Saturday, January 21, 2012

biscuits for breakfast

And now for the exact opposite of my last post: a homemade version of a handheld breakfast you might get at Whataburger. I'm about to use the word "grease" a lot.

Did you know that breakfast sandwiches made of biscuits, bacon, egg and cheese can enter your life through means not involving a drive-thru window? I had no idea until a hot dog restaurant called Frank showed me the light and gave me the idea for making a from-scratch version at home. So that's what Miguel and I did Christmas morning after picking up coffee from our new favorite coffee shop and bringing it home to drink while cooking and checking out our presents. (Like tickets to see The Lemonheads!)

This breakfast worked well as a two-person endeavor. I made the biscuit dough and refrigerated it before we left, then shaped and baked the biscuits while also overseeing the bacon. Meanwhile, Miguel handled the over-easy eggs. A major part of making this a super easy undertaking for a holiday morning was this secret: baking the bacon! After trying that method, there's no reason to go back to watching over grease sputtering from a frying pan and threatening to burn me. More than that, it turns out perfectly: not crinkled and shrunken, not overly browned and dry.

Buttermilk Biscuits
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes three really big biscuits

1.5 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

6 Tbsp. chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Using fingertips, rub butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir until evenly moistened. At this point, you can wrap the dough in plastic and put it in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake. Drop biscuits onto baking sheet in whatever size you want, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until biscuits are golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm.

Baked bacon
From The Kitchn

Use a rimmed baking sheet to catch the grease and line it with aluminum foil. Put your oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 375°. Lay the bacon strips out flat on the baking sheet, leaving space so they don't overlap. Pop the bacon in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. If it's thick bacon that produces a lot of grease, drain the grease halfway through. When the larger grease bubbles subside and smaller bubbles appear on the bacon, you know it's done. If the bacon is already firm in the oven then it's cooked too long. Bacon firms up as it cools, generally. Drain the bacon on a plate lined with paper towels.

Non-fast-food breakfast sandwiches

Freshly baked buttermilk biscuits, sliced in half
Thick slices of Cheddar cheese
Baked bacon
Over-easy eggs
Salt and pepper for eggs

Stack 'em up!

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