Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits #TwelveLoaves #SkinnyTip

Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits

A Mediocre Gardener

I generally have a black thumb. I’m all gung ho when I plant my herb garden in the spring…but by late July, I tend to forget the all important “watering” task. Thank goodness we’ve had regular rainfall this summer, so my little plot is flourishing. I had no excuse to miss August’s Twelve Loaves event since Summer Herbs was our chosen theme. But since I’d just returned from visiting my parents in Denver, I wanted to showcase my garden herbs in a quick and easy recipe. I remembered a flaky biscuit dough that required a pseudo-laminating. I snipped a few fragrant stems and leaves from my garden and baked up some Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits.

Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits

Flaky and Tender Biscuits

What is laminating, you ask? It’s basically the technique used to make puff pastry. Folding, turning and rolling layers of dough and butter to form layers upon layers of pastry. With these biscuits, I worked the cold butter and shortening into the flour mixture with my fingers, thus forming flat pieces of fat which created layers when baked. But besides that step, I also folded the dough into thirds, thus “laminating” before the final rolling and cutting step. With puff pastry, this is done numerous times, with chilling between each “fold.” This would be just one “turn” versus the many in a true laminated dough. So a pseudo-lamination, per se. Besides this extra folding, the addition of buttermilk ensured a tender biscuit. Feel free to adjust the amount and type of herb and cheese. Mine had a lovely, subtle herb flavor. No dominant flavor, so perfect with every meal and cuisine. But the options are endless. I hope you’ll give them a shot!

Herbed Buttermilk Biscuits #TwelveLoaves
Ingredients
Technique and basic biscuit recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated
  • 2½ cups flour plus more for rolling dough
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 stick very cold butter
  • ½ cup (and up to 1 cup) shredded Gruyere cheese
  • ½+ teaspoon minced fresh sage
  • ½+ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • ½+ teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1¼ cup very cold buttermilk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450º. Line baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Cut in shortening in with pastry blender or a couple knives till the size of peas. Cut butter into 8 pieces and, one at a time, rub them into the flour with your fingers till they are flattened into thin sheets (they will break apart). You'll want all the butter separated into these pieces so when they melt in the oven, they will make the biscuits flaky. Mix in Gruyere and herbs.
  3. Put the bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add all the buttermilk except the last two tablespoons. Mix gently with a spatula. If the dough is too dry, you may add the remaining buttermilk. Lightly flour another silpat and roll the dough out to cover the surface (11 x 16). Fold the dough into thirds, then roll to an inch thick.
  5. Cut into biscuits using sharp round cutter. I used a 2½ inch cutter. Press straight down without twisting. Dip the cutter into flour if it sticks to the dough. Pat together scraps to make last few biscuits. Place biscuits on lined baking sheet, and bake about 15 minutes or till lightly browned.
  6. Yield: 8-12 depending on size of your cutter.
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
The herbs and cheese provide a lovely subtle flavor. For more intense herb or cheese taste, feel free to increase the amounts.

August Twelve Loaves: Herbs

 

If you’d like to add your bread to the collection with the Linky Tool this month, here’s what you need to do!

1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!

2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.

3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this August 2014, and posted on your blog by August 30, 2014.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess.

#TwelveLoaves runs smoothly with the help of our friends.

Thank you to Sherron from Simply Gourmet for hosting this month’s event!


Skinny Tip

I’m offering a series of Skinny Tips. How I keep slim is one of my most frequent inquiries. I’ll feature tips on some of my upcoming blog posts.

Tip #33: Herbs are an excellent way of boosting the flavor of lower calorie foods and recipes. You don’t have to sacrifice taste, just because you’ve reduced calories doesn’t mean your food should be bland! Add basil to your fresh garden tomatoes, thyme to your grilled zucchini or tuck sage leaves under the skin of your roasted chicken.

Comments

  1. These biscuits look like flaky perfection, love the herbs!

  2. I love that despite your incredibly busy schedule, you still manage to find time and energy to make such amazing recipes! It’s inspiring and totally impressive. I’m so glad you get to join such wonderful roundups! I know I’d love to, and this one is so swell, just like you. Have a wonderful Tuesday, Liz!

  3. Lynn@Happier Than A Pig In Mud says:

    I found our favorite yeast roll recipe, maybe I’ll focus on biscuits this year! Yours sound great with the herbs Liz:@)

  4. And there’s cheese in them biscuits too! Yummy Liz.

  5. I adore good homemade biscuits straight from the oven and they have to be flakey! I love that you turned them into a savory version. Pinned for later baking!

  6. Looks like so much effort and quite challenging ones,
    i guess this recipe is worth to try!!!

  7. Interesting technique, Liz! I need to give this a try. We were always told not to work the biscuit dough or it wouldn’t rise, but clearly, that was bad advice! Yours look fluffy and wonderful. Especially with the melted butter dripping off them.

  8. Liz, I am a bread lover. I’d rather eat a biscuit (or roll or slice of bread) than a piece of cake. But it has to be a good, homemade biscuit; and these certainly fill the bill!

  9. What a beautiful biscuit. I am right there with you and your black thumb. LOL Me too and especially with herbs. My kids joke that I can’t grow anything too well. Thanks for sharing this month.

  10. Sage, rosemary and thyme: a very rich bread. Twelve Loaves each month surprise me with your creativity.

  11. I don’t recall eating any biscuits with these herbs. Gosh, they must’ve smelled good!

  12. I love all the herbs in these. They must be so flavorful!

  13. They look delicious and pretty.

  14. I remember your other laminated pastry which I made for one of our progressive dinners (when I realized my puff pastry had expired). It was fantastic so I have no doubt that this one will be as well.

  15. Those biscuits look perfect and sound so, so good! Buttermilk always makes them better for sure. I must try your pseudo laminating technique. A fine trick I learned from Bev on Mennonite Girls Can Cook is to use a box grater to grate frozen butter into biscuit batter – it works “grate”!!

  16. So glad that the rain has helped out and turned your black thumb curse around, because these look absolutely divine. All of your recipes never fail to get me craving something!

  17. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    Your skinny tips are fantastic! I sort of have a black thumb too! But you have magical baking hands, my friend. I’m so happy I saw you again in Orlando. LOVE your biscuits!

  18. I had never heard of laminating. Now that you explained it, it makes so much sense in terms of achieving the right texture for a biscuit. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  19. I simply adore Gruyere cheese so the fact that you added it into your herbed biscuits has my heart beating fast! These look wonderful, Liz!

  20. This buttermilk biscuits looks like the scones ! So good! Love your photos Liz 🙂

  21. I love a good biscuit … and yours? With those perfect looking herbs on top of those perfect looking biscuits? WANT! WANT! WANT!

    And gruyere? Yes, please! Fabulous recipe!

  22. Biscuits are so good. I am now craving one. Perhaps two. Thanks, Liz!

  23. I can almost smell the aroma 🙂
    I’d eat most of them by myself – just with lots or butter

  24. Biscuits make any meal better! These look delicious!

  25. Biscuits have always been a fave of mine. I love how flaky and buttery they are, providing comfort on those days one needs the most. Both the herbs and cheese are a real plus.

  26. These biscuits would disappear in a NY minute!!! Blessings Lizzy, Catherine

  27. These are absolutely GORGEOUS!!! Lovely work, I wanna try these!

  28. What lovely biscuits! Brava!

  29. Those biscuits look so yummy, and the Gruyere is the perfect cheese with herbs. I don’t make biscuits enough. I’ve got to remedy that =)

  30. I’ve never done laminating although Chris has highlighted it on her blog also. But your explanation is understandable to me (Way to go, Liz) and this looks like an easy enough recipe to try. I have herbs on deck – actually on my balcony deck, so will try it.

  31. These are definitely drool-worthy Liz. I could eat a pile of them!

  32. biscuits speak to my heart friend and these look divine, the addition of the herbs sound delicious and adds a nice extra touch to the already buttery flavor

  33. Your biscuits look wonderful. I love having fresh herbs in the garden. I am sure the herbs you used in these biscuits made them taste extra yummy.

  34. They look so flaky and melt-in-mouth…amazing!

  35. Beautiful and perfect biscuit Liz…I like the fresh herbs in this biscuits…light and flaky…yum!
    Have a great week 😀

  36. Okay, Take Two…Apparently my comment via iPhone didn’t go through…I do feel a Simon Garfunkel song coming on…”Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.” A lovely song and it looks like even lovelier Liz Berg laminated buttermilk biscuits.

  37. They look so fluffy and flaky Liz! And the herbs add so much flavor to them!

  38. Oh how I love herbs and cheese together! You’re so right – many shy away from food if they don’t see anything savoury or sweet (i.e. salt, bacon, or sugar). Herbs can do wonders to food!

    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

  39. I am better at buying herbs than growing 😀
    Nice biscuits.. 🙂

  40. There’s nothing like a good biscuit. I’m still working on perfecting mine but it looks like you’re there already! Gorgeous! As are your photos…

  41. I am always looking for ways to use fresh herbs. Love you you incorporated the herb leaves on top of the biscuits.

  42. Liz, you sound very clever explaining all of that folding and folding to make puff pastry. It might sound silly but I didn’t know anyone ever tried to make their own!
    Anyway, I digress … the biscuits sound incredible. I love that you added gruyere cheese!

  43. Thank you for the explanation of laminating. My first thought was of art projects and then I thought, perhaps, laminating referred to brushing the tops of the biscuits with an egg wash and ‘laminating’ an herb to it! OY!!

  44. I love thesd biscuits dear Lizzy!
    Look awesome:)
    xo

  45. Who doesn’t like biscuits? Particularly when flavored with herbs. Love the idea! Terrific recipe — thanks.

  46. I am so obsessed with herbs and they pack such a nutritional and flavorful punch in such a small package. I don’t grow anything in a garden, but I have been enjoying the bounty at my farmers’ market.

  47. I’m craving these so badly Liz! I love laminating… and biscuits… and herbs

  48. Oh my – these look so light and fluffy! Can’t wait to try them – maybe this weekend since our temps are down in the low 100’s 🙂

  49. Liz, these biscuits look so good…delicious! I love a good biscuit, and these biscuits look beyond good…thanks for sharing!

  50. Lovely…they look perfect!

  51. The Mr is the biscuit maker in the family and he is quite a purist No funny stuff as he calls it allowed. I on the other hand would make them and relish every bite.

  52. this post reminds me that I need to water my plants! lol

    and I LOVE that technique for biscuits-it makes them so insanely flaky and these herbs just are the perfect compliment!

  53. I would eat a baker’s dozen of these if I could. They look so tempting. 🙂

  54. I love making buttermilk biscuits, but I’ve never added herbs and cheese to them. I will be doing it next time. Scrumptious biscuits Liz!

  55. Those look delicious. I laughed aloud. At least you’re a mediocre gardener. I am the gardener of death! Black thumb!!

  56. Who new that buttermilk biscuits could be so light?! Mine must be hockey pucks compared to these – I’m newly inspired to try your laminating technique.

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