Manchego & Black Pepper Biscuits

Will I ever learn?  Seriously.  Will I?

The flavors of these biscuits were on point.  They’re delicious and would be lovely as a stand alone breakfast treat or as a side kick for a yummy soup or salad.

However the consistency of the biscuit was heavy and thick.  That would be my fault (not at all surprising).

One of us (meaning me) did not carefully read the recipe.  If I had, I would have read that the cheese needed to be added to the dry ingredients.  But noooooooooo!  Because I read the directions out of order (I blame Rachel Ray’s magazine layout; nah, my fault), I added the cheese after all of the ingredients had been combined.

The reason this makes a difference is because the more you “work” a biscuit or scone dough, the heavier it becomes.  Beautifully light and flakey biscuits are just that because you stir all of the ingredients until the dough just comes together.

Well clumsy, non-reading old me kneaded the cheese in with the dough just before forming the biscuits.  I could immediately feel that the dough was not right.

Baking lesson care of Anne Darga:  carefully pre-read the recipe and don’t overwork the dough.

Manchengo & Black Pepper Sour Cream Biscuits (recipe care of Rachel Ray)

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INGREDIENTS:  2 cups flour (plus more for dusting), 1 tbsp baking powder, 1 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp sea salt, 2 cups grated Manchego cheese (plus 1/2 cup for topping), 1 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper (plus 1/2 tsp for topping), 1 stick butter (very cold), 3/4 cup full-fat sour cream

DIRECTIONS:  In a large bowl, whisk 2 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Turn the stick of butter in the dry ingredients until coated.  Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the butter into the bowl.  Using your fingertips, evenly mix in the butter.  Stir in 2 cups grated Manchego cheese and 1 tbsp ground black pepper. Form a well in the dry ingredients.  In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream and 1/3 cup very cold water.  Pour into the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to 4 hours.  Position a rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450 degrees.  Grease a large baking sheet.  Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and pat into a circle about 1 inch thick, dusting with more flour if the dough is sticky.  Using a 2-inch cutter, cut out the biscuits, pressing straight down (do not twist).  Transfer to the sheet.  Gather the dough and repeat patting and cutting until the dough is used up.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup grated Manchego cheese and 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper.  Bake until the biscuits are golden and crispy on top, 12 to 15 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes.

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