Light, feathery, fluffy, layered biscuits. Dripping with butter. Is there anything better?
(I guess maybe something with chocolate). They are such an easy baked good to whip up. In minutes, the batter is mixed up, rolled out, cut, and baked up.
I’ll admit it… one of my guilty pleasures is a good biscuit and gravy. And yes, one of our favourite guilty pleasures to eat breakfast at, is Cracker Barrel. Oh, don’t give me that look. It’s not like we’re heading there for our health. Thankfully, the closest one to us is a good 1 1/2 hours away, in Buffalo. Every road trip Stateside starts with breakfast here. When we pull into the parking lot, we know that our vacation has started!
And yes, it is all about the meat and carbs. Bacon, sausage, eggs, shredded hash browns, grits, pancakes, cornbread…and biscuits. They make such a fluffy buttermilk biscuit. Smothered in gravy, it’s amazing. Using it for runny eggs, it’s amazing. Dripping with butter, it’s amazing. And thankfully we probably only eat there 3 or 4 times a year.
But that doesn’t mean I only get biscuits when we’re at Cracker Barrel. I love getting up early and whipping up a batch. When I can’t sleep, or when it’s an unplanned snow day, or a rainy day, or any other excuse, out comes a batch of biscuits. What’s so wonderful about biscuits, is that the basic recipe is so simple, but easy to embellish. I have my Herbed Kefir Biscuit recipe on the blog already. But you could easily take this same recipe, add sugar and mint or even some currants, and suddenly you have the perfect biscuit for whipped cream and strawberries. Cut the savoury biscuits larger, and you have the perfect vehicle for scrambled eggs.
And then there are today’s biscuits. It started out because I wanted a breakfast biscuit. Something handheld, self-contained. So I knew I would be adding chopped bacon. And then I scrounged around the fridge to see what else I could add to the mix. Scallions, parsley, dill, cheddar cheese, and some provolone as well. And don’t laugh, because it worked really great, but I added in a finely cubed apple. There is something so wonderful about combining the savouriness of the bacon against the sweet crunch of the apple. And because I wanted to make them feel breakfast-y, I topped each one with homemade Everything Bagel spice blend. I took some kefir (you could also use buttermilk) and brushed the top of each biscuit, and then sprinkled a blend of Everything Bagel spice blend on each one. I’m going to give you a quick way to whip up the blend in the recipe below, but I will actually share my own blend in a blog post really soon!
I followed the method of using my hands to spread the dough flat on a floured counter. Then, I folded it in half. Using a rolling pin I gently pounded and then rolled it out again. And folded it again. And rolled it again. And folded it again. It’s these gentle folds that will give the biscuits the rise in the oven. Don’t underestimate this step. Another trick to getting them to bake up nicely: Place them on the parchment lined baking sheet, almost to barely touching each other. As they spread and grow, they will end up ‘kissing’ and will help each other out to rise up even higher! And in the photo below, I love how the cheese stretches from each one as I separate them 🙂
They bake up real fast- no more that 15 minutes, depending on how thick you rolled them, and the size of cutter you are using. I love a larger size cutter if you want to open and stuff them, say with a scrambled egg or sliced tomato, or even some folded ham or mortadella. A medium cutter works great for if you’re making biscuits for gravy dousing. And mini ones are perfect served up with a bowl of soup.
When these came out of the oven, I had to hold myself back from tearing one open. I barely waited before I did grab one. It was perfect! Just what I wanted. These would be perfect for mornings, when everyone is going in different directions. Since you can bake them up in advance and then just reheat in the toaster oven for a few minutes at 300F, you can have one ready to go with you out the door to catch the bus or head to the car for the daily commute.
The bacon, the apple, the cheeses, the herbs- they all come together to make a lovely way to start the day!
Everything Bacon Apple Breakfast Biscuits
This biscuit has everything, including Everything Bagel topping! Tangy cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, sweet crunchy apple, and lots of folds. They are so easy to whip up. And they are perfect for breakfast, warmed up and slathered with butter or honey.
- 2 cups 250 g unbleached AP flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- 1/4 cup 56 g;1/2 stick frozen unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon about 2-3 slices, fried, blotted dry and cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup small cubed peeled GS apple the smaller the better in this case, between 1/8-1/4 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese I like sharp cheddar, but you can use mozzarella, gouda, etc
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs parsley, thyme, rosemary would all work great
- 1 cup 230 g kefir scant cup, plus more for brushing on the tops You can substitute with buttermilk or sour milk.
Everything Bagel Topping Mix
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- 1 tbsp dried onion flakes
- 2 tsp garlic flakes
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp cracked pepper
Heat oven to 425F
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
Using the large holes on your grater, grate the butter into the flour mixture and mix lightly with your fingers until well distributed, and it looks like all the butter bits are covered with flour.
Add the bacon, apple, cheese and the herbs and stir in gently.
Pour in the kefir.
Stir just until all the dry bits are incorporated, no longer.
It should be sticky and shaggy, not wet. Sometimes humidity will affect this. You'll get used to your dough, and know when to add a splash extra liquid, or to flour your surface a bit more heavily. See next step.
Lightly flour the work surface and turn your dough out onto it. Lightly flour the top of your dough and use your hands to pat it out into a rectangle little over 1 inch thick.
Fold that rectangle towards you. Rotate the dough counter clockwise and roll it out gently using a rolling pin. Use a bouncing motions from the centre of the dough, careful not to crush the out edges and destroy the layers. It's important to roll very gently.
Repeat the folding and rolling two more times. Sometimes I add an extra fold if I'm feeling extra 'foldy'!
Roll the dough out to about 1 1/4" (35mm) thick. Using a floured biscuit cutter, cut your biscuits (be sure not to twist the cutter or it will seal the outer edges and they won't rise well) Gently gather and re-roll the dough until it is all used up. Dip your cutter into a small bowl of flour regularly.
Place the cut biscuits onto a parchment covered baking sheet, so that the biscuits are just barely touching (a slight kiss!) each other. This will ensure that they can help each other rise.
Brush the top of each biscuit with more kefir. Then take the Everything Bagel blend mix and sprinkle some on each biscuit.
Bake for 15 or so minutes depending on the size of your biscuits, the weather, and your oven. They should be golden brown and fluffily cooked through.
Enjoy them warm with all manner of honey, sausage, jams, ham, and of course, grass fed butter.
This recipe is truly about the process. Don't skimp on the directions to roll and fold. And also the idea of placing them on the baking sheet so that they are just touching, a bare kiss, really does work! Obviously you can make these with buttermilk.