January Daring Bakers: Scones (AKA Biscuits)

Another month, another Daring Bakers challenge that I’m able to participate in!  Woo for not being booted out yet! 😀

While this month wasn’t anything particularly complex, I was excited to learn about something that I can see myself making consistently – biscuits!

Cheesy Biscuits

Huzzah!

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!

“Scones” to the Aussies and “biscuits” to we southerners, Audax provided a great basic recipe for them along with a bunch of notes explaining how to make tweaks for different styles.  Because Audax gave us small proportions for each batch of biscuits, he recommended we make multiple batches to get things just right.  I took the time to go through 3 iterations.

For the first batch I just followed the basic recipe.  Figured out how the dough should feel, how to knead it correctly.  They didn’t end up too badly!

Biscuit Batch 1

First Batch

I baked them, as is fairly clear, on my baking stone.  I don’t remember why…I think I thought they’d turn out better or something. 😀

These turned out okay.  Not amazing, but they rose slightly and were tidily brown on the top.  They were a very good start.

For the second batch I replaced the milk with buttermilk, since buttermilk biscuits seemed like an appropriately southern thing to do.

Biscuit Batch 2

Deux!

They were expectedly better – I used a smaller glass to cut the biscuits and they had an excellent buttermilk-y tang to them.  They also rose a little better, likely because I let the dough rest in the fridge between when I initially mixed it and when I did the kneading.  Success!

The final batch I made with buttermilk and cheese.  I’d planned on adding chives too, but they were….well, ready to crawl out of the fridge.  So I did without.

Biscuit Batch 3

Booya!

These actually didn’t turn out tasting as well as I’d hoped, but they sure did look pretty!  They all had appropriate height to them and this time when I gently pulled them apart I came away with two relatively equal halves.  I let the dough rest again, and at this point I’d also figured out the right way to tidily knead the dough as described in the instructions (yay for making less of a mess!).  Despite them not being as deliciously cheesy as I’d hoped, they were fluffy and slightly flaky – I gave myself a pat on the back.

While simple, this was a really great DB!  Definitely will be making these again…I may have to throw together a brunch sometime!

Cheesy Biscuit Closeup

Cheesy Biscuit Closeup!

Scones, AKA Biscuits Recipe

Makes ~10 biscuits.
Read the full Daring Baker’s recipe here.

Ingredients (for buttermilk biscuits):

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp butter, kept cold until use
  • 2 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

Instructions:

1. Mix together the dry ingredients.
2. Coarsely chop the butter into small pieces.  Mix with the dry ingredients, and with your fingers rub the butter into the flour.
3. Mix in the buttermilk.  I liked my dough best just a little damp, and the entire 1/2 cup worked perfectly.
4. Rest the dough for ~20 minutes in the fridge, covered with a dish towel.
5. Put the dough on a floured surface and push it out into a rectangle (~4×6 inches) with your hands.  Knead the dough by folding it into 3rds, then turning and pushing it out into a rectangle again.  Do this 3 times total.
6. Using a ~2 inch cup or round cookie cutter, cut out your biscuits.  Mold the scraps back together to cut out as many as you can from the rest, but try not to over-handle the dough.  Moosh the rest into biscuit-like blobs of dough.
7. If you like, brush the tops of the biscuits with milk to give them brown tops.
8. Bake at 475F for 8-10 minutes.
9. Consume!

Mary Gezo

Formerly of both n00bcakes and !Blog, the two magically become one on Spatialdrift; expect some lazy baking and serious nerditude. Also, I love semicolons.

8 thoughts on “January Daring Bakers: Scones (AKA Biscuits)

  1. They’re lovely! Mine barely rose at all. Maybe I’ll try to let them rest in the fridge before baking next time. Nice work!

  2. WOW it really seems like you enjoyed this challenge and that you appreciated why I made the recipe just plain biscuits/scones the challenge is all about technique and if you understand why you are doing something (the reason for the long notes) then I hoped we would have many wonderful success stories like yours. As the host of this month’s challenge this is a wonderful posting to read thank you so much for the kind words. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia. The difference in the different batches is stunning.

  3. Ha-happy scone day, it looks like the Daring Bakers and I were on the same wavelength! These do look especially fluffy and toasty-well done. Also, thanks for the sweet comment and visiting my blog-happy friday!

  4. In my casa, buttermilk biscuits are the ONLY true biscuits. 😀 And actually, they remain the one non-dessert item I actually love baking! reading this challenge post is making me hungry for breakfast, YUM!

  5. I love the bits of cheese in your last batch of biscuits, I still need to try a buttermilk version myself!

  6. Buttermilk, the perfect flavor for biscuits. I’ll have to try that after I get some buttermilk from the store. Nice job on the challenge!

  7. Thanks everybody! I really did enjoy this challenge – and if you haven’t tried buttermilk biscuits yet, definitely give it a go!

  8. Crazy town, I just made buttermilk biscuits last night, in an attempt to turn my meager and strange bean soup into a hearty meal. It worked ! I added some sage to mine…

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