I have no problem eating sweets for breakfast all the time– be it chocolate chip pancakes, ricotta stuffed french toast, or blueberry muffins. But once in a while I crave something savory.
When I wake up early enough, I like to bake while everyone is still sound asleep. I like surprising my family with breakfast. This morning, I whipped up some buttermilk biscuits. These aren’t just any biscuits. These are super savory and satisfying Swiss cheese and toasted caraway seed buttermilk biscuits.
Can you imagine waking up to the smell of these biscuits? Even my dog, Charlie, was sniffing around the kitchen as I baked these.
Biscuits are very easy and fast to make. And even better, you can prepare them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to bake.
The secret to great biscuits is in the mixing. Over mixing the dough will create a tough and chewy biscuit because of development of too much gluten. Make sure your fat (be it butter, shortening or lard) is cold. Cut the fat into the flour quickly so you do not melt or warm up the fat. You can do this with a pastry blender, forks, or food processor. I prefer to use my fingers, as I tend to have cold hands. To control the development of the biscuit dough, I like to hand stir instead of using a mixer.
Once the dough is formed, gently knead the dough just enough to bring it together. Push all the crumbs and little bits together without overworking the dough. The dough should be soft. If you end up overworking the dough, let it sit a couple minutes to let the gluten relax. Cut out the biscuits with a floured cutter pressing straight down. Do not ever twist the cutter. This will seal the edges of the biscuits and prevent it from rising evenly.
Swiss and Caraway Buttermilk Biscuits, adapted from Cook’s Country
makes 6 biscuits
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into half inch cubes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 Tbsp caraway seeds, lightly toasted
1/2 cup buttermilk
1. Refrigerate butter for 30 minutes or freeze for 15 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet.
3. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut in chilled butter with a fork or your fingers until mixture resembles coarse sand.
4. Fold in cheese and seeds. Stir in buttermilk until combined. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently to form a smooth ball. Roll out to 3/4 inch thickness.
5. Cut biscuits using a 2 1/2 inch cutter dipped in flour. Arrange biscuits upside down on prepared baking sheet. Gather remaining dough and roll out again.
6. Bake for about 5 minutes until biscuits begin to rise. Rotate pan and reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack and let cool slightly. Serve warm.