I have never been a big butter lady – meaning, I don’t spread it on bread very often.
But I love cheese, and I love creme. And I love creme fraiche. I frequently buy a tub, impulsively, when I am at the market, imagining that I’ll whip it into a frosting, dip berries into it, or dab it on salmon or the like. Sometimes it just sits in the refrigerator staring at me until, on a night like Wednesday, I pull it out determined to do something to it.
I have been reading a few recipes around for yogurt biscuits that rise with baking powder rather than yeast. This one was adapted from Heidi Swanson and is easy enough. Yogurt and crème fraîche (or cream cheese, or mascarpone, or sour cream, for that matter) can be used interchangeably (where flavor is not concerned, or course.) So I thought I’d try my hand at them. These were an instant hit with husband. He could smell them baking from all the way upstairs in the shower, and proceeded to dip them in soup, egg yolks, and anything else that came his way until the batch was gone.
- 1 1/4 cup spelt flour
- 1 1/4 cup unbleached white flour
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and chopped
- 7.5 oz creme fraiche
- Preheat your oven to 450F degrees.
- In the bowl of a food processor, fitted with a dough blade, combine the flours, salt, baking powder, and butter until you have a coarse dough with a texture like sand. If you are doing this step by hand, you'll want to whisk the dry ingredients and then work the butter in with a pastry blender - attempting to break down all of the larger chunks of butter.
- Next, add the creme fraiche - pulse or mix until you have a ball of dough, a bit shaggy in texture.
- Dust a bit of flour onto your work surface and turn the dough out - kneading a bit so that it comes together (do not over knead!)
- Shape and roll the dough into a rectangle, roughly the size of a piece of paper and about 1" inch thick. Cut the rectangle in half, and stack the halves on top of one another. You will repeat this process twice more: forming a rectangle, halving the dough and stacking it - in essence, you're creating the flaky layers of the biscuits. After your last repetition, roll the dough out into a rectangle about 3/4 inch in thickness, and larger than your proverbial paper. Then, score and slice out little square biscuits - as big as you like (I usually cut them into baby biscuits for tossing into soup - about 24 biscuits.)
- Bake the biscuits for 15 - 18 minutes, until golden brown.