Cream Biscuits with Fresh Herbs
Published: May 1, 2000
Makes Eight 2 1/2-Inch Biscuits

Bake the biscuits immediately after cutting them; letting them stand for any length of time can decrease the leavening power and thereby prevent the biscuits from rising properly in the oven. Use the herb of your choice in this variation.

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

See Illustrations Below: The Need to Knead

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and herbs in medium bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups cream and stir with wooden spoon until dough forms, about 30 seconds. Transfer dough from bowl to countertop, leaving all dry, floury bits behind in bowl. In 1 tablespoon increments, add up to 1/4 cup cream to dry bits in bowl, mixing with wooden spoon after each addition, until moistened. Add these moistened bits to rest of dough and knead by hand just until smooth, about 30 seconds.

3. Shape the dough into a round, 3/4-inch thick. Following the illustrations below, cut into rounds with a biscuit cutter or cut into wedges with knife. Place rounds or wedges on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking.

STEP BY STEP: The Need to Knead

Unlike traditional biscuits, cream biscuits benefit from relatively rough treatment. This biscuit, which was kneaded for 30 seconds before baking rose higher than the next biscuit, which was handled gently.

The gently handled biscuit.

STEP BY STEP: Two Ways to Shape Biscuits

For Rounds: Shape the dough into a round and cut with a biscuit cutter.

For Wedges: Press the dough into an 8-inch cake pan, then turn the dough out.

For Wedges, Continued: Using a knife or dough scraper (bench knife), cut the dough into 8 wedges.