Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sausage and Herb Biscuits

Josh received a most spectacular cookbook this past Christmas. Yet, it's SO MUCH MORE than a cookbook. The Professional Chef. I'm telling you: It's everything about everything involving food. Technique descriptions and ingredient reference; equipment evaluations and then some. It's the go-to reference for culinary school, I believe. And I love it. 

This biscuit recipe is adapted from their basic buttermilk biscuits. Now, the recipes in this book tend to assume you are cooking for a crowd. As in, 3.5 lbs of flour per batch of biscuits. Thankfully, it lists weights for each ingredient (actually, it only lists weights for most recipes), so I can easily quarter the recipe and get 20 biscuits instead of 80. Not that I wouldn't happily freeze the extra; I just don't have the energy to deal with that much dough early Saturday morning. 

Sandwich with extra-sharp cheddar for lunch.

1/2 lb breakfast sausage, cooked, drained & cooled
1 tsp. (packed) fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. fresh, chopped rosemary

1/4 c. butter, cubed and cold

3 c. flour
3 TB sugar
2 TB baking powder
1/2 tsp. table salt

1 large egg
3/4 c. buttermilk

1 TB half & half OR 1 egg white
1 TB maple syrup

If at all possible, use real buttermilk. It really does provide the best tang and texture in a biscuit. If it's not available, plain yogurt can sub, or 1 TB lemon juice or plain vinegar plus mil.

Maple or sage sausage would work well, too. Be sure to cool the sausage before adding it in. Don't wanna melt the butter before they go into the oven -- this will drastically change the texture of your biscuits (for the worse).

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Add the herbs to cooked & drained sausage. Set aside.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Add cubed, cold butter to dry ingredients and use your fingertips to gently rub it in. Work quickly to achieve an appearance like course meal. (You don't want to heat up the butter, but I really do think working the fat in with your hands is the best, most efficient way. You could use a fork or pastry cutter, too.) Toss in the cooled sausage and herbs.

In smaller bowl, combine egg and buttermilk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour this in. Stir just to combine. Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead/fold 3 or 4 times, just so everything holds together. Roll out to 1" thickness and cut with 2" biscuit cutter or half-pint ball jar. Dip your cutter in flour, if it wants to stick.

Re-roll scraps and cut. I only do this once, as the texture will change, the more you work the dough.

Bake on a parchment-lined sheet or half-sheet pan for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.

Makes about 20 biscuits. You can freeze a few cut, un-cooked biscuits, separated on a cookie sheet, then bag them and save for another day's breakfast. Just increase the cooking time by 3-5 minutes for frozen biscuits.

1 comment:

  1. Note: Made more of theses this morning, with a 1/4 c. chopped, fresh sage, thyme and rosemary. The more herbs, the better! And a wash before baking of 1 egg white + 1 TB maple syrup... Yum.