I had mixed feelings when I found out that this week's recipe, chosen by Ashley of eat me, delicious, was the Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits. I love biscuits and I loved how quick and easy the recipe looked. On the flip side, I don't like nuts, and I have very little experience making biscuits from scratch. Most of the biscuits I've made in the past were from Bisquick. So I wasn't sure if I would be successful with this recipe.
Funny thing is, I grew up in California, so the only biscuits I knew growing up were from KFC! Then I met my husband who grew up in the South. I remember the first time I was treated to his mom's homemade biscuits... oh my. I rarely come across a biscuit that is as good as hers. The only biscuit that is better is his grandmother's!
I played around with this recipe a little. I omitted the pecans, as I don't like nuts. I also used buttermilk instead of whole milk because I didn't feel like running to store to pick some up. Oh, and I also don't have a biscuit cutter, so I just used a small glass instead. You can use cookie cutters if you don't have a biscuit cutter (I don't even have cookie cutters!).
Dorie describes these as "too good" and "caramelish because of the brown sugar." I was hoping that they would be sweeter from the brown sugar, but the "caramelish" flavor was very subtle. I was extremely cautious not to overwork the dough to avoid warming the butter too much, and while my biscuits did puff up, they weren't quite as flaky as I had hoped. Not sure if it's the recipe, or just me... since I am new to biscuit making. I also forgot to check the oven a little early, so by the time my timer went off at 14 minutes, my first batch was already a little too browned. I'm also not sure why, but my biscuits browned a lot on the top, but not the sides (is that typical?).
I would call these biscuits good, but I wouldn't jump to calling them "too good" like Dorie does. Perhaps that is because I omitted the pecans and I didn't get to experience these as they were intended. I enjoyed them by spreading some butter over them and then drizzling some honey on top. To me, the best biscuits are super buttery and flaky; they can be eaten alone, without the need for any butter, honey, jams, or jellies. If you want to read an interesting article about how to make good biscuits, click here.
Thanks Ashley, for picking this week's recipe and showing me that I can easily make my own biscuits at home. As the group continues to grow weekly (we've got 50 now!), make sure you check out the blog roll on the Tuesdays with Dorie blog to see how everyone elses' breakfast creations turned out.
Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits
from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup cake flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
1/2 cup cold sour cream (I used light sour cream)
1/4 cold whole milk (I used buttermilk)
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans, preferably toasted (I omitted these)
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Get out a sharp 2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a bow. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips (my favorite method) or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You'll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces the size of everything in between-- and that's just right.
Stir the sour cream and milk together and pour over the dry ingredients. Grab a fork and gently toss and turn the ingredients together until you've got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick gentle kneading-- 3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together. Toss in the pecans and knead 2 to 3 times to incorporate them.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour, pat the dough out with your hands or toll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high. Don't worry if the dough isn't completely even-- a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy.
Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of the first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working with them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits ca be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting-- just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.)
Bake the biscuits for 14-18 minutes, or until they are tall, puffed and golden brown. Transfer them to a serving basket.
Yield: Approximately 12 biscuits