Cheddar-Scallion Drop Biscuits

It’s January and I’m in full hibernate mode with soups and stews overloading my stove and palette.  I love them creamy, brothy, rich and thick; I’m there.  One thing I love even more than a good soup is bread to go with it though (see here for an example).  Last year, on an impulse, I bought the Cook’s Illustrated Soups and Stews magazine and found this recipe for drop biscuits.  Its simple, it’s delicious and I am obsessed with these biscuits.

I love biscuits and have since I was a small child. Biscuits meant that there was soup or something delicious to eat, usually slathered in butter.  Then I was obsessed with some Pillsbury ultra flaky ones that peeled apart into layers (which I may have loved simply by dint of the fact that they looked like pages stacked together and baked).  But as I (and my palette) grew up and learned more about baking I grew away from the Pillsbury biscuits in a tube and started to look for a perfect biscuit recipe.  My sister obsessively made some from The Joy of Cooking but I found them a bit dry and wasn’t a fan.  So I kept searching.

I got this issue of Cooks Illustrated for the ramen recipe (which I still haven’t tried; I really need to get some good miso) but instead found this little gem regarding perfect drop biscuits.  I tried it, thinking that at worst it would cost me some flour and buttermilk.  These were perfect, flaky and chewy without being messy or crumby.  These are flexible; I used them later to make shortcakes by adding some extra sugar and cinnamon and I almost always add a handful of good quality cheddar cheese and a few spices.  I love a recipe that is flexible like this and will move to be whatever I want.  Also there is none of that classic cutting butter in.  An ingenious method involving melted butter and really cold butter milk makes really consistent butter chunks evenly distributed into a simple flour mixture.

Cheddar-Chive Drop Biscuits
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated: Soups & Stews

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup scallions, chopped finely
1/2 cup good quality cheddar cheese (I used Cabot)
1 cup buttermilk (straight from the fridge and v cold)
1 stick (8 Tbs) butter, melted and allowed to cool a little bit

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.  Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, baking soda, scallions, and cheese to a large bowl and whisk them until evenly mixed (5-6) stirs.  In a separate bowl, or a 2 cup measuring cup, mix together the melted butter and buttermilk.  It will look lumpy and it will not be pretty, that’s ok.  It will taste delicious.  Add the butter/buttermilk to the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until just mixed, again 5-6 stirs.  Scoop out the biscuits onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Brush some additional melted butter or some milk on top of the biscuits or sprinkle some extra cheese on there.  Bake them for 10-12 mins.  They will be a light golden brown and totally delicious.  Enjoy these biscuits with whatever you want; I like mine at breakfast with an egg and some hollandaise or served with whatever soup I’ve made most recently.  Perfect.