Pesto Dinner Biscuits
This recipe was developed so that I could have an excuse for eating biscuits at dinner…excuse me, supper. They go well with everything from simple roast chicken to standing rib roast. If you don’t have lard, you may of course use shortening or more butter, but I think lard is better in this instance. A dinner biscuit should be sophisticated and subtle. Lard provides a finer flake and savory flavor that complements the pesto.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party
Recipe CourseSide Dish, Starch
Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Peanut Free, Soy Free
Taste and TextureButtery, Herby, Light, Savory
Type of DishBiscuits
- 270 g/9 ½ oz/2 cups all purpose flour
- 14 g/½ oz/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 g/<1/8 oz/¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 4 g/ 1/8 oz/¾ teaspoon salt
- 42 g/1 ½ oz/3 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
- 14 g/½ oz/1 tablespoon lard, chilled
- 227 g/8 oz/1 cup buttermilk, chilled
- 128 g/4 ½ oz/½ cup pesto, prepared or homemade
- Flour for rolling out the dough
- Digital scale
- Dry measuring cups
- Wet measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Food processor
- Large mixing bowl
- Box grater
- Rubber or silicone spatula
- Wax paper or parchment
- Rolling pin
- Bench scraper
- 2-inch round biscuit cutter
- Baking sheet
- Clean kitchen towel
- Bread basket
Place an oven rack in position C (second position from the top) and preheat the oven to 450°F.
Assemble the dough via the Biscuit Method. Combine the buttermilk and pesto before adding to the flour/fat mixture.
The Biscuit Method:
Scale or measure all ingredients. Chill or freeze fats.
Combine the Liquids and beat well.
Take the Dry Goods for a spin in the food processor for 3 to 4 pulses, then move to a large bowl.
Rub Fats into the Dry Goods until about half the fat disappears and the rest is left in pea-sized pieces. Place in the freezer to keep the fat solid.
Make a well in the center of the Dry Goods/Fat mixture. Pour the Wet Works into the well and quickly mix using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
Stir together until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn the dough out onto a sheet of lightly floured wax paper or parchment. Use the paper to shield your hands as you fold (not knead) the dough into a ½-inch to 1-inch thick rectangle. Then use the ends of the wax paper to fold the dough as if you were making the world’s biggest, stickiest tri-fold wallet. Repeat this three times, being as gentle as possible.
Using a 2-inch pastry cutter, cut out the biscuits and place them on an ungreased baking sheet, just touching each other. Reshape the leftover dough, kneading as little as possible, and continue cutting out biscuits and adding them to the baking sheet.
Bake the biscuits for 15 to 17 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove the biscuits from the oven, place into a kitchen towel-lined basket, and serve immediately.
I like a 2-inch cutter, but a 3-inch works well, too. The sharper the sides, the better. You don’t want to do this with an old can or a drinking glass. If you don’t want to buy a biscuit cutter, just get a tin of pastry rings. That way, you can pick your size.
October 1, 2004
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