The problem with American and Ireland the British Isles, is we have a common ancestry yet often speak what appears to be a different language.Take for instance biscuits.In Ireland and the British Isles, a biscuit is a sugary dessert treat. However, in America, a biscuit is a dry cake-like breakfast food.
So, While Scotland may have given the world the Scone, and the Shetland Islands Bannock (both of which are somewhat harder, dryer breads clocking in at about 358 calories per serving) American Biscuits developed a cousin resulting in a harder surface with a softer interior. And, with Fantastic Flavours Ice Cream Parlour’s® recipe coming in at a lesser 252 calories per serving, its time for everyone to try this versatile American breakfast bread.
Not all wheats are made alike, which may be why the Scone and Bannock pervade in Europe. Some North American wheat varieties grow in climates unsuitable for Northern Europe. Consequently, the weather produces some American wheats with less proteins making them perfectly suited for fast baking. It is no coincidence that classic American Biscuits became and remain a staple of farmers and workers tables across the American farm-belt.
American Biscuits are inexpensive and quick to make, are generally served for breakfast with butter and jam (never cream) or are used to make breakfast sandwiches, usually with eggs, cheese and bacon (think of a tastier and healthier McMuffin). However, in the deep American South, stale biscuits leftover from breakfast are used as the bread upon which a thick chicken-cream sauce is ladled and is served for dinner (think of a poor boy’s Chicken a lá King or Vol au Vent).
Any way you serve them, American Biscuits are a tasty breakfast treat that is easy to make and provides a change from the ubiquitous Scones. And, if you make too many, don’t worry – they make a great base for a quick, easy and hot dinner!
Ingredients (6 Servings)
2 cups biscuit flour, or all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting (250g)
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, 1 stick, cubed, very cold (115g)
½ cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon (120ml) butter, melted, for brushing
- Preheat oven to 190°c.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Sift flour into large mixing bowl and whisk together with dry ingredients above.
- Using hands (or pastry cutter) incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients, leaving large chunks.
- Fold in buttermilk until a thick, semi-stiff dough forms.
- Dust a clean surface with flour and dump the dough onto it.
- Knead dough together until it comes together in one large piece.
- Use rolling pin to form dough to about 4-5cm (1 ½-2 inches) thick.
- Use biscuit cutter (or small glass), cut out 5-7cm rounds (2-3-inch)
- Place the 6 rounds on baking sheet lined with parchment paper (biscuits can be touching or separated, to tastes)
- Bake 18-20 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown.
- Lightly brush biscuits with melted butter.
- Serve with semi-soft butter (suitable for spreading) and jam (can also be cut and used for egg and/or other breakfast sandwiches).
Oksana Shadrina and Miceál O’Hurley are the multi Award Winning owners of Fantastic Flavours Ice Cream Parlour® in Youghal, Co. Cork