The biscone, a cross between a biscuit and a scone, is a trademark at the bakery. We make our biscones with Southern flair, using lots of butter and a mix of all-purpose and cake flours to get as close as we can to the White Lily flour my grandma Hannah favored. If you’re lucky enough to find White Lily, substitute 3 cups of it for the flours called for here. You’ll end up with a crispy, flaky biscone just like my grandma used to bake.
1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1½ cups cake flour (not self-rising)
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 cup dried fruit, such as sour cherries or currants (optional)
1½ cups buttermilk, or as needed
1 egg, beaten with a pinch of fine sea salt, for egg wash
¼ cup Cardamom Sugar or coarse sanding sugar for sprinkling
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and cardamom and whisk until completely incorporated. Add the butter and, working quickly, cut it in with a pastry blender. You should have various-sized pieces of butter, from sandy patches to pea-sized chunks, and some larger bits as well. Add the dried fruit, if using, and toss to distribute it evenly.
Gradually pour in the buttermilk and gently fold the ingredients until you have a soft dough and there are no bits of flour in the bottom of the bowl. You should still see lumps of butter in the dough; these will give you light and flaky biscones. If the dough seems dry, you may need to add a little more buttermilk. The dough should be moist and slightly sticky.
Gently pat down the dough with your hands right in the bowl until it resembles a loaf of bread. Dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, arranging them about 1 inch apart so that the biscones have room to rise and puff up. With lightly floured hands, gently tap down the tops of the biscones with your palms.
Brush the tops of the biscones liberally with the egg wash. Sprinkle with Cardamom Sugar or sanding sugar.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through for even baking, until the biscones are lightly golden and fully baked. Serve warm or at room temperature. These are best eaten the day they are made.
Excerpted from The Artisanal Kitchen: Baking for Breakfast by Cheryl and Griffith Day (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2018. Photographs by Squire Fox and Angie Mosier
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