Drop biscuits are fast and fine. If you add a little cornmeal to ’em they’re mighty finer.
CORNMEAL DROP BISCUITS yields 10 or so, depending on your scoopin’
- 2 1/2 ounces (5 Tablespoons) butter, I prefer Organic Valley’s regular unsalted butter for this recipe
- scant 2/3 cup milk, preferably local
- 2 3/4 ounces (3 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons) honey, preferably local
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 7/8 ounces (1 cup) cornmeal
- 4 ounces (1 cup) white whole wheat flour, preferably organic
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- freshly cracked black pepper, a little or a lot, optional
If you’re baking these in your big oven, start preheating it to 400º now. Usually I just bake a partial batch and the toaster oven gets it done with minimal preheating and minimal kitchen heating. Really saves energy. Cut your butter into 1/4 Tablespoon or so chunks. Put the butter bits on a small plate and pop it into the fridge while you work on the rest of the recipe.
Combine your milk and honey together with the salt. I mix it with a fork in my measuring cup to spare a bowl. Whisk together the remaining dry ingredients and place them into your food processor. Dump in the chilled butter and pulse a few times to incorporate. You want to still see some chunks so don’t pulse to uniformity. If you don’t have a processor you can cut in the butter the old-fashioned way in a bowl with a pastry cutter. My pastry cutter is pretty much relegated to chopping hard-boiled eggs. That activity doesn’t happen very often around here but I do find this implement to be perfect for the task.
Dump your buttered flour into a bowl and pour all your honey/milk in at once. Quickly stir it all together with a fork (use the same fork) to evenly moisten the mass and don’t overmix. Scoop the mixture onto a baking sheet right away using anywhere from a heaping Tablespoon to about 2 Tablespoons per biscuit. (Do make them equally sized.) If you won’t be eating the full batch right now, and of course a full batch won’t fit into the toaster oven anyway, scoop out some biscuits onto a plate and put the plate in the freezer for awhile. When the frozen dough has firmed up, you can cleave the hibernating honeys from the plate and place them into a plastic bag or container for the next time you want even-faster biscuits. Around my house that’s usually about a minute after we eat the last of the beginning batch. They actually bake up texturally superior from the frozen state. I find them moister inside even when I bake them browner.
Bake until browned and done, anywhere from about 10 minutes to maybe 15 minutes. Depends on size of biscuit, size of oven, spacing of biscuits (I generally like them farther apart, hence crispier-crusted) and whether your dough’s freshly mixed or frozen. The bottoms on these babes can brown, overly to my taste, so adjust your rack to give ’em a margin of safety. In the big oven an insulated pan can help.
The flavor of these biscuits improves on cooling, but who can wait? At any rate, everybody knows to eat ’em fresh. Enjoy!