Recipe 10 from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman
I’m loving this process of cooking through Deb’s cookbook again! Dusting it off to dive in again while in this new season of life has been good for my soul. I now have a person to cook for who will ooh and ahh over all the “hard” work I put into these recipes. And I love that I have TIME to cook now. That’s a first for me.
When working full time and keeping a busy calendar, there was no time for cooking on a regular basis. Even in our first year of marriage, David and I rarely ate at home and meal planning was a few-and-far-between event. We prided ourselves on going to Costco, filling up our freezer and eating off of said “stash” for weeks on end. If you saw our freezer, it would tell you how little we were actually eating at home!
No, this current season of life is fun and filling up my creative tank on a daily basis for all the time I get to be artistic in the kitchen. I’m not saying I’m an artist in the kitchen because that’s a caliber I never expect to reach, but….you know what I mean….right? It just fuels a part of me that is needing to create and satisfying the part of me that like’s to see pretty things and eat them!
This recipe goes in the books for a fun one to do on weekend mornings. It’s not overly time consuming other than frying up the bacon and working with the bacon fat.
I think I’ve said it before, but I love making breads. It’s a labor intensive thing to do from scratch but it is mostly always worth the work because of the tasty results. It is the perfect thing to make on a day that you are stuck at home and have nothing to do. It doesn’t require a lot of odd ingredients that would make a grocery store trip necessary. Rather it’s just basic pantry items mixed up, set aside to rise a time or 2 or 3 and then thrown in the oven before you can enjoy.
I’m used to working with yeast when making bread. I would say yeast is the most complicated and crucial ingredient you work with when making bread because of needing to get the temperature warm enough to activate the yeast, but not too warm to kill it. It can be a little stressful until you get the hang of it.
Seeing these biscuits didn’t require yeast made this recipe even better. I’m assuming part of the reason biscuits are prone to be so dense is also because they don’t have yeast….so there’s that.
My biscuits turned out pretty tasty…but….I have a few changes I would make next time…
First, I would make sure to use all the dough in the six biscuits instead of having left overs for a random biscuit.
The instructions encouraged a 2 inch ring cutter which I didn’t have on hand. You’ll see below that my solution was using a mason jar ring that was probably 2 inches wide, but wasn’t really as high as a ring cutter would have been.
I think one thing that didn’t turn out super great was how thick the biscuits were. Mine were not as hardy as they probably should have been and they didn’t get the lift that I see in Deb’s picture of her biscuits below. I think that also resulted in them being a little overcooked for the 12 minutes I put them in the oven.
For that reason, I would also recommend turning your pan halfway through the cooking time if you use a smaller sized ring. That would ensure they bake evenly. You may also need to take a minute or 2 off the cooking time to ensure they don’t burn if you decide to use less dough.
My biscuits were a tad too done because I didn’t check them much as they were cooking. The baby thing really changes the way you “baby” your things on the stove and in the oven. The risk for burning dinner has raised quite a bit these past 16 weeks.
I think another thing I would do is try to add one more piece of bacon to the recipe. The bacon was delicious in the biscuits and gave some needed moisture. It could have been the bacon I used, but I didn’t get the desired 2 Tbs of bacon fat Deb talked about so that extra piece of bacon should have given me the next 1/2 Tbs to round out my 2 Tbs and then there would have been extra bacon in the biscuits too. Which is never a bad thing!
One last thing…next time I would like to work with the dough a bit more. I know that when working with pastry dough you want to knead it as little as possible so the chunks of butter don’t melt and mess up your consistency.
A lot of time when I do pie dough, I put it back in the refrigerator to keep that butter cold so I don’t loose the flakiness when it’s cooked. I was thinking about my biscuit dough as pastry dough because of the chunks of butter which means I didn’t work with it much, but I forgot to put it in the fridge before baking. You can see in the picture above that the biscuits on the right have more moisture and the 2 on the left are a tad more dry and crumbly. I don’t think I mixed it very well to get a doughy consistency throughout. Had I worked the butter and bacon fat into the dough a bit more, I probably would have had a few less dry biscuits.
They all tasted delicious, so that was a win!
As a little extra treat, we added cinnamon spun honey to the finished biscuits. This was special spun honey that we bought in Paso Robles while on our Honeymoon. It added a really tasty flavor to the sweet salty mix of the maple and bacon in the biscuits.
Now of course all these adjustments I just mentioned are what I’m thinking might help. But I honestly don’t know much about how to make a good biscuit and would need to try it out to see if any of these were helpful. I’ve never made biscuits before so this was a fairly good first go at it.
These do not seem intended to be like Pillsbury Grand’s biscuits that are fluffy. These were much more dense. The flavor was good and my husband agreed, so there’s your second opinion for you. Deb’s look similar to mine in texture so I’ll take that as a win as well.
These were a great pair to eggs and bacon for breakfast and I have to say I felt very Suzy Homemaker putting this on the table for breakfast in front of my hubby. I even made pretty yummy eggs! My eggs are usually trash so I was very proud of this breakfast! Go me!
I went ahead and gave you the recipe for this breakfast biscuit below, but I’m going to have to stop being so nice :) I can’t publish Deb’s cookbook on here because of copyright and because that doesn’t help her make any money. I’m not going to be able to be as generous moving forward! I like trying to find other people who have her recipes on their sites or even pulling them from her own when they are available. I need to keep it balanced so as not to jip her of credit and profit so next week’s recipe may just have to be pictures only :) All the more reason to give her book a purchase so you can try for yourself!
Purchase Deb’s book on Amazon: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Maple Bacon Biscuits
From “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook” by Deb Perelman
- 3 slices of bacon
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- Approximately 4 Tbs unsalted butter, chilled, chopped into small chunks
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- You can make your own with the following steps:
- Step 1:Pour 1 cup of milk into a bowl.
- Step 2: Grab one small fresh lemon or white vinegar. Stir in a tablespoon or two of lemon juice OR vinegar into the bowl with the milk. Stir to combine. …
- Step 3: Use in place of buttermilk in the recipe as it calls for. Enjoy!
- You can make your own with the following steps:
- Fry bacon until crisp then drain
- Measure out bacon fat left in the pan (goal is 2 Tbs). Any less then 2 Tbs, means you’ll adjust your butter to balance out a total of 6 Tbs of butter or bacon fat. (Example, if you have 1 1/2 Tbs like I did, you’ll use 4 1/2 Tbs of butter to equal 6 Tbs of butter/fat).
- Place measured bacon fat in freezer until solid
- Chop the cooked bacon into small bits, placing in a small dish.
- Pour maple syrup over the bacon and stir before setting aside.
- Removed the solidified bacon fat from the freezer.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper or cooking mat
- Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt)
- Use a pastry blender or your fingertips to rub the chilled bacon fat and 4 Tbs of butter into the dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal.
- Add the bacon/maple syrup mixture and the buttermilk, blending together with a rubber spatula until evenly moistened.
- Knead just a couple times (as little as needed) to form the scraps into a dough.
- Pat out to 1-inch thickness on a floured surface and cut the biscuits with a 2-in cutter or a mason jar ring.
- Arrange the biscuits on the baking sheet, and bake for 12 to 14 min, until they are puffed and golden.
- Serve warm.