Some time ago, I wrote a magazine article featuring the Woodland’s Inn in Summerville, South Carolina. I never thought that a few years later I’d be living around the corner from this beautiful hotel. But, here I am and it reminded me of the wonderful cheese and herb biscuits that I was served in the dining room the day that I was writing the article.
As upscale (or fancy as we say here) as the Woodland’s Inn has become, like all good southern restaurants, whatever the price range, you must serve good bread. And, these little biscuits are delicious. I’ve made them many times since the chef there at the time shared the recipe with me. I’ve never been disappointed, because they bake up just the way the recipe says they should.
I feel like this might be the perfect time to share this recipe with you because it uses fresh thyme and it is still in season for the fall. In fact, it’s an excellent fall herb and will probably still be out there in a mild climate for a couple of months or more.
These biscuits are crisp on the outside and light and soft on the inside, with a slight taste of cheese and a bite of thyme. The crispness reminds me of a cracker and that comes from spacing them apart on the baking sheet. I hope that you will enjoy them. Along with the biscuits, I was served a cream of parsley soup with a little truffle oil. If you’d like the recipe, please let me know and I will be happy to send it.
Woodland’s Inn Cheddar and Herb Biscuits
(Half recipe for this article)
Chef Linda Weiss
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ stick chilled unsalted butter cut into ½ inch cubes
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed grated cheddar cheese (I used Vermont medium white cheddar)
Preheat oven to 375º F. Mix buttermilk and thyme in small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add cheese and butter; rub with fingertips until mixture resembles fine meal. Add buttermilk mixture and stir until soft moist clumps form. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface; press out to thickness of ½ inch. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out biscuits. (I used a 2-inch fluted biscuit cutter).
Transfer biscuits to an ungreased baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake 10 minutes. Reverse position of sheets, bake biscuits until golden brown, and cooked through, about 5-8 minutes longer. Transfer biscuits to racks. Serve warm or at room temperature.
By Stacey Hirvela, Spring Meadow Nursery
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners/ColorChoice Shrubs
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