Bacon and Thyme Biscuits
Chef and cookbook author Regina Charboneau visited me at the Garden Home Retreat recently and we spent some quality time in the kitchen. She showed me how to prepare these savory biscuits. They are delicious on their own or topped with Regina's simple to prepare Orange Marmalade Butter.
8 ounces smoked, thick sliced bacon (uncooked)
4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup baking powder
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tbsp fresh thyme
3/4 lb. margarine
14 ounces buttermilk
1/2 cup all purpose flour (for rolling out biscuits)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the raw bacon into 1/2-inch pieces. Place the pieces on a baking sheet and cook in the 350 degree F oven for 18-22 minutes. The bacon should be cooked through, but not crisp.
Turn the oven up to 375 degrees F when you remove the bacon so it will be ready for the biscuits.
Combine the dry ingredients and thyme in a mixing bowl. Whisk thoroughly.
Cut the margarine into 1-inch cubes and add to flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter or a large fork, blend the butter and flour. The texture will be coarse with piece of butter still visible.
Add the buttermilk and stir until the flour and butter are evenly moist. The key to flaky biscuits is to not over mix.
Sprinkle flour on a work surface or pastry cloth and then turn the biscuit dough out of mixing bowl.
Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Fold the dough in half, bringing the two short ends together, turn it a half turn, and roll it again.
At this point layer half the bacon onto the biscuit dough.
Repeat the fold, turn and roll two times then add the rest of the bacon and turn and roll two more times, a total of four times. This may seem like extra work, but it's worth it. Your biscuits will melt in your mouth.
On the fourth and final roll, use the pin to roll the dough to a thickness of approximately 1/2-inch.
Cut the biscuits using a 2- or 3-inch round biscuit cutter. The dough should be layered with margarine and bacon.
Bake the biscuits at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
This dough freezes well. Just cut the dough and wrap the un-baked biscuits in two layers of plastic wrap. Defrost for 15 minutes before baking.