My friends and I planned a brunch before Santacon this year, and I wanted to try out a new biscuit recipe. The bakery below my office makes AMAZING bacon cheddar biscuits, and this is my attempt to recreate them. I used my favorite buttermilk biscuit recipe, and then added bacon and lots of sharp cheddar cheese. I also added a teensy bit of reserved bacon fat to the dough. I think mine tasted almost as good as Donna Bellas 😀 I tripled the recipe so that it could feed everyone.
6 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons baking powder
17 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon bacon fat
3 cups butter milk
2 cups shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)
6 oz. cooked bacon
Yield: 27 biscuits
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 10-12 minutes
Preheat your oven to 450°F. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, or in the bowl of a food processor. Using a food processor is preferred, as it helps keep the butter cold, and does a better job of distributing the butter throughout the dough. You can mix by hand, but the heat from your hands can melt the butter, which will lead to less fluffy biscuits. Cut the butter into chunks and cut into the flour until it resembles course meal. If using a food processor, just pulse a few times. Add the buttermilk and mix JUST until combined.
The dough should be very wet. Turn the dough out onto a floured board or counter top. Gently, gently pat (do NOT roll with a rolling pin) the dough out until it’s about 1″ thick. Fold the dough about 5 times, gently press the dough down to a 1 inch thick. Use a round cutter cut into rounds. You can gently knead the scraps together and make a few more, but they will not be near as good as the first ones.
Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet. If you like soft sides, put them touching each other. The biscuits will also rise higher if they are placed closer to each other. The science behind the wonderful, flaky texture of baked pastries comes from the butter. It’s all about the butter 😀 As pastries are baked at a high temperature (anything above 285 degrees F), the cold butter that has been layered into the dough (through the 5 fold overs) melts and forms water vapor. As this water vapor evaporates, it pushes the dough up and creates those lovely layers.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes on a greased cookie sheet, until the biscuits are a beautiful light golden brown on top and bottom. The chemical reaction that causes this is called the Maillard reaction, which gives the biscuits their golden brown color. This is caused by the high baking temperature, and is a reaction that occurs as the the simple sugars and amino acids breakdown and interact with each other. This reaction also is what gives bread its crust.
My friend Paolo made the most amazing chicken sausage gravy to go with the biscuits! We also had scrambled eggs, a delicious bacon spinach quiche, and mimosas. It was a fantastic brunch, an was a great start to Santacon this year.