I love finding more and more ways to use my cast iron skillet. I know this isn’t a new idea, but I had never thought to use it for biscuits before. What a wonderful way to bake biscuits because they turn out beautifully brown on all sides, with slightly crisp bottoms. Plus, the biscuits sucked up all the flavor from the drippings of the bacon, which I had cooked in the pan beforehand.
There is so much to love about these biscuits. They’re light and tender, and bursting with flavor from the bacon, jalapeño peppers, and sharp cheddar cheese. They can be served anytime – for breakfast slathered with some honey butter or as an accompaniment for a bowl of chili for lunch or dinner. Since I love a hearty breakfast, especially on weekends, I topped my biscuit with some scrambled eggs. Together with a big cup of coffee, it is a great way to start this gloomy June morning. I found that I didn’t need gravy, but, by all means, serve these biscuits with some, if your heart can take it.
Bacon Jalapeño and Cheddar Cheese Biscuits
Yields approximately 8-10 biscuits, depending on size
5 ounces thick-cut bacon, diced
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used White Lily flour)
1 cup cake flour* (see below for substitute)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in large chunks and frozen
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup whole milk or buttermilk (I used whole milk)
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Cook bacon in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat until just crispy. Remove bacon and place on a paper towel to drain excess fat. Pour off all but one tablespoon of the bacon fat into a heat-proof bowl. Strain fat and reserve.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine all the dry ingredients – both flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Pulse several times to combine. Add the frozen chunks of butter and carefully pulse 8-10 times until mixture is finely ground. As you begin to pulse, watch out for the flour, which tends to fly up at first in the food processor.
Pour flour and butter mixture into a medium-sized bowl and add the bacon, grated cheese, and diced jalapeño. Add the milk or buttermilk all at once. Mix gently with a fork just until combined.
Sprinkle a little flour on the countertop and place the dough on it. Sprinkle a little more flour on top of the dough and on your hands. Quickly, and gently pat the dough into a circle, about one-inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter or the rim of a glass to cut out the biscuits. Arrange the biscuits in the cast-iron pan starting from the outer edge of the pan and working around to fill the entire pan.
Brush the tops of the biscuits with reserved bacon fat (or melted butter) and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool the biscuits for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm.
Store leftovers in a sealed container for several days.
*Note: You may substitute 3/4 cup all-purpose flour + 2 Tablespoons cornstarch for 1 cup cake flour
Adapted from the Kitchn.
© Daisy’s World, 2011-2012. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Daisy’s World with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.