Welcome to another Tuesday with Dorie (go here for more)! This week's recipe, Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits, was chosen by Ashley of eat me, delicious.
I knew I was in trouble as soon as saw the recipe... biscuits. I've never made biscuits before; I don't have a biscuit cutter or pastry blender. Dough is not my friend. If a recipe cautions against overhandling, rest assured I will overhandle it. Nevertheless, I set out to conquer these delicious sounding biscuits.
Things were just wrong all over the place. My brown sugar was clumping and when it came to the butter, oh the butter, I was clearly missing something. How does one mush a 1/2 tablespoon chunk of butter into pea-sized bits?! I forged on, doing the best I could. Being completely unimaginative, I simply used a knife to cut out the "rounds" of dough that were soon to become biscuits (though since they are more like scones I have dubbed them "biscones"). I decided that this gave them "character" but I really only succeeded in perpetuating the biscone identity crisis. When they came out of the oven, looking more like an overpuffed cookie than a biscuit, I decided that they still looked darn good enough to eat and dug right in. They certainly were.
See look! They puffed... a little.
From Baking, From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits (Makes about 12 biscuits)
2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup cake flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
1/2 cup cold sour cream
1/4 cold whole milk
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans, preferably toasted
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Get out a sharp 2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a bow. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips (my favorite method) or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You'll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces the size of everything in between-- and that's just right.
Stir the sour cream and milk together and pour over the dry ingredients. Grab a fork and gently toss and turn the ingredients together until you've got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick gentle kneading-- 3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together. Toss in the pecans and knead 2 to 3 times to incorporate them.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour, pat the dough out with your hands or toll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high. Don't worry if the dough isn't completely even-- a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy.
Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of the first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working with them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits ca be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting-- just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.)
Bake the biscuits for 14-18 minutes, or until they are tall, puffed and golden brown. Transfer them to a serving basket.