These are the same biscuits we make for the biscuit sandwiches served at Serious Biscuit, downstairs from our pizza joint, Serious Pie Westlake, but at Serious Biscuit, we cut the dough into bigger squares, about 3 1/2 inches, bake them, split them in half, and fill them with everything from fennel sausage with fried egg, melted fontina, and spicy-sweet pepper relish to crispy fried chicken with fried egg and savory black pepper gravy. If you want to make your own biscuit sandwiches, just cut the squares a little bigger than directed in this recipe, bake them, split them in half and fill them. This smaller, 2 1/2-inch biscuit is perfect for breakfast or brunch.
When getting started on the recipe, dice the cold butter first and keep it chilled in the refrigerator while you assemble the rest of the ingredients. Also, be sure your buttermilk is very cold. An inexpensive pastry blender, a tool consisting of several thick parallel wires attached on both ends to a wooden or metal handle, is a nice, old-fashioned, low-tech device for cutting butter into flour by hand. A metal bench scraper or bench knife is useful for cutting the dough into squares. Rolling biscuit dough into a rectangle and cutting the biscuits into squares is more efficient than cutting out round biscuits, and there are no scraps to reroll, though if you prefer you could certainly cut these biscuits into 2 1/2-inch rounds. These southern-style biscuits have plenty of salt. Kosher salt is coarser than table salt. If you are substituting table salt, be sure to cut the quantity of salt at least in half.
Special Equipment: Pastry Blender (optional), Metal bench knife (optional)
From The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook by Tom Douglas, William Morrow Cookbooks, 2012.
Richard Wrangham, a professor at Harvard University and author of Catching Fire, studies the role of cooking in human evolution. "Once you start thinking about the importance of cooking -- its supply of energy, its strange distribution compared to natural foods -- it's bound to have affected our evolution hugely, our behavior, our society, our cognition, all sorts of features about us," he says.