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It's scientifically proven that biscuits are one of the most versatile foods out there. Think about it: is there ever a bad time for a biscuit? It’s a stunning breakfast pastry that can be eaten as is with a little jam, transformed into a top-shelf breakfast sandwich with eggs, bacon and cheese galore, or smothered with decadent sausage gravy. Just as easily, you can be snacking on one of these tender, flaky beauties well into the afternoon and evening, serving them with a countless number of suppers.
It's with this mindset that I’ve accepted the powerful biscuit into my Rolodex of entertaining stalwarts. For this one-bowl recipe, a little TLC in the form of sweet, roasted garlic and fragrant rosemary creates a savory moment that will perfume your kitchen in the best way possible! Like many pastries, biscuits have a stigma of being more complicated than they really are. There are really just a few techniques I’ll highlight to help you reach baking nirvana.
My first primer will be about butter, the true star of this biscuit. This recipe calls for grated, frozen butter which is your secret to success. The ultra-chilled butter will remain solid as you work it into the dough which allow it to melt and steam in the oven yielding the lift and flaky layers your craving. As well, it gives you the security to grate the butter without making a greasy mess. Frozen butter has enough rigidity to face not only the coarse side of a box grater, but as well the grating attachment of your food processor to knock out this step in less than a minute flat.
Once you’re making the dough, there are two more techniques I live by. I first learned them from testing a biscuit recipe from Nancy Silverton that I’ve applied to every biscuit recipe I’ve made from then on. First, laminate the dough! By completing a few tri-folds à la puff pastry, you’re able to get taller, flakier biscuits. Second, it’s hip to be square. You don’t reroll biscuit dough, so if you use ring cutters, you end up tossing the precious scraps into the garbage. By slicing the dough into squares, you can reduce waste for maximum carb consumption.
- 2 heads garlic, split halfwise
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/ 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons minced rosemary
- 1 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 1/ 2 sticks unsalted butter, 4 sticks frozen and coarsely grated, ½ stick melted
- 2 cups buttermilk
- Flaky sea salt, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400°F and line 2 sheet pans with parchment. Wrap garlic tightly in foil and place directly on oven rack and roast until cloves are softened and golden, about 1 hour. Remove and let cool slightly, then squeeze cloves into a small bowl, discarding skin. Mash into a paste with the back of a spoon.
In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, rosemary, sugar, salt and baking soda to incorporate. Add roasted garlic and grated butter and toss to coat butter well. Add buttermilk and, using your hands, knead into a shaggy dough.
Transfer to a clean work surface and knead until smooth. Shape into a rectangle and lightly dust with flour. Roll into a 9-by-12-inch rectangle and fold into thirds like a letter. Dust again with flour and rotate 90°. Repeat the process of rolling out and tri-folding twice more. Roll into a 9-by-12-inch rectangle and trim the outer ¼-inch to create neat and tidy edges. Cut into 12 equal squares and transfer to one of the prepared sheet pans. Cover in plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes.
When the biscuits have chilled, Transfer half of the biscuits to the other prepared sheet leaving two inches between each biscuit. Brush liberally with melted butter and garnish with flaky salt.
Bake, rotating trays halfway through, until risen and golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then serve warm.