Happy double-post Friday everyone!! I don't usually post multiple times in a day, but it just so happens that today I have posts due for two of my cooking groups!! First up is my Daring Bakers group. Oh how I love the challenges that this group helps me tackle!! And this month was super exciting for me! Audax of Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a.k.a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!
I have never made biscuits before, and looking at the examples that Audax gave us, I knew right away that I wanted to make something reminicent of Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Of course, I don't know exactly what they put in them, but they are cheesy, garlicky deliciousness, and the basic recipes given to us were the perfect place to start!
Garlic Cheddar Biscuits
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon of baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sifted mustard powder
1 tsp garlic powder
¼ teaspoon sifted cayenne pepper
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
2 tablespoons frozen grated butter (or a combination of lard and butter)
Approximately ½ cup cold milk
Preheat oven to very hot 475°F.
Triple sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. (If your room temperature is very hot refrigerate the sifted ingredients until cold.) Mix in mustard powder, garlic powder, cayenne, grated cheese, and chives.
Rub the frozen grated butter (or combination of fats) into the dry ingredients until it resembles very coarse beach sand.
Add nearly all of the liquid at once into the rubbed-in flour/fat mixture and mix until it just forms a sticky dough (add the remaining liquid if needed). The wetter the dough the lighter the scones (biscuits) will be!
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, lightly flour the top of the dough. To achieve an even homogeneous crumb to your scones knead very gently about 4 or 5 times (do not press too firmly) the dough until it is smooth. To achieve a layered effect in your scones knead very gently once (do not press too firmly) then fold and turn the kneaded dough about 3 or 4 times until the dough has formed a smooth texture. (Use a floured plastic scraper to help you knead and/or fold and turn the dough if you wish.)
Pat or roll out the dough into a 6 inch by 4 inch rectangle by about ¾ inch thick. Using a well-floured 2-inch biscuit cutter, stamp out without twisting six 2-inch rounds, gently reform the scraps into another ¾ inch layer and cut two more scones (these two scones will not raise as well as the others since the extra handling will slightly toughen the dough). Or use a well-floured sharp knife to form squares or wedges as you desire.
Place the rounds just touching on a baking dish if you wish to have soft-sided scones or place the rounds spaced widely apart on the baking dish if you wish to have crisp-sided scones.
Bake in the preheated very hot oven for about 10 minutes (check at 8 minutes since home ovens at these high temperatures are very unreliable) until the scones are well risen and are lightly coloured on the tops. The scones are ready when the sides are set.
Immediately place onto cooling rack to stop the cooking process, serve while still warm.