We've spent almost every weekend out in the field since the beekeeping season began, so we've had few opportunities to have a relaxing breakfast or brunch. With the honey harvested and extracted, it's time to start getting back into the kitchen and making delicious food in the mornings.
Enter the biscuit.
As a native southerner (oh yeah....this is Nate), nothing is quite as comforting as a homemade biscuit served piping hot fresh out of the oven. Growing up, we had an ancient mason jar of honey in the back of the pantry, full of honey the color of dark amber and chunks of comb. Rather than jam or jelly, I always looked forward to cutting a biscuit in half and drizzling it with honey. A fluffy biscuit with honey oozing out of the pores and the thin layer of crunchy honey that forms on the surface....it was worth getting out of bed for.
Here's my favorite recipe for biscuits. Note that the ingredients call for buttermilk. This is the only correct way to make biscuits. As biscuit snobs everywhere will attest to, there is no comparison between buttermilk biscuits and ones made only with baking powder. Try them out...I promise you'll want to make a bigger batch next time.
Yield: 6-8 biscuits
1½ cup AP flour, plus more for kneading and rolling
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
¼ baking soda
¼ cup (4 Tbs or half a stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
⅔ cup buttermilk (or whole milk with 2 tsp lemon juice added)
1 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbs HONEY
Preheat the oven to 450 F and place a rack in the center of the oven.
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl and whisk with a fork to combine. Add the butter and cut into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk and stir until just combined. You can add a little more flour by dusting and stirring if the dough seems too runny, but you want a fairly wet dough that just barely pulls away from the sides of the bowl and still sticks to your fingers.
Scrape the dough out onto a floured surface and fold/knead 6 or 7 times. Roll out the dough to a thickness of
¾ inch and cut into circles using a biscuit cutter. Collect the scraps of dough and repeat the rolling and cutting. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with the edges touching. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown on the top, 10-14 minutes.
While the biscuits are baking, combine the melted butter and honey in a small bowl.
When the biscuits are finished baking, remove from the oven and brush with the honey/butter glaze. Sprinkle with flaky salt, if desired, before serving.
Don't over handle your dough! Biscuits should be soft and tender, so avoid developing tough gluten by only stirring in the buttermilk until a raggy dough forms. Then gently knead and pat out before cutting out your biscuits.
Placing your biscuits next to each other might seem counterintuitive, but this prevents the edges from drying out and gives your biscuits soft, feathery sides.