Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cornbread Biscuits

Are you ready for some turkey?  Bust out those stretchy pants, because tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  Not that I condone overeating.  Let's be honest.  Most of America is getting ready to gorge themselves with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, yams, pie, etc, etc, etc.  Oh  yeah, and bread.  Fresh dinner rolls are a tradition for many families on Thanksgiving.  But this year, challenge tradition with these amazing cornbread biscuits.

I love cornbread (you have to try my favorite low fat cornbread!), but I never even thought of making cornbread biscuits until I saw this recipe in Cook's Country.  I was intrigued.  And because the recipe came from America's Test Kitchen, I knew it was going to turn out great.  In my experience, biscuits can be finicky, and I've had my share of miscues (most recently, last weekend).  But these biscuits were perfect.  Tall, flaky, buttery, with a great cornmeal taste.  

It is true that homemade biscuits take more time and skill than popping out a can of Pillsbury Grands.  But no biscuit from a can could ever match the deliciousness of a homemade biscuit.  There is something about a biscuit hot out of the oven that makes you feel good.  It is comfort food at its finest.  

And these biscuits are tested and proven.  This would be a great recipe for a first time biscuit maker.  A common problem with many homemade biscuits is that you have to be careful not to work the dough too much.  Too much mixing means tough biscuits, thanks to gluten development (to learn more, check out this Food Science 101 post on over mixing).  But with gluten-free cornmeal, that's not a problem!  Feel free to knead away!
So make these great biscuits for Thanksgiving tomorrow.  You could always make them today and reheat them in the oven tomorrow.  These are fool-proof, but are sure to impress your guests any day of the year!

Cornbread Biscuits
    1 cup cornmeal
    1 1/4 cups buttermilk
    1 tablespoon honey
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk cornmeal, buttermilk, and honey in large bowl; let sit 10 minutes.
Pulse flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and butter in food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add to bowl with buttermilk mixture and stir until dough forms.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, 8 to 10 times. Pat dough into 9-inch circle, about ¾ inch thick. Using 2½-inch biscuit cutter dipped in flour, cut out rounds (dipping cutter in flour after each cut) and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Gather remaining dough and pat into ¾-inch-thick circle. Cut rounds from dough and transfer to baking sheet.
Bake until biscuits begin to rise, about 5 minutes, and then reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake until golden brown, 8 to 12 minutes more. Let cool 5 minutes on sheet, then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or let cool to room temperature. (Biscuits can be stored in airtight container at room temp  for 2 days.)

Makes 12 biscuits.  from Cook's Country

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