I know, I'm jumping the gun because it's Sunday and this is definite #whathappenswednesday territory. But it simply couldn't wait, because this question could revolutionize brunch: what happens when you cook biscuits like pancakes?
A few weeks ago, King Arthur Flour sent me a bunch of biscuit making supplies for their "Build a Better Biscuit" promotion. There are some very cool bloggers who have created biscuit recipes--some of my faves are linked at the bottom of the post.
Basically, the idea is that King Arthur Flour wanted we the bloggers to help promote awesome biscuit making and pass on tips and wisdom. Well, I am not sure if I am passing on wisdom, but I am certainly passing on a cool idea. If you want wisdom, though, you're in luck: you can call the King Arthur Baking Hotline 855-371-2253 for carb support and biscuit making and baking tips.
In the parcel from KA Flour, there were some basic biscuit recipes to get the inspiration going. As I was looking through the biscuit recipes they sent, all of them looked really good--I mean, I love biscuits. But part of my mind couldn't help but wander out of the coloring lines and into experimental territory. And I found myself wondering: "what would happen if I made biscuit dough but then cooked it up pancake style?"
Well, let me tell you, it didn't take me long to get rolling in the dough so as to make this experiment happen.
I made the King Arthur cream biscuit recipe, pretty much to the letter. But then I divided the batch in half. Half of it, I baked per the instructions (425 degree oven for 12-16 minutes). I reserved about 6 of the biscuit cutouts, and then fired up a skillet with a nice knob of butter.
I started the skillet on high heat, but the moment I added the biscuit dough, I lowered it to medium, because I knew that the thickness of the biscuits would require a slower, longer cook time than most typical pancakes (I know this because of my super puffy pancake experiment).
The biscuit-cakes cooked for 2-3 minutes on each side, and came out like this.
I loved how they retained the side view of a biscuit with the little craggy-textured sides, but also looked like pancakes on the top.
Just to do a comparison, here are the pancake-style biscuits versus the traditionally baked ones.
So how did they taste?
Interestingly, even though they were the same exact dough as the baked biscuits, the flavor experience was quite different. The pancakes were denser, and felt heartier, even though the amount of butter they were cooked in was about the same as the amount used to brush on top of the baked biscuits.
They were crispy on the edges, but soft in the center. It was an unexpected, but interesting texture contrast to the biscuit flavor. I wasn't sure how I felt at first, but after a few bites, I was like "yeah, this is a good thing."
I'm not going to say that everyone should stop baking biscuits and start pan frying them from now until forever, but I am saying that this is a delicious and exciting new brunch or breakfast opportunity.
traditional version and pancake option
This recipe yielded about 12 biscuits for me.
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1 to 2 tablespoons (1/2 to 1 ounce) melted butter, optional, for brushing on top
1) Preheat the oven to 425°F; move a rack to the top third of the oven.
2) Whisk together the flour and the sugar.
3) In a separate bowl, whisk the vanilla into the cream.
4) Make a well in the flour/sugar mixture, pour the vanilla and cream into the well, and stir until everything comes together. If there's dry flour around the sides and bottom of the bowl, stir in additional cream or milk until all the flour is moistened.
5) Turn the dough onto a well-floured work surface, sprinkle flour on top of the dough, and fold it over several times.
6) Pat the dough into a 7" circle about 1/2" thick.
7) Use a sharp biscuit cutter (2 1/4" is a good size) to cut rounds. Place them on an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
8) Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse sparkling sugar or cinnamon-sugar, if desired. This is a nice touch if you're going to use the biscuits for shortcake.
9) Bake the biscuits for 12 to 16 minutes, until they're golden brown.
10) Remove the biscuits from the oven, and cool them right on the pan, or on a rack.
11) To make shortcake: Split the biscuits in half horizontally. Top each bottom half with berries or sliced fruit (and whipped cream, if desired). Add the top halves, and top with whipped cream.
Biscuit pancake variation:
follow the recipe up until step 8, omitting the oven preheating. Then, instead of baking, heat up a skillet with a knob of butter. Set the heat to medium-high, and place as many biscuit rounds as comfortably fit. Immediately reduce the heat to medium or even medium low. Cook until golden and browned, flip, and then repeat on the second side. For me, this was about 5 minutes total.
Serve warm, with butter and syrup or whatever pancake makings you like.
As promised, some of the other cool biscuit varieties bloggers have come up with:
Easy cherry self-rising biscuits via Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
Pimento cheese biscuits via The Kitchen Prep Blog
Buttermilk bacon sage biscuits via Broma Bakery
Easy buttermilk biscuits with honey cayenne butter via Baked Bree
Apple pie biscuit shortcakes via Beyond Frosting
Roasted beet feta biscuits via Take a Mega Bite
Cheddar rosemary biscuits via Will Bake for Books