Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cheddar Bacon Biscuits

6 oz bacon (diced)
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
8 Tbsp (1 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces, plus 2 Tbsp melted butter
3/4 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp buttermilk

Preheat an oven to 425 degrees.

In an 11" frying pan over medium-high heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.  Discard all but 1 Tbsp of the fat in the pan.  Using a pastry brush, spread the fat evenly over the pan bottom.  Finely chop the bacon and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and pepper.  Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the cold butter until pea-size crumbs form, then use your fingers to pinch the crumbs into flat disks.  Stir in the cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses and the bacon.  Stir in the buttermilk until the dough just comes together.

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and roll out into a 9 1/2 x 11" rectangle.  Fold the dough into thirds, rotate 90 degrees and roll out into the same-size rectangle.  Fold into thirds again, rotate 90 degrees and roll out into a 7 x 9 1/2" rectangle about 1/2" thick.  Using a floured 2 1/2" biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits and place in the fry pan.  Gather up the scraps, re-roll the dough and cut out more biscuits.  You should have 9 biscuits around t he circumference of the pan and 3 in the center.  Brush the tops of biscuits with the melted butter.

Bake the biscuits until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 - 25 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.  Makes 12 biscuits.

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