Sunday, November 15, 2009

herb and cheese oh my gods

The real name of what I made today is herb and cheese biscuits, but they were too good to be called only that! Oh my gods it is!

What you've got there is a buttermilk dough with fresh herbs and cheddar kneaded lovingly into it. To my tongue, the fresh basil is what adds the strongest herb note, but there is also parsley, sage, and thyme. And after my mistake last week of bland, gooey mild cheddar, I actually did get a SHARP cheddar, which made all the difference!

These may be the most technically difficult baked good I've ever made-- right up there with my chocolate oreo layer cheesecake that took 12 hours-- but omg was it worth it. First, I had to grate frozen butter and rub it in to the dough mixture. This was labor intensive (and required me to remember to put the butter in the freezer last night) but it worked soooooo much better than dicing the butter because the huge surface area of the grated butter made it easy to blend in to the flour. I need to remember this technique in the future because it works about 100 times better than dicing the butter or cutting it in-- when I add butter to dough mixture that way I never am able to get it to actually blend.

Then 4 times I kneaded the dough out, added some of the cheese mixture, folded it over, and kneaded it again. This resulted in this amazing cheese layer cheese layer cheese consistency in the final product. I thought I was going to fail this step miserably but the consistency of the dough allowed it to happen much more easily than I anticipated. I used tons of flour and used my chef's knife to scrape the dough up each time to fold it over. That combo worked really well!

After my disastrously sticky turnovers last week, I buttered my baking sheets, topped that butter layer with parchment paper, buttered it again, and then dipped the bottom of the biscuits in flour before I sat them on the parchment paper. Some of them STILL stuck (the buttermilk dough is pretty sticky,) but most of them I was able to pull off pretty easily and the stuck ones I was able to separate with my paring knife. Also because of my disaster last week, I set my baking timer for 6 minutes (recipe called for 10) and that actually turned out to be enough. So, I lived and learned and only "had" to eat 8 or 9 slightly burnt turnovers to do it! I guess that takes some of the sting out of the disaster, if all my future baking benefits from that one sheet of burnt, sticky turnovers.

I will definitely, definitely, definitely make these again. The recipe was from my thanksgiving issue of bon appetit, and I think they would be amazing as a side at thanksgiving dinner, but probably also any other dinner or as an offering for a pot luck (if I didn't feel like making my old stand by potluck chicken pad thai hahah!)

I already know at least one thing I'm making next weekend: sugar cookies cut into rings and decorated like the stargate. Yeah. Ummm. Yeah. They're for my biweekly stargate universe marathon watching gathering with my lab mate. I'm going to serve them with sam adams black lager, which I got 24 bottles of yesterday at the beer distributor. I also got a 24 bottle blue moon winter brewmaster's sampler! Since the state of Pennsylvania makes it essentially impossible to buy beer, I thought I had better stock up! Black Lager yessssss! Maybe I'll have one right now. And watch football. And have another biscuit. Yesssssssss.

Here is another photo of the biscuits, because I couldn't decide which one to use, and so I don't have to end the post with talking about how I'm going to make stargate ring cookies. SHIT! I did it again! HAHAHA! I guess there's just no helping it.


Laura said...

Those look so good!!!!!!!!!!! And the stargate cookies a hilarious!

Laura said...

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