Walnut-Sour Cream Biscuits

by Shawnda on February 26, 2008

in Bread

Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits

It’s Tuesday and my biscuits are square. On purpose. And laziness is only part of the reason.

My biscuits are square so I don’t have to fuss with reincorporating the scraps and cutting more rounds – everything is formed with as little handling as possible: I turn out the dough onto floured parchment, I work it as little as possible with my hands, getting it into a rectangle. I cut the dough into squares with a bench scraper, slide them out away from each other just a bit, and onto a baking sheet the parchment goes!

I thought the biscuits were very good with butter and honey or raspberry coulis. After all, where I come from, biscuits are usually just a vehicle for something else (butter, gravy, or sausage). Served warm with butter, my husband thought a hint of cinnamon in the dough would have made them perfect.

Walnut-Sour Cream Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup cake flour)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar I used dark brown
  • 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
  • 1/2 cup cold sour cream
  • 1/4 cold whole milk
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans, preferably toasted

Instructions

  1. Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Get out a sharp 2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
  2. Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a bow. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips (my favorite method) or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You'll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces the size of everything in between-- and that's just right. I did this all in a food processor and then added the dry ingredients and the nuts to a bowl before proceeding.
  3. Stir the sour cream and milk together and pour over the dry ingredients. Grab a fork and gently toss and turn the ingredients together until you've got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick gentle kneading--3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together. Toss in the nuts and knead 2 to 3 times to incorporate them.
  4. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour, pat the dough out with your hands or toll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high. Don't worry if the dough isn't completely even-- a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy.
  5. Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. See my comments above on shaping.Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of the first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working with them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits can be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting, just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.)
  6. Bake the biscuits for 14-18 minutes, or until they are tall, puffed and golden brown. Transfer them to a serving basket.

Notes

Yields: 10-12 biscuits

Adapted from Baking, From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lemon Tartlet February 26, 2008 at 12:45 am

Love the squares idea, yours came out such a pretty colour! You’re making me want biscuits and gravy now, and D ain’t gonna complain.

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2 Michelle February 26, 2008 at 7:34 am

Your biscuits look wonderful, and your technique for getting them cut on the parchment and baking them as-is is a great tip. Thanks for sharing!

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3 ashley February 26, 2008 at 8:15 am

i also love the square biscuit idea! what a great idea!

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4 mary February 26, 2008 at 8:36 am

looks yummy….we thought cinnamon would add a nice touch too! great job!

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5 CB February 26, 2008 at 8:39 am

They look SO good! Great job!
-Clara

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6 laurie February 26, 2008 at 8:59 am

I love the squares. We loved them too. Great photos!

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7 Marie February 26, 2008 at 9:49 am

Great job! I cut mine into hearts, which worked well also. Cinnamon would have been a lovely touch. Next time I am going to add some and trust me when I say there WILL be a next time!

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8 Gretchen Noelle February 26, 2008 at 9:51 am

Delightful biscuits! I agree with the idea of added cinnamon or something else. I also thought they were delicious! I enjoyed them with honey. Yum!

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9 Joy the Baker February 26, 2008 at 10:01 am

Oh my! I love your top picture! So yummy. So yummy.

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10 Madam Chow February 26, 2008 at 11:59 am

Whoa – cinnamon! What a great idea! I’ll have to try that next time. Your top picture is mouth watering.

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11 Kate February 26, 2008 at 1:43 pm

Your biscuits look like mine! I don’t have a biscuit cutter so mine are always square and they never rise quite as high as I’d like them to.

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12 Danielle February 26, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Mmmm … great idea using walnuts. Tasty and you get some healthy omega-3s at the same time.

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13 Erin February 26, 2008 at 4:10 pm

Yours look great! I am a southern Dorista too, and I enjoy a nice change of pace from the usual biscuits!

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14 Caitlin February 26, 2008 at 7:22 pm

Square biscuits sound eminently sensible – rerolling biscuit dough is probably some sort of cardinal sin or something. And that top picture – FOOD PORN, omg.

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15 Jaime February 26, 2008 at 8:28 pm

just beautiful!

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16 Tartelette February 26, 2008 at 9:21 pm

Love the square biscuits! I did that one sunday dinner and I thought my Southern mither in law was going to have a heart attack! My fater in law thought it was genius…go figure! They do look amazingly moist!

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17 Beth G February 26, 2008 at 11:20 pm

Your squares look fabulous!! Great job :O)

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18 peabody February 27, 2008 at 1:59 am

You say lazy I say conservative genius…I hate remolding the scraps.

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19 tara February 27, 2008 at 9:41 am

Shawnda, these look like they turned out great! Your photos (as usual) are beautiful and give the biscuits such great texture. And i think your DH is right – cinnamon would be a perfect little addition. :)

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20 Dolores February 27, 2008 at 11:32 pm

I’m with you… a biscuit is a vehicle, a conduit for butter, honey or jam. But these are quite a tasty conduit indeed. Great job… your square biscuits are proof that less is often more.

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21 Jhianna February 28, 2008 at 5:31 pm

Great idea on the squares – it would have saved me a bit of mess!

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