Alex got me the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook for Christmas (I’m sure you’ve noticed that I link over to Smitten Kitchen regularly), and the first, oh, dozen recipes I read in it were all things that I would really like to make. Definitely a sign of a good cookbook. Since my focus right now is bread, however, the first one I made was for Bread 47, Maple Bacon Biscuits. I’d wanted to make a recipe like this for a while, but the one I’d found online that I really wanted to try involved maple extract, which I didn’t have and hadn’t gotten around to getting. So Deb’s version of the biscuits – which only made 6, which is a reasonable number of biscuits for me and Alex – with bacon and actual maple syrup, was a clear choice.
I am really, really glad that I decided to make the biscuits from this cookbook. Based on how good this recipe was, I have very high hopes for everything else in the book. This recipe was easy to make, the dough easy to handle, and the resulting biscuits themselves – very delicious.
- 3 slices bacon
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 190 grams all-purpose flour (1½ cups)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (give or take), chilled and cut into small pieces
- ¼ cup buttermilk or sour milk (1 teaspoon vinegar + enough milk to equal ¼ cup)
- Fry bacon until crisp. (I did this on relatively low heat in a skillet.) Set bacon aside to drain, and pour bacon grease into a small, clear measuring cup. You should have about 2 tablespoons; if you have less, make up the difference later with additional butter. Place grease in freezer until solid. (This will happen in 30 minutes or less.)
- Crumble bacon into a small bowl. Add maple syrup and stir to combine.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a pastry cutter, blend in solid bacon grease, 4 tablespoons butter, and enough butter to equal 6 tablespoons total of fat. Once the fat is evenly distributed and the mixture looks mealy, add the maple syrup-bacon and the sour milk. Stir just until the mixture is moistened; do not overwork. Knead the dough together once or twice, then turn out onto a floured surface. Pat into a rectangle that is 1-inch high and cut into 6 squares.
- Bake biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet, without edges touching, at 425F for 12-14 minutes. Biscuits will be golden and a toothpick inserted into them will come out clean. Serve warm.
These biscuits were amazing. I baked two to eat for lunch, and froze the other four to have at a later date. [Edit: This later date ended up being New Year’s Day. I let the biscuits sit out while the oven heated, then baked them 16 minutes instead of 12 with great success.] The two I baked both puffed up and browned nicely in the oven. They were incredibly flaky and tender. They were also a little crumbly, which I didn’t consider a problem. The maple was subtle (as maple usually is) but definitely present, and the bacon was delicious. I enjoyed the lightly sweet biscuit with the bites of saltiness from the bacon. I’m incredibly glad I made them, and will most definitely make more batches in the future.