Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Modern Baker: Pecorino and Pepper Biscuits

The next quick bread from the Modern Baker Challenge is Pecorino and Pepper Biscuits. The dough should have been simple to make, but unfortunately I own a mini food processor. For most recipes that is a blessing because it's small and quick for the needed chopping or pureeing. However, for this recipe I switched everything over to my KitchenAid to add in the flour mixture.
My dough came out okay, but I'm still perfecting that "combined but does not form a ball" stage. I think I dumped out a bit early and thus my ingredients weren't fully combined or had a chance to fully mix. I don't think the KitchenAid helped incorporate the flour and butter together as nicely as the food processor would have. I think next time I'll just use my hands like another Modern Baker blogger Andrea did.
The author suggests that other cheeses besides Pecorino would also be delicious in this recipe. As if he were writing for me, he then added, "resist the temptation to try any kind of blue-veined cheese in this recipe, unless you like gray biscuits." Gray biscuits. Yeah, not so appetizing.
I was baffled at how the author expected me to make biscuits without rolling the dough out with a rolling pin. "Press into a rectangle"? I tried. I failed. Or, better yet, just got impatient. I used my rolling pin.
The biscuits were not as light and fluffy as I expected, although seeing other Modern Baker's results, I'm leaning towards baker error. I wonder if I added too much flour to the dough when I rolled it out because they seemed a little dry. Then again, I'm not sure the ingredients were fully combined anyway, so probably both of those factors contributed to their dryness. I was worried these biscuits might pack too much of a pepper punch with 1 1/2 teaspoons of pepper included, but the cheese and pepper complimented each other quite nicely!

Final verdict: More complicated to make than I'd expected given my lack of dough experience and food processor volume, a little dry, but worth a re-try. Even if they turn out the same they were still pretty darn good.


  1. Any chance the rolling caused the biscuits to not rise... compressing the flour. A lot of biscuits I have done are more drop biscuit. The pressing would have been less hard on the dough?

  2. Another possibility is that by rolling, the dough became initially more thin when you cut out the biscuits. You could try leaving it thicker--did you end up with many more biscuits than the recipe said you would have after baking?

  3. I also think the rolling pin might have caused the biscuits to not rise... Glad you liked them despite the mishap. This is one of my favorite recipes from the Modern Baker so far.

  4. The patting into a rectangle was definitely a challenge; I just tried not to be too particular and patted it into a random shape, cut out some biscuits, and then patted the rest into a shape. Glad you liked them!


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