening to the pan and heat for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven and put in your biscuits about 1-2″ apart. Brush tops of biscuits with extra buttermilk. Return to oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until nice and brown.
Be prepared to love these biscuits.