Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Quick Cheddar and Dill Biscuits

While I always enjoy making yeasted rolls and breads, I don't always have time to do so. Sometimes this is out of a sheer lack of motivation, while other times it is because I simply haven’t planned enough time to get bread out with the rest of the meal. That is why it is nice to be able to put together something very quick, like these biscuits.
Drop biscuits are much like scones, with butter cut into a flour mixture and held together with milk or cream. To make these savory, I only added a tiny bit of sugar, to help with browning, and added some sharp cheddar cheese. The type of cheese that goes into these biscuits is important because, while any type of firm cheese can really be used (cheddar, jack, etc), you will probably want to increase the salt by 1/4 teaspoon if your cheese is very mild. Otherwise, the biscuits will be pleasant, but a bit bland. I mean, Monterey jack is a lovely cheese, but it doesn't exactly the most interesting flavor profile. The dill adds a subtle flavor to these biscuits, but compliments the cheese nicely. If you don't have fresh dill, you can substitute 1 1/2 tsp dried dill.
I opted to make these in the food processor instead of by hand, just for the sake on convenience. Try not to over-blend the butter into the flour and use the "pulse" function to combine the ingredients.
I don't think these need any butter for serving, but feel free to add some. They're great with salads.

Quick Cheddar and Dill Biscuits
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (see note, above)
2 tbsp fresh dill
2 1/2 tbsp butter, cold and cut into 4 pieces
1/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese, plus a bit more for topping, shredded
5-6 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 400F.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, salt and dill. Whizz to combine and to chop the dill somewhat. Add in butter and pluse 6-8 times, making large crumbs. Add in cheese and pluse again to evenly distribute. Add 5 tbsp of milk and pulse until the mixture comes together, adding an additional tablespoon of milk, if necessary.
Divide dough into four and place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Top each with a bit (1 tsp or so) of cheese.
Bake for 16-18 minutes, until golden.
Cool on a wire rack.
Makes 4.