Monday, May 27, 2013

Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits

Let me describe my ideal Saturday morning.  I awake unprompted at approximately 8am.  I get out of bed and splash cold water on my face and add a swipe of mascara and chapstick.  It's 72 degrees out with a slight overcast.  I meet my sister for our regular lattes and we peruse the Farmer's Market.  We return to my apartment for an America's Test Kitchen marathon while fresh Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits are just browning in the oven.  I smother them with jam and we feast.  

Now let me describe an actual Saturday morning.  I wake unprompted at 6:35am.  Why can't I do this on a weekday?  I force myself back to bed and wake again around 8am.   I press snooze approximately 6 times.  I finally decide to roll out of bed and stumble into the bathroom.  I look as though I've spent the last 8 hours lying directly on my face.  Which I likely have.  I attempt to put on mascara.  My right eye keeps watering for no apparent reason.  Why is that happening?  I fiddle with my hair so I can attempt to look at least 60% appropriate for public viewing.  I give up and hope I see no one I know on the streets.  Outside, it's raining in that weird way where it's not really raining but just misting on everything.  I meet my sister for our morning lattes and Farmer's Market perusal.  Back at home, I queue up America's Test Kitchen, pull fresh Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits out of the oven, smother them in jam and we feast.

Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits save the day!  They always save the day.  Having not really grown up in a biscuit family, this was my first attempt at homemade biscuits and it could not have been easier.  Knowing I wanted fresh biscuits first thing in the morning, I actually prepared the dough and cut the biscuits the night before.  I covered them tight, stored in the fridge, and baked them fresh the next day.

These were impossibly moist, tangy, buttery and ever so slightly sweet.  The bacon adds a wonderful smokey salty burst that pairs so perfectly with a smear of jam or butter.  Or both.  And the good (or bad?) news is, these were so easy to make, I could have fresh biscuits in my hands any time I want.  Pretty sure that's good news.  

Here's the recipe!  

Brown Sugar Bacon Biscuits 
yields about 8 biscuits


6 slices of bacon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
coarse ground black pepper

3 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 large egg
3/4 cup buttermilk

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spread bacon across the pan.  Sprinkle brown sugar and pepper over the bacon and gently press into the bacon to make it stick.  Bake until crisp and cooked, about 13-15 mins.  Remove from baking pan using tongs and allow to cool on cutting board (not paper towel!).  Once cool, chop into medium pieces and set aside.   

2.  Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees and line another baking pan with foil, set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper.  

3.  Add cold butter and using your hands, quickly break the butter into the dry mixture until it resembles coarse meal.  In another bowl, combine egg and buttermilk and whisk to combine.  All at once, pour into the flour/butter mixture and stir to incorporate.  Add bacon and stir.  If necessary, you can turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times to bring it together (I did this).  

4.  Roll or pat dough into a 1-inch thickness.  Cut into circles using a biscuit cutter (I used a large-mouthed floured mason jar).  Reshpae dough and continue cutting until you're out of dough.  Place on the foil-lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.  Bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown.  Serve warm with jam.  Best if eaten same day. **

**Note: As stated, I prepared and cut the dough at night, placed it on the baking sheet, and wrapped tightly with clear wrap and stored in the fridge.  The next morning, I allowed the biscuits to come to room temperature for about 20 minutes and then baked as normal.  

Recipe from Joy The Baker

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