After a few attempts at making Buttermilk Parmesan Biscuits to serve as little brunch sandwiches, I finally arrived at a recipe I like. May I share it with you? The original attempts, based on a recipe shared with me by W, resulted in very soft, somewhat oily spoon-drop biscuits, shown below.
For subsequent attempts, I reverted to using my favorite buttermilk biscuit recipe as a starting point, based on a recipe my mother gave to me. Finally, I got the recipe to a point I’m happy with for a brunch this past weekend. I made little round scrambled eggs with some fried pancetta on top, added some spinach leaves and made a biscuit sandwich out of them.
I bought a pair of non-stick steel rings to form the eggs. A few chopped green onions and some cream cheese mixed in with the eggs make them nice and tasty. The pancetta was from the market, sliced thin to order and then fried for just a few minutes to crisp it up.
The end result were these lovely, flaky sandwiches. The only thing I forgot was to add some chopped green onions to the biscuits themselves. Here is the recipe for the biscuits. I’ll let you figure out the sandwich part on your own. You can also use smoked salmon as a filling instead of pancetta.
Buttermilk Parmesan Biscuits
Makes 10 biscuits (more or less, depending on cutter size)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
2 Tbsp butter, chilled
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp minced green onions (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and thoroughly mix. Cut the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients, forming pea-size crumbs.
Combine the shredded Parmesan cheese into the mixture, ensure that it is evenly distributed.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk. Mix with a fork until combined. Be careful not to over-mix; the goal is to make sure the ingredients are just combined. If desired, mix in the minced green onions.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and fold the dough over on itself five or six times, forming layers. Pat the dough to an even thickness of about 3/4 inch (you can make it thinner or thicker depending on how thick you want your biscuits to be) and use a biscuit cutter to cut the biscuits. When you cut the biscuits, don’t twist the cutter. This seals the edges of the biscuits and retards their rise in the oven. Better to just cut by pressing straight down.
Place biscuits on a baking sheet (no need to oil it although you can use parchment paper if you like) and bake immediately in a 425 F over for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and serve while still hot.
You can substitute 1/2 cup of the unbleached flour with whole wheat flour for a healthier, whole grain biscuit. They won’t puff up quite as much so row them a little thicker than you otherwise would.
If you don’t have buttermilk available, you can substitute regular milk. Before you make the biscuits, take 3/4 c of milk less one tablespoon, and mix in one tablespoon of white vinegar. Let sit for ten minutes and then stir. The milk will have thickened a bit, producing a similar texture and taste to buttermilk.
Enjoy! Feedback always welcome.