Thursday, September 1

Basil and Parmesan Cheese Flakey Biscuits

The first part of my summer was full of hiking and cooking and life-maintenancey bits (dentist, anyone?), while the second part was all work and class and no play.  Fortunately, a trip to Oregon to visit my older sister, Ingrid, and Heart Wheel Farm divided the two parts.

finished product

It was an amazing trip.  I was so glad to get the chance to spend time with both my sisters, especially because it has been about a year since I had seen Ingrid and it will probably be another year before we see each other again.  The night before we left, I made these flakey biscuits with basil and parmesan.  They are savory biscuits and probably taste best with soup or lentils or something.  We ate them as a side to dinner with a little bit of drizzled pesto sauce (which I also made using this recipe).

Basil and Parmesan Cheese Flakey Biscuits
from The Tassajara Bread Book

1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves


and after!

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Combine the flours, baking powder, and salt.  Cut the butter into dry ingredients (this can be done with two knives or by rubbing the butter between your hands until pea-sized pieces of butter are formed).  Add the parmesan and minced basil leaves.

Make a well in the center and add the eggs and milk.  Beat the liquid with a fork until smooth, then continue stirring and slowly incorporate the dry ingredients, until all is moistened.
On a floured board, knead the dough just enough to bring it together.
Roll the dough until a rectangle 1/2 inch thick.  Fold in thirds.  Rotate the dough a quarter turn, and repeat rolling and folding.  Repeat once more.  This maximizes the flakey layers of the biscuits
To make the biscuits, roll out the dough again to a 1/2 inch thickness.  Cut into rounds with a floured cutter or glass.
Place on an ungreased sheet, and bake for about 8-10 minutes until the bottoms are browned lightly and the tops are slightly golden.  Make sure not to bake them too long because they will dry out.
Serve piping hot!  Or cart them on an eight hour drive and have them that night.

This is a version of the old John Denver classic "Take Me Home, Country Roads" that Ingrid put on a CD for me.  I love folksy songs, and the percussion just adds a whole new dimension to it:

Brown, Edward Espe. "Basil and Parmesan Cheese Flakey Biscuits." The Tassajara Bread Book. Boston: Shambhala, 2009. 94. Print.

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