Autumn is officially upon us, which means we can finally turn our ovens back on! Zelda in particular is very excited for all the baking adventures this season holds (on her to-do list so far: homemade bread, jam, and a roast chicken that would make Julia Child proud). For our first foray back into the kitchen this year — and the first entry in what we’re calling season two of “All the Fixin’s” — we decided to go with a Southern classic: biscuits.
Now you may be saying, “Biscuits? That doesn’t sound Cajun to me.” But our good friend Paul Prudhomme saw fit to include them in his Cajun cooking tome, so if it’s good enough for Paul, it’s good enough for us. His version is a biscuit-muffin hybrid, which sounded to us like the best of both breakfast worlds (and potentially less fiddly than its pure biscuit progenitor). Inspired by the latest season of “The Great British Bake-Off“ (followed by multiple rewatches of the previous seasons), we embarked on our very own bread week. On your mark, get set, laissez les temps du pain rouler!
[Note: We paired this baking adventure with our most recent playlist. We suggest you do the same. The notes of funk and sunshine really complement biscuits and jam.]
Biscuit Muffins (adapted from Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (plus a little extra to grease your muffin tin — cooking spray will also do the trick)
1 cup cold milk (we used skim, since that’s what Zelda had on hand, but a fuller-fat variety would also work)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease twelve muffin cups using butter or cooking spray.
In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Whisk thoroughly to combine, breaking up any lumps.
Work the butter into the dry mixture by hand, rubbing it in until the mix has the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Make sure to eliminate any large lumps.
Gradually stir in the milk until the dry ingredients are just moistened, being careful not to overbeat.
(We decided to just keep going by hand at this stage, since Zelda’s hands were already coated with dough. This was a mistake and meant that we ended up with a slightly overworked — and therefore dense — biscuit. Do as we say, not as we do, y’all. Stick to the spoon.)
Spoon the batter into your prepared muffin tin (an ice cream scoop works beautifully for this step, and helps ensure your batter is evenly distributed across the cups).
Bake about 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. The finished muffins should have a thick crust and a light, caky center.
Serve warm with various biscuit accoutrements.
To accessorize our biscuit muffins, we went with jam (of the blueberry, strawberry and raspberry persuasions) but butter and/or honey would also do the trick. As we said before, we think our muffins were over-mixed, so the texture was not quite as flakey or cloud-like as we dreamed. But the flavor was subtly sweet and the biscuits perfectly portioned for an early fall snack. For a quick Southern treat (or, you know, for your entire dinner…definitely not speaking from personal experience here), these really can’t be beat!