So what made me think the starter was ready to go?
I’m not the brightest LED around [boy, did. compact fluorescents disappear overnight or what?], but, as the photo suggests, things seemed plenty alive.
And when it’s biscuit time in the kitchen, I rarely limit myself to one version.
I slapped wads** of sourdough starter into separate bowls. I took a look. Nope, I thought. That just wasn’t enough to make a difference in either batch, so I pivoted. [Pivoted…that’s one of those hot self-help terms, along with lean in, mindset and grit. Impressively hip of me, don’t you think?]
The cheese-and-za’atar version got all the starter.
Any other twists?
Why yes, as a matter of fact. I slapped in a more flavorful fat– bacon grease from the fridge. A little bit more than a tablespoon. Figured it would add a little smokiness. Considering each biscuit contained about 1/8 tablespoon, I didn’t think it would warrant a call to the cardiologist.
Moving on to the other half of the dough…Operation: Bisquettes!
These little hummers [raisin-and-chopped almond] added a touch of sweetness to their savory counterparts. And I was all in on the cuteness quotient as well. Okay, not so much. But I did aim for ‘popability’. You know, the ol’ ‘when you can’t eat just one’ factor.
And then there’s the traditional ‘rogue’ biscuit…
This one is in honor of my past canine supervisors/kitchen islands, Boo and Bear. I’d scrape up any dough remains, sculpt a little treat like this, and squeeze it onto the tray.
There was the issue of both batches needing a little extra time to give off a little color, despite my brushing some half-and-half on the tops.
But I knew how to handle that.
“Brown, you suckers!”
My wife, stationed by the oven door, primed and ready with knife, plate of butter, suggested the recipe might have called for 450 degrees.
“Yeah…the recipe,” I said.
It’s gotten to that point with biscuits–as long as I can feel my way toward a proper wet-to-dry and flour-to-fat ratio, I’m pretty sure the result won’t disappoint.
These bisquettes still needed another five minutes in the oven.
Speaking of ratios, if you want a dependable one for biscuits, check out Michael Ruhlman, who just so happens to have authored a book called Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking .
And so, the carb-fest continued and any trace of guilt drifted away with the first few bites. The honey, melting butter, and Italian roast didn’t hurt the cause either.
Next time: Paint melted butter on the tops. Another couple of teaspoons of bacon grease. More cheese, probably parmesan.
So, give biscuits a shot, but promise me you’ll aim for innovation. That’s half the fun of procrastination, after all.
**wad = palmful