What does Thanksgiving and Biscuits both have in common? Well, they are undoubtedly American. There are so many kinds of biscuit recipes out there, from cheddar bacon, garlic & herb, buttery, flaky or spoon drop, google it and it's endless. But for this recipe, i'm going turn my favorite British inspired dessert flavor of Lavender & Honey into something more savory. But how do we turn something knowingly complements a scone, cookie or an ice cream to suit something that is commonly served during thanksgiving. Well if you have heard of a French spice mix, Herb de Provence, it will lead us to the right direction ;)
My family is not big on sweet buns or rolls during a meal. But we always welcome a good, hot & fresh from the oven buttery biscuit. My kids can eat it on its own! Hence i thought, let's do a unique twist of this delightful side bread.
Note to bakers: The aromatics I used here such as cooking English Lavender, Garlic, Thyme and Sage are all extremely robust. That explains why I used so little of each...a little definitely goes a long way! We just want to complement the meat and vegetables and not get a full blown mouthwash. The sweetness is also adjustable. This biscuit has a hint of sweetness. But if you wish to omit it altogether or add more to become a sweet bun, by all means.
Because this is a high butter ratio recipe, it is a great make-ahead recipe. You can keep it in the refrigerator for no more than 2 days or the freezer for no more than 6 months. SO you can do this a week before the big day, packaged it, throw it in the freezer and not worry. Just thaw it for 30 minutes on the counter top and get ready to bake bake bake!
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Step 1: Honey Beurrage Ingredients
You will need:
2 sticks of salted butter, soften & room temperature
1 tablespoon of white granulated sugar
2 tablespoon of honey
Place you butter, sugar and honey into a stand mixer, and mix till just combined. You can do this with a bowl and spoon too.
Step 3: Turn It Into a Butter Slab
Place your honey butter onto a wax paper. Fold your wax paper into a small 5 inch by 5 inch package. using a rolling pin, roll your butter so it flattens into a square slab. If you using the palm of your hands, do not press it so long that the heat of your palm will melt the butter.
Refrigerate till ready to use.
Step 4: Ingredients for the Biscuit Dough
You will need:
3 cups of all purpose flour
2 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoon of white granulated sugar
5 tablespoon of butter, shredded and frozen
1 and 1/4 cup of buttermilk, cold
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
1 & 1/2 teaspoon of English Lavender, crushed
1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon of dried sage
Step 5: Mix Your Dough
Pour all of the dry ingredients and aromatics into a large mixing bowl. Mix so they are evenly coated.
Pour in all of your buttermilk into the dry ingredients. Using a spatula or a wooden spoon, mix your dough carefully. It helps using the cutting motion to evenly distribute the moisture into the dryer parts. Mix till just combined, do not overworked your dough.
Then pour your shaggy dough onto a wax paper. Then using your hands and working quickly as to not warm up the butter, knead it so as to bring all of it together into a large block. It's okay if the block is still somewhat shaggy and uneven.
Fold your wax paper so it becomes a big package envelope. Using a rolling pin, flatten your dough. Chill and rest your dough for 15-30 minutes. You can leave it overnight too if your are busy running around doing other errands.
Step 8: Packaging the Butter
Just in case you fell asleep, your kids were keeping you busy and somehow left your butter slab too long in the fridge, do lightly thaw your butter slab before the next step. Just soften it enough that you can bend it slightly without breaking.
Roll out your cold biscuit dough onto a flour dusted surface. The dough might still be a little sticky, so flour your hands and rolling pin too. Roll it till it is large enough to cover your butter slab. Pinch and close the seams.
Have a large piece of wax paper ready. Dust it with flour.
Then transfer your biscuit block on to your wax paper, and roll it into a large rectangle about 14 inches long and 7 inches wide. Then with the help of your wax paper, fold it into thirds like an envelope.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes, before proceeding and repeating the folding again.
You can fold either twice or three times at most. Any more than three folds and you won't have thick layers.
Step 10: Trimming
After folding, you can roll it again to about 1/2 an inch thick, and 14 by 7 inch rectangle. The thicker the dough is, it is likely to get a biscuit that rises tall and puffy. A very flat dough will rise very little Trim the uneven sides.
Step 11: Cut Your Squares
Using one quick motion and one sharp chef's knife, cut your biscuits into squares.Do not drag or saw your dough as this action will pinch the sides creating lopsided biscuits This recipe makes 24 small biscuits. You can use biscuit cutter too, but we cannot salvage the remains, even if you do, the layers will be baked uneven probably.
...by the way, check out those gorgeous layers! (i just did 2 folds)
Step 12: Freeze!
Before placing them in the oven, we NEED to freeze these babies just for 5-10 minutes to cool down and harden the butter again. It will help it rise quickly in the sudden extremely hot oven.
At this point, once your biscuits squares are hard, you can neatly stacked them in between wax paper sheets, placed them in ziplock bags or a container and freeze them until you ready for the big day! Whether it be next week, the day before ..whenever really! Yay to make ahead recipes!!
Step 13: Brush and Bake
Preheat your oven to 400'Fahrenheit.
While preheating, place about 6-8 biscuit squares on your baking tray lined with parchment paper. You can add more if your baking pan is really big, mine just is a bit too small (If you completely freeze the squares, let them thaw slightly for 20 minutes at room temp).
Brush the top with buttermilk and bake it at 400'F for 25 minutes or until golden brown at the top. There should be some butter pooling while baking, that's normal.
Note: Some of the butter will naturally pool a bit in the pan, as it browns around the 15-20 minute mark, just keep an eye so as the butter won't be completely blacken and burned during baking.
Step 15: Topping
As the biscuits are baking, prepare the glazed.
You will need:
2 tablespoon of salted butter, melted
3 tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon of English lavender, crushed lightly
Melt you butter and honey on gentle heat either on top of the stove or your microwave.
Once the biscuits are baked. lightly or generously brushed the top of your biscuits with your butter honey glaze. Then sprinkle some crushed Lavender to garnish.
If you prefer it not sweet, just brush some melted butter only.
Step 16: Finish Product!
These biscuits are so lovely! Crispy on the outside but soft and tender in the inside. Forgot to mentioned those layers are incredible, resulting in a nice 'peeling' biscuit. Like most biscuits, these are best eaten fresh and hot from the oven or warm up slightly in a microwave.
I hope you guys will try this recipe and tell me how it goes. All the best and happy holidays!
Step 18: Storage & Freezing
Because unbaked biscuits do not get affected by cold temperatures, they can be conveniently stored in the freezer for an extremely long time. Once your biscuits are solid hard, you can place wax paper in between them before placing them in the ziplock bags or containers. I lazily placed mine in the container when they were already frozen solid from the tray, they don't even stick. And these one are about two weeks old and still smell fresh and lavender-y.
BEFORE baking, let them thaw out just a little at 20 minutes-30 minutes (depending on the temperature of your kitchen) on the counter before popping them in the hot oven.
First Prize in the
Side Dishes Challenge