Anyone who either reads this blog and/or knows me in real life knows that I ate tons of biscuits whilst growing up. They are definitely a mainstay in Texas. What you might not know is that I really only had two kinds of biscuits until reaching adulthood: the classic buttermilk biscuits, and the cheddar bay biscuits at Red Lobster.
Now, to be very clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with either of those biscuits. It’s just that it would be sad to go through life and not be made aware of all the endless biscuit possibilities that await you. A biscuit is a basic ratio of flour to fat to liquid, and that ratio is basically a flavor blank slate. You can add spices, or cheeses, or nuts, or dried fruits, or chiles, or cured meats, or yes, even fresh herbs.
I can presently say that my life is very happy in the realm of creative biscuits! I love to make them and I love to monkey around with them, flavor-wise. These were tasty and particularly pretty with the flecks of green running all throughout. I also thought the herbs made them rather elegant; they would make a lovely addition to a nice dinner table spread. I could see them being served alongside chicken or duck very nicely.
And even if you’re a loyal devotee to the classic, unadorned buttermilk biscuits and are skeptical about straying, I’d still advise trying these. You can rationalize that fresh herbs, which are full of nutrients and very good for you, will make the biscuit a tad healthier, and you can feel no guilt about sneaking an extra (you know you do it too)! Don’t you love my logic?
Source: adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten
2 cups flour
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, chilled
3/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 egg mixed with 1 tbs water, for egg wash
Preheat your oven to 400 F.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender until it resembles the size of peas. Add the half and half and herbs and mix together with a rubber spatula until just incorporated. It may still be a little scraggly at this point. Flour your hands and knead for about 1 minute, until the dough comes together. Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and use a well-floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into a rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Cut out rounds with a 2-inch round biscuit cutter.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the biscuits on it. Brush each with the egg wash.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the tops are browned and the insides are firm. Serve warm with butter, if desired.