While cooking, listen to this: Swing Low - Birocratic
I have a confession to make: I am not an herb person. I don't like most fresh herbs, most notably cilantro and dill - the latter results in shame, seeing as I am the only one in a family of six who detests it. Trust me, I wish I liked herbs! They're so beautiful, and can totally change a recipe with a small addition. I'm hoping this recipe is the beginning of my beautiful love story with herbs. This might not be the biggest leap, considering these biscuits have a small amount of thyme and a copious amount of butter, but hey, it's a step.
This biscuit recipe comes courtesy of one of our favorite science-foodies, Kenji Lopez-Alt (Alton Brown is also on that list). I've never made biscuits before, and Kenji's recipe is super easy to follow and make. It also lends itself to creativity, seeing as you can add literally anything you want to it. I decided to add honey and thyme, and I'm so glad I did. These biscuits are sweet and flaky, with a note of herby, gardeny goodness. They also look really, really pretty.
This dough is SUPER sticky. Like, this is definitely the stickiest dough I have ever made. You may think you have put enough flour on your surface and rolling pin/wine bottle, but you have not. Add more. More. More. Seriously. This dough will fall madly in love with your work surface and will never let go if you don't put some serious flour between them.
Part of the process of creating these biscuits is folding the dough in two separate phases. The pictures below will help you know exactly what your dough should look like, and I guide you through the steps in the recipe section.
In between folds, the dough gets a generous drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of thyme. Pretty much a match made in heaven. And just when you thought there was enough butter in this recipe, the tops are brushed with even more. There is no such thing as too much butter. Never forget that.
I highly recommend splitting the biscuits in half and shmearing them with brie. Alyssa hates brie and even she liked them this way. This is because biscuits and brie are perfect. You are perfect. You and these biscuits together? Can you even imagine how perfect that would be? Only one way to find out.
Love and meows, Rina
HONEY + THYME BISCUITS
Yield: about 12 biscuits
Cook Time: 50m
Category: Baked, Breakfast
Source: slightly tweaked from Serious Eats
½ cup buttermilk*
½ cup Greek yogurt/sour cream
10 ounces/about 2 cups flour + more for work surface
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, cut into ¼ cubes + 2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing the tops
1-2 tablespoons thyme leaves
*I like to make my own buttermilk because I never go through one carton before it expires. To do this, combine ½ cup milk of choice with ½ teaspoon white distilled vinegar. Stir, and let it sit for 10 minutes.
** I don't have a specific amount listed because I drizzle my honey directly from the bottle onto the dough. Use as much or as little as you like, and look to the picture for a reference of what I like to use.
Prep: preheat the oven to 425 and, if making your own, mix your buttermilk together now. Mix together buttermilk and Greek yogurt in a small bowl.
Prep the dry ingredients: in a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and process until they're combined. Add cold butter cubes and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal but there are still some small butter bits scattered throughout. Transfer to a large bowl.
Combine the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture: fold the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture until the dough is just combined. Flour a work surface and transfer the dough onto it.
Roll the dough, part 1: with a well-floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 12-inch square. Fold the right third of the dough over the center, and then the left, so that the two sides now meet in the middle. Next, fold the top third down over the center, and then the bottom third. What you should now be left with is a square of dough. Look to the pictures for extra help with how to do this.
Roll the dough, part 2: roll out your dough square so that it is once again a 12-inch square, and flour your rolling pin again if your dough is getting stuck.
Add the honey and thyme: drizzle the honey all over the square. Remove the thyme leaves from their stems and scatter as little or as much as you'd like over the dough.
Roll the dough, part 3: repeat the folding process from part 1 - if some honey or thyme leaks out, that's totally fine. Just shove it back in there.
Cut the biscuits: using a well-floured biscuit cutter or glass (I used the latter), cut out your biscuits. I manage to get 6 biscuits out of this first round. Place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and roll out the remaining dough and cut out more biscuits until you're left with a tiny scrap of dough. You can mold this bit into whatever shape you like.
Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter. For extra beauty, sprinkle a few thyme leaves onto the center of each biscuit.
Bake the biscuits until they're golden brown on the top, around 15 minutes. Remember that ovens are finicky and to rotate your pan halfway through so that the biscuits bake equally.
To serve: let cool for a few minutes and then serve immediately. They're delicious plain, but even better with a schmear of brie. You could also spread on some butter and more honey.
To keep: these biscuits can be kept for a few days, but are really best on the day they make their debut from the oven.