The last of the season’s fresh zaa’tar, cheddar, and buttermilk biscuits. Oh, they are pillowy, soft, and infused with comforting flavors. I will say that this recipe is mostly characterized by the flavors of the American South. Growing up in Florida for many years, I developed an appreciation for regional foods such as fried chicken and waffles, cornbread, baked sweet potatoes, and the list goes on. The addition of zaa’tar is purely of my doing – my mediterranean touch to this delightful bread.
The zaa’tar that this recipe calls for is the fresh herb, so if it is not available where you are, feel free to substitute it with thyme or rosemary. The buttermilk adds a tang and depth to the biscuit dough, but you may also use whole milk for equally delicious results. That said, this recipe is also great for classic biscuits without the additions of herbs and cheese. Serve warm fresh out of the oven and enjoy with a bit of butter for an afternoon tea, with eggs for breakfast, or better yet, with fried chicken – for any time.
Because we all need a little indulgence from time to time.
INGREDIENTS / MAKES ABOUT 8 FAT BISCUITS
2 cups / 274 gr. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon sugar
6 tablespoons cold, good quality unsalted butter
1 cup/ 236 ml. cold whole milk or buttermilk
handful chopped fresh zaa’tar or herb of choice, coarsely chopped, optional
1/2 cup cheddar cheddar cheese, chopped into small cubes or shredded
Preheat oven to 220C/425F. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Mix well. Transfer the flour to a food processor, add the bits of butter and pulse about 5 times or just until the mixture resembles a coarse meal (the butter should still be visible in small chunks.) Alternatively, use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour.
Transfer the mixture back to the bowl and add the zaa’tar (or herb of choice) and cheddar, and stir with a fork to combine. Make a well in the center of the dough, and add the milk. Combine with your fingers just until well incorporated. Overworking the dough will result in tough biscuits. Briefly knead the dough by folding it 2-3 times, being careful not to overwork it.
Roll out or pat the dough on a lightly floured surface (or on baking paper) so that it is around 1 1/2 inches thick or to desired thickness. Cut with a floured biscuit cutter, place biscuits in a pan greased with butter or lined with parchment paper, and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Brush with extra melted butter. Enjoy warm for the best experience.