Okay, I admit it… I have a profound fear of baking with yeast, and… maybe… rolling pins. I shudder whenever I read recipes with instructions requiring me to knead, and allow things to rest for long periods. I keep telling myself I am going to give it a try. In fact, I even went so far as buying an instant read thermometer so I could test my water temperature and make sure my yeast would be happy. I bought a few packets of instant yeast too. Every so often, I see the yeast in the cupboard, and I am sure it is glaring at me, judging me. Well, not really… but if the yeast packets could talk!
Instead, I do everything I can to avoid those recipes. I just keep telling myself one day I will have a fancy-shmancy breadmaker that will “magically” take care of the dough technicalities. In the meantime, I buy frozen pizza dough, and I make muffins and quickbreads. I also make today’s featured recipe – Cheese (drop) Biscuits. This recipe is so easy, that if I had one of those fun Staples buttons, I would probably give it a tap when making these.
I first learned the difference between drop biscuits and regular (rolled and cut) biscuits while watching an episode of America’s Test Kitchen. I am not in the habit of watching this show. It’s not a bad show in itself, but it annoys me a bit that they don’t give out the recipes, and they want you to PAY to access them on their website. I know it’s PBS and all, but seriously? Anyway, at the time, we were temporarily renting a house, and had no cable/satellite. Since we were only about 15 minutes from the US border, we were able to pickup 5 free to air HD channels; one being New England/Vermont PBS. Thus began my quest for the elusive “drop biscuit” recipe.
Ironically, I discovered a recipe (that soon became a favourite around here) in the New England Yankee Magazine Newsletter. Here’s where you can find it: http://www.yankeemagazine.com/getrecipe/11441
Cheese Biscuits Yankee Magazine
Yield: Makes 15-20
Simple to make, and especially good with vegetable soups.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 4 tablespoons lard or shortening (1/4 cup)
- 3/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Blend in cheese and lard. Add milk, stirring slowly to make a soft dough. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet. Bake 10 to 15 minutes.
- I add a bit of garlic powder, and dried chives for some extra flavour (very tasty).
- I am not sure why, but I always need to add a bit of extra milk to get them to the right consistency.
- I NEVER get 15-20 biscuits; more like a baker’s dozen. I am not sure what kind of spoonful they mean, but if I was to make 20 biscuits, I think they’d be the perfect size for toddlers.
These biscuits are SO easy to make, and always turn out great. They are crispy on the outside, a bit moist and chewy on the inside – wonderful served warm with a bit of butter/margarine.
I hope you enjoyed my new topic “Savoury Sides”, where I plan to share some simple but tasty side dish recipes. Enjoy!
P.S. I really thought we had a picture of these, but I can’t seem to find it. Next time I make them, I will be sure to snap a shot before they all get eaten.