So what exactly is the difference between a biscuit and a scone? It seems to me that scones are just sweet biscuits. I’ve been going through a scone phase the last few months, making batches and freezing them unbaked. It makes for a great weekend breakfast, because there’s basically no work to do. Plus I love scones with coffee and I only drink coffee on the weekends. I know that technically, these aren’t scones. The name says biscuits, but I thought they’d fit right in with the theme.
They’re made just like any other biscuit (or scone) – mix the dry ingredients, cut (or rub) in the butter, stir in some liquid. In this case, the liquid includes sour cream, which seemed promising because I really like the tenderness of scones made with cream, and sour cream has that same richness.
The biscuits were just as good as I had hoped. Not only were they light and tender, but I love the flavor of the nuts. I only put jam on my biscuit for the sake of the photograph, but then I decided that it was a great compliment. I’m so glad that I have a few more of these in the freezer, stocked up for a lazy weekend morning.
One year ago: Chocolate Cream Pie
Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits (from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours)
2 cups (9.6 ounces) all-purpose flour (or 1¾ cups all-purpose flour and ⅓ cup cake flour)
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ cup (packed) (1.74 ounces) light brown sugar
5 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces*
½ cup cold sour cream
¼ cup cold whole milk
⅓ cup finely chopped pecans, preferably toasted
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425F. Get out a sharp 2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter, and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, salt and baking soda together in a bowl. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You’ll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces the size of everything in between – and that’s just right.
Stir the sour cream and milk together and pour over the dry ingredients. Grab a fork and gently toss and turn the ingredients together until you’ve got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick, gentle kneading – 3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together. Toss in the pecans and knead another 2 to 3 times to incorporate them.
Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour and pat the dough out with your hands or roll it with a pin until it is about ½ inch high. Don’t worry if the dough isn’t completely even – a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy.
Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to the cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of this first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working them as little as possible, pat out to a ½-inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits can be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting – just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.)
Bake the biscuits 14 to 18 minutes, or until they are tall, puffed and golden brown. Transfer them to a serving basket.