Hi, y’all. Sorry that it’s been a bit quiet around here for a while. I had company visiting and didn’t get around to getting up last week’s post. But things should be getting back to normal and on schedule now. I’ve got some recipes coming that I’m really excited to share in the coming week’s and today’s is one of them, so let’s just jump right into it.
Yet another biscuit post. You excited yet? You should be. Biscuits alone are exciting to me, but these especially since they feature one of my favorite ingredients to both bake and cook with: cornmeal.
I’ve said before that I have a mild obsession with cornmeal and the proof is in the amount of baked goods I’ve shared already on the blog. Take your pick, really. Cornbread. Yeast bread. Scones. Crackers. Some of it’s savory, some of it sweet. It’s a versatile ingredient and if you’re not familiar with it, allow me to strongly recommend you try to incorporate it into your baking routine. I think there are very few things that can’t be improved with a bit of cornmeal added to them.
I’ve shared a recipe for cornmeal biscuits on the blog before, but that one was also flavored with ginger and Chinese Five Spice to pair with some fried chicken that I also flavored with five spice. This time around, I decided to go with more ordinary, traditional flavors that would produce a biscuit that could go with any kind of meal.
So what’s the role that cornmeal plays in a biscuit? I’ve found that cornmeal (yellow cornmeal, that is) does two things to a biscuit: first it’s going to provide a contrast of texture that wouldn’t necessarily be in a biscuit made with just white flour. Don’t worry: it’s not at all going to be tough, but yellow cornmeal will make it slightly more grainy and chewy. Sounds weird, but I promise it’s marvelous. Second, yellow cornmeal has a natural savory flavor of its own. In the case of these biscuits, the cornmeal helps to further bring out the flavors of the salt and pepper in the dough.
Although these biscuits do lean on the savory side, I paired them with a smooth, honey butter spread that comes together in seconds. The butter brings a great balance between the savory & sweet of these biscuits as a dish and honestly, I could eat them all on their own without even needing to add them to a meal. If you try them yourself some time, you’ll understand why. Have a good week, everyone.
Cornmeal Biscuits and Honey Butter
- 3 1/4 cups cake flour, spooned and level
- 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup frozen butter
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
For Honey Butter
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup honey
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a shallow pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper.
Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the butter into the dry ingredients and stir a few times to combine. Make a well in the center of the bowl.
Pour the buttermilk into the well and use a large rubber spatula to stir the mixture together. If it seems a little dry you may add additional buttermilk until it forms a shaggy dough.Sprinkle a pastry mat, wooden cutting board or wax paper with flour. Turn the dough out onto the surface and pat a few times with your hands until it loosely holds together. (Don’t knead it too much or the warmth in your palms will melt the butter and cause the biscuits to be tough.)
Pat and roll the dough into a rectangle. Take the two opposite ends and fold them together like a business letter into thirds. Flip it upside down and pat & roll it into another rectangle, sprinkling the surface with flour if it gets too sticky. Repeat the folding process two to three more times before patting it into one final rectangle.
Use a bench scraper or very sharp knife to trim the edges of the rectangle. Use a 2 1/2-inch round cutter to cut biscuits, pressing and rolling the scraps together to make more biscuits two additional times. Discard the rest of the dough. Place biscuits, slightly touching, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill 15 minutes in the freezer.
Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. (You may have to cover the biscuits with foil if they begin to brown too quickly.
For the Honey Butter: Use a fork to briskly stir the honey into the butter until it’s smooth. Store in the fridge.