Penance Parmesan Cheese Biscuits

My colleagues at work know that I love to bake.  Indeed, I’ve often taken in leftover fruit tart or gateau from some of our feasts on a Monday morning.  Every day without fail, at 11:00 and again at 3:00, we all meet in the sitting area next to Reception for tea and coffee.  There are always biscuits and occasionally a cake for someone’s birthday.  It’s a nice break in the day and I get the chance to catch up with co-workers who work in different areas of the retreat centre.

A couple of weeks ago, I committed a minor indiscretion at work (the details escape me now) and it was decided that to atone I should make and bring in something cheesy and savoury.  So I pulled out my recipe file and found this recipe from The Herb Companion.  NB:  For my British and Antipodean readers, biscuits = scones and scallions = spring onions.

Buttermilk Biscuits with Scallions and Parmesan Cheese

  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • ½ salt
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ baking soda
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Hungarian paprika
  • ½ cup/110 grams freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 5 tablespoons/75 grams unslated butter
  • 1 cup/250 ml buttermilk or plain yoghurt
  • 1 bunch scallions or spring onions, trimmed to about 3″ of green and thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.

Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cayenne, paprika and cheese in a large bowl and blend thoroughly.  Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk or yoghurt with the scallions.  Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir to form a soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured pastry marble or board, knead gently until it just comes together and roll it ½-inch thick.  Cut the dough into 2-inch squares, diamonds or rounds and place them on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake the biscuits for 15 to 18 minutes, or until light golden brown.  Remove to a baking rack to cool slightly.

The biscuits are best served still warm from the oven, but you may prepare them in advance, cool them completely and store them in an airtight container.  When you are ready to serve them, wrap them in foil and gently reheat at 325°F/160°C from 10 to 15 minutes.

I popped mine into the Rayburn in the farmhouse kitchen at work just before teatime!

Steve and I sampled the biscuits the night before with some leftover mushroom risotto and a nice bottle of La Châsse du Pape Sauvignon-Grenache.

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