Baking with different grains is always fun. These cheesy biscuits are full of flavour thanks to two different kinds of cheese and tangy buttermilk. My friend Anne loves these biscuits, and suggests that if you make them with a larger biscuit cutter you turn them into breakfast sandwiches. Cut smaller, they go very well with soups, chili, or spread with butter as a snack. They are best served the same day, but freeze and re-heat nicely. Make sure to use freshly grated Parmesan, not the sawdusty stuff in a can, and don't skip grating the butter, because the technique is perfect for distributing the butter all throughout the dough. These can be super cheesy or fairly mild, depending on your cheddar. Make sure to pick a good one!
1 cup Kamut flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (spelt flour is also good here)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt (1/2 cup salted butter)
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne or smoky hot paprika
1/2 cup unsalted butter, frozen
2 cups grated sharp white cheddar
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup crème fraiche (or part whipping cream/buttermilk)
2 tbsp buttermilk
Fresh cracked black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 350 F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk the kamut flour, whole wheat flour, all purpose flours, baking powder, sugar, salt, pepper, and cayenne together. Grate the butter using the large holes on a box grater onto a plate, then dump the grated butter into the dry mixture, along with the cheeses. Stir to combine.
Stir the butter milk and crème fraiche together in a medium sized bowl, and then pour into the flour mixture, stirring with a fork until a raggy dough forms. You may need to add a small amount of buttermilk if the dough appears to be too dry, but resist the temptation to add too much!
Turn the dough out onto a counter and bring together with your hands, kneading it very slightly just to make the dough come together. Pat the dough out with your hands to about 1 inch thick. Cut the biscuits out with a biscuit cutter-2 ½ inch works well if you want to use the biscuits to make breakfast sandwiches, 1 inch if you want to make cocktail sized biscuits.
Place the biscuits about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet, then brush the tops with buttermilk and top with a bit of pepper. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, until the bottoms are golden. Be sure to rotate the pan half way through so that they cook evenly. Remove to a wire rack and let cool. These really are best served warm right out of the oven, but freeze and re-heat quite nicely. You can also keep them in an airtight container on the counter for 2 days.
Makes about 16 two inch biscuits, or about 4 dozen 1 inch biscuits
Adapted from Good to the Grain and Anne Laite