Saturday, March 16, 2013

Cheddar Cheese, Chive, Bacon and Jalapeno Buttermilk Biscuits

I watched Alton Brown make his "Ma Mae's Buttermilk Biscuits" last night on the Cooking Channel, and that sent me into "Biscuit Jones" mode!  I decided to make a batch this morning and "kicked them up a notch" by adding bacon, cheddar cheese, chives and minced jalapenos.  All I can say is "TRIPLE YUM!" Give them a try.  You won't be disappointed.  

Ingredients: (adapted from Alton Brown’s “Good Eats”)

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
5 tsp double acting baking powder
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup softened butter (plus an additional ¼ cup, melted to brush on finished biscuits)
1-1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup cooked chopped bacon
1 jalapeno chile, seeded de-veined and finely diced
2 cups buttermilk


Fry the bacon until crisp and drain on a paper towel.  Break the cooked bacon into bits.  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a heavy-duty baking pan with parchment paper or use a Silpat silicone baking sheet.  Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and baking soda into a large bowl.  This helps mix all of the dry ingredients and it aerates and lightens the mix.  Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter, a fork or your fingers.  You can also put the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the butter incorporates, which is much easier.  You want the flour and butter to form pea-size granules, which when baked melt, expand as steam and make the biscuits light and airy.  Gently fold in the cheese, chives, crumbled bacon and minced jalapeno.  Pour the buttermilk in and gently mix with a fork until just incorporated.  Do not over-mix, or the biscuits will be tough little hockey pucks.  At this point, the dough will be quite wet and sticky, but don’t worry.  On a floured surface, turn out the dough, sprinkle the dough with some additional flour to keep it from sticking to your fingers, and very gently kneed two or three times, then flatten the dough to about 2” thick.  Using a biscuit cutter (or a clean tin 3” tin can, opened on both ends), cut out 12 biscuits and place them onto the parchment-lined baking pan with your fork, 3 rows of 4.  If you have any dough left after cutting out the biscuits,  gently bring it together to form another biscuit or two.  Gently push the biscuits down with a fork so they are about 1-1/2 inches thick.  Dip your thumb in some flour and make a small depression (about 3/8” deep) in the middle of each biscuit.  Since the biscuits rise and cook from the outside-in, this keeps them from rising too much in the middle and being domed, like a roll.  Place the pan in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 11 minutes.  Turn the pan and cook for another 11 minutes or until they are lightly browned.  Check the biscuits by probing with a toothpick.  If the toothpick comes out dry, they are done.  If not quite done, give them just one or two more minutes, then pull them out and let them cool on a baking rack for 10 minutes.  

Brush with melted butter before serving.  They are absolutely cheesy and delicious!

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