I’ve given up on buying those refrigerated tubes of biscuits at the grocery store. Even the store brand costs more than this Cheap Bastid is willing to pay for gooey dough that transforms into blonde hockey pucks.
If I’m going to make a blonde hockey puck, I’m going to do it from scratch. Fortunately, I’ve practiced enough now making biscuits from scratch that they don’t come out that way. Very often. And there’s always something therapeutic, relaxing or maybe creative about getting out my pastry board, mixing bowl, flour and other ingredients and embarking on a morning’s mission of hot, “scratch” biscuits.
But you need to change things up a bit every now and then. So, I tried a batch of Cheese and Jalapeno biscuits. They’re just as easy to make as regular biscuits—you just need to toss in a couple of extra ingredients for something that looks and tastes different and really good.
These are great all by themselves or they’re even better with breakfast or dinner. And start to finish they take just a bit more than a half hour to make. You’ve got a half hour don’t you?
Summary: Biscuits are really easy to bake from scratch. And these easy jalapeno cheese biscuits add a different taste. Give them a try.
- Get out a mixing bowl, pastry board (if you’ve got one), cutting board, chef’s knife, measuring cup and a baking sheet.
- Start by dicing a fresh jalapeno—remove the seeds and veins first—and set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 425.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt (if you want to add just a pinch of baking soda go ahead and add it now).
- Cut in the lard until the mixture resembles small peas. You can use a pastry blender or a fork. (Note: I keep the lard in the freezer and then chop it up).
- For milk, use whole, 2%, skim or buttermilk. (Tip: make your own “buttermilk” by pouring 2/3 cup of milk into a measuring cup and adding vinegar to the ¾ cup mark. This will change the viscosity of the milk and give you that little bit of acidity that makes your biscuits better and activates the leavening).
- Another tip: If you want just a bit more “kick” in your biscuits substitute about 1 teaspoon or so of the vinegar for some “jalapeno juice” from a jar of pickled jalapenos.
- Gently add the milk and stir to make a soft dough. Add the jalapeno and the cheese and stir everything together thoroughly.
- Put a bit of flour on your hands and work the dough a bit in the bowl and then form the dough into a round. (If the dough is too “wet” add a bit more flour).
- Turn this biscuit dough onto a lightly floured surface. Use the palm of your hand to pat it down to about the size of a sheet of paper. Then fold it like a letter into thirds and press it down. Work it like this 3 or 4 times.
- Now you can either roll or pat out the dough until it’s about 3/8-1/2 inch thick. Use a floured biscuit cutter or the edge of a glass (about 3” in diameter) to cut out your biscuits and put them on an ungreased cookie sheet about 1” apart. (I have the “perfect” biscuit cutter—an old tuna can!)
- When you’ve used up the dough, form it back into a ball, press to 3/8” and cut some more out. You should get about ten biscuits.
- Put the cookie sheet of biscuits in a pre-heated 425 degree oven—towards the top–and then immediately turn the oven down to 400 for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 12 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6
Enjoy these all by themselves or with breakfast or dinner. Slather them with butter or margarine. These will come out tall and layered. When you break one it’ll let off some steam and pull apart in a way that’ll make you proud.
Oh, and by the way, if you inadvertently make blonde hockey pucks, that’s OK. Baking biscuits or anything else from scratch is a bit of a trial and error process. That’s part of the enjoyment—learning the art of biscuit baking—and you’ll get it down within a couple of tries.
These will warm you up and put a smile on your face. Just eating the biscuits all by themselves will remind you of breakfasts and special feasts you’ve enjoyed in the past as well as the promise of biscuits yet to be baked for coming special occasions. Biscuits are indeed a promise kept.
The Cheap Bastid Test: This is inexpensive. You’re going to use about $.30 worth of flour, $.10 worth of milk, $.25 of lard, $.40 of cheese and $.10 for the jalapeno. That comes to about $1.15.
Now, that might be a skosh more than biscuits in a tube but you have the satisfaction of having made them from scratch—of creating something tasty from raw ingredients. And it doesn’t get any better than that. Because…
That’s the Cheap Bastid Way: Eat Good. Eat Cheap. Be Grateful!