Homemade Parmesan Herb Biscuits

Jun 2020

Sinkology is proud to present Emily Schuermann, our food-loving guest blogger who runs Food for a Year. Emily is here to share some recipes she has created exclusively for the Sinkology blog that reflect her view of a copper sink: simple, timeless, affordable, and beautifully rustic. 
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After making her first batch of homemade biscuits, I had a friend tell me just how surprisingly easy homemade biscuits are to make! “Who knew you could mix flour and butter and milk and make something that delicious! I’ll never buy store bought biscuits again!!”

It just so happens I’ve been spending these last few weeks perfecting my “biscuit hand” as well. Have you ever heard that phrase before? “Biscuit hand” simply means a person’s ability to make the perfect, delicate biscuit by hand.

The ingredients are simple, even inexpensive and very easy to come by – but the real trick to making the perfect homemade biscuit is all in the biscuit maker’s hands. It’s said that

“to make the perfect homemade biscuit, stop kneading two kneads before you think you should.”

Julia Child

That may seem a little obscure, but the more you practice – the better you’ll come to understand what that means. And the truth is, (as my friend discovered) there’s really no such thing as a bad homemade biscuit!

Tips for the perfect homemade biscuit

So, let me give you a few tips to help you skip a few steps closer to a better biscuit hand and then I will share one of my all-time favorite biscuit recipes.

  • First, use quality ingredients. With so few ingredients, off flavors and low quality are easily detected.
  • Next, keep refrigerated items (like milk and butter) chilled and room temperature items (like shortening) room temperature. Ingredients work best at their optimum temperatures.
  • Also, do not over work this dough. You want to have inconsistencies in the composition of this biscuit dough – pockets that are a little wetter than others and bits of shortening and butter not fully incorporated into the flour.
  • Last, if adding flavors to your biscuits, use what’s in season. Fresh is ALWAYS best!

Speaking of fresh, for this recipe, I used all my springtime herbs that have newly sprouted in my garden! Chives, thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley and some green and red onions. If you’re making this recipe and don’t have those herbs readily available, use what you can find in the refrigerator section at the grocery store.

In addition, I added 2 oz. of freshly grated parmesan cheese and the combination of fresh herbs and parmesan cheese was nothing short of glorious.

All of my kids and hubby loved these Homemade Parmesan Herb Biscuits – and if you’ve been following along with me here at Sinkology or on my personal blog at Food for a Year then you know that’s a miracle. They were that good! A little salty, a hint of nutty cheesiness and bursting with flavors of springtime herbs.

Homemade Parmesan Herb Biscuits with Red Onion

Ingredients

  • 3 T red onion, finely diced
  • 2 T chopped green onion (just the green parts)
  • 3 T Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 t fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 t fresh sage, chopped
  • 1.5 T fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1 t rosemary, chopped
  • 2 oz freshly grated parmesan
  • 4 c AP flour
  • 2 T baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 3 T sugar
  • 3 t kosher salt
  • 1/3 c shortening
  • 1/3 c chilled butter, salted
  • 2 c milk, I prefer 2%
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • flaky sea salt for garnish

Directions

Preheat oven to 425° and prepare 2 – 1/4 sheet pans by spraying with non-stick spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients – mixing well to incorporate.

Add shortening, working shortening into the flour mixture by rolling and pressing it between your thumbs and index fingers (be sure to leave some pea-sized clumps).

Grate butter into the flour mixture (using a medium-sized cheese grater). This step is important to making a tender flaky biscuit.

Toss in herbs and onions, (reserving a 1 t of the herbs for garnish) and toss to evenly incorporate butter and herbs into the mixture.

Form a well in the center of the herby flour mixture and pour milk in the well.

Using a fork, gently combine the ingredients to form a “shaggy dough” (see pictures).

Pour dough out onto a well floured surface, scraping the bowl to to get all of the bits.

Kneed the dough approximately 10 times, adding additional flour for your hands and the bench if the dough is sticking.

Separate dough into two 6″x8″x2″ rectangles. Using a 2″ biscuit cutter, cut out 16-18 biscuits, flouring the cutter between cuts.

Place biscuits, evenly spaced – 1″ apart, on a prepared 1/4 sheet pan (one pan will perfectly fit 12 biscuits). Place additional biscuits on a second 1/4 sheet pan.* Combine scraps and continue cutting until all the dough is used.

Brush the top of each biscuit with the whisked egg, sprinkle with herbs and flaky sea salt. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown on top and baked through.

Serve with butter, honey, jam or plain!

makes 16-18

*the pan with less biscuits will require a reduced baking time, approximately 16 minutes total.

For another yummy biscuit recipe, check out this Apple Cinnamon Biscuit recipe.

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