These biscuits were so much fun to make: from rubbing the butter into the flour, to patting down the fluffy, pillow soft dough, to cutting out perfect little squares of dough and painting them with an egg-milk wash.
By Sara Clevering
With my newly acquired biscuit cutter set (thanks mom!) and with a half of cup of creme fraiche in the fridge, this recipe from one of the latest Food & Wine issues called to me. I’m always meaning to bake more savory goods–what better way to start?
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk and egg white (separated)
- ½ cup crème fraîche
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons table salt
- 1½ teaspoons freshly ground pepper
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch dice and chilled
- 2T heavy cream or half and half or milk
- Maldon salt, for sprinkling
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg with the egg yolk, crème fraîche and milk. Reserve the egg white.
- In a large bowl, combine the 2½ cups of flour with the sugar, baking powder, table salt and pepper.
- Using a pastry blender or 2 butter knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal–or rub in with your fingertips or pulse in a food processor.
- Add the egg mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough is evenly moistened. Gather the dough into a ball and knead 2 or 3 times, just until it comes together.
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and dust them with flour. Transfer the dough to one of the baking sheets and press it into an 8-by-10-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and roll it out to an 11-inch square. Fold the square in half and roll it out again to an 11-inch square. Repeat the folding and rolling once more. Using a 2-inch round biscuit cutter, stamp out as many biscuits as possible. Gather the scraps, reroll and stamp out more biscuits.
- Evenly space the biscuits on the lined baking sheets. Whisk together the reserved egg white with the cream or half and half, and brush the tops with this mixture. Sprinkle with Maldon salt.
- Bake the biscuits in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for about 20 minutes, until golden; shift the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through. Serve the biscuits warm.
Sara sees cooking and baking as a delicious way to connect with the past and travel the world from her kitchen. She is commited to preparing homemade, unprocessed meals for her family and is always looking for tricks to fit this into a busy schedule. Sara is currently in the Boston area after several years living in London, Spain, and the Czech Republic, and travelling extensively in Eastern and Western Europe, always making sure to experience local culture through food. She also blogs with her sisters at www.threecleversisters.com