I got my basic biscuit recipe nearly 20 years ago from my friend Ellen, whose mother gave it to her as a wedding present. The recipe has a long, Depression-era history in her family, which explains why it calls for buttermilk and oil rather than butter. I have successfully substituted plain yogurt mixed with milk for the buttermilk, which I never remember to buy. Either way, the biscuits are light and flaky, perfect on their own or as a wrapper for little ham sandwiches.
I know many cooks will insist that a biscuit recipe without butter is like a chocolate-chip cookie without chocolate. All I can say is: Try it. It really works, and it's a heck of a lot easier. You can always put butter on at the table. In fact, I recommend it.
Biscuits with Jarlsberg cheese, bacon and green onions
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup shredded Jarlsberg cheese
- 1/4 cup cooked bacon, crumbled
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup buttermilk OR 1/2 cup plain yogurt (fat-free, lowfat or full-fat) plus 1/4 cup milk, mixed together
Mix the oil and buttermilk (or yogurt-milk combination) gently in a measuring cup - you don't want them to combine fully, so don't beat them hard. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and bring the dough together with a fork. When the dough comes together, knead it 6-8 times inside the bowl with one hand, turning it over on itself, until the dough is smooth - don't overwork it.
Pat the dough out into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick on a parchment-lined baking pan. Cut it into into squares and separate them, leaving some space between the biscuits. Bake about 20 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown and smell heavenly. Serve immediately.
These biscuits are best right out of the oven, but if you have leftovers, reheat them in the oven or toaster oven - never in the microwave, or you'll be in soggy city.
Note: I received a free sample of Jarlsberg cheese via my participation in the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program. I've got a few more Jarlsberg recipes coming up - stay tuned!