It’s been an interesting week to say the least. The majority of the population has been staying indoors and #socialdistancing to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Offices are closed, schools are closed, most stores and restaurants are closed, the streets are eerily quiet, transit busses drive by with little to no passengers, panicked people are hoarding toilet paper for some odd reason…it all feels very apocalyptic and strange. Multiple times a day I find myself questioning whether this is really happening, it’s just so surreal. But, I’ve been trying hard to stay positive and limit my time spent reading the news.
I’ve been seeing a lot of people on social media talk about how they’ve been using this time to hone in on their craft or learn new skills and it’s definitely inspiring. It’s beautiful to know that in the midst of all this anxiety and fear, that more people are realizing the importance of family, physical and mental health, and hobbies. Just plain old hobbies. Not the “side-hustle” we’ve gotten so used to, but just painting, as if you were in 8th grade art class or reading a fictional book or knitting a scarf. The world (well, most of it) has been learning to slow down, breathe and find joy in the little things we lost time for.
For me, I plan to use this extra time to experiment in the kitchen, enhance my skills in food photography, finally take some more advanced coding classes and just rest. Since I’ve been working from home for the last week, I’ve decided that this would be a great time for me to stop the mundane Sunday meal-prep and get a little bit more creative in the kitchen and try my own spin on recipes more often. This cheddar and chive biscuit is my take on the sour cream and onion biscuits by Molly Baz from Bon Appétit Magazine.
I used old cheddar for a nice sharp cheesy flavour and chives as my herb of choice, but this really is a versatile recipe and you can make it with almost anything you have on hand. The sour cream makes these biscuits beautifully moist and the trick of folding the dough like an envelope or doing the “cut and stack” method as I did, helps to create a perfectly flaky biscuit. The best part? If you’re feeling down about Coronavirus, top these biscuits with a fried egg and slather on a little more butter and you’ll definitely feel better. Don’t tell your doctor.
Cheddar and Chive Biscuits
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, cold
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup full-fat sour cream
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1-¾ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. granulated sugar
- 2-½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup chives, chopped
- 1-½ cup medium or old cheddar, grated
Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk all-purpose flour, salt, black pepper, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar in a large bowl.
Cut cold butter into 1-inch size cubes and add to dry ingredients. Using your hands, work the butter into the dry ingredients, smashing the butter with your fingers until the butter is about the size of a pea.
Add in chopped chives and grated cheddar, and toss until well combined and distributed.
Create a well in the centre of the bowl and pour in sour cream. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, mix the dough until it just comes together and until shaggy clumps form.
Lightly flour your work surface and dump dough out onto the surface. Knead the dough and shape into an 8×4-inch rectangle, about 1-inch thick. If there are any loose bits, knead the dough a bit more until it holds together well.
Using a bench scraper, cut the dough in half and stack the layers on top of each other. Press back down and shape the dough back into a 8×4-inch rectangle. Repeat this step at least three times to create flaky layers.
With your dough shaped into a 8×4-inch rectangle, about 1-inch thick, use your bench scraper to cut the dough in half lengthwise. Then cut the dough in half crosswise and cut each half crosswise to create 8 even squares.
Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and place in freezer for a couple of minutes. This allows the butter to chill once again and create flaky layers in the oven when the butter heats and steams.
Remove biscuits from the freezer. Using a pastry brush, brush tops of biscuits with melted butter and top with flaky sea salt.
Bake the biscuits for 18-22 minutes until puffed and golden brown.