Biscuits, as we in America know them, came to the New world and to North America around the late 16th and early 17th century. They are kissing cousins to the British scones. Biscuits in the UK and its British counterparts around the world, are what we as Americans call cookies. Biscuits were a major food staple to sailors and soldiers for centuries, because originally, they were hard flat cakes that could easily travel and lasted for a fairly long time. They were packed in tins and then were later removed and reheated before being eaten. This is how they get their name too. The word biscuit is a combination of two French words, bis meaning twice and cuit meaning cooked. Put the two words together and they mean twice baked. In the days of Louis XIV, biscuits were also known as stone breads.
Biscuits are part of the American culture, particularly in certain regions of the country. They are many variations but the basic biscuit dough is pretty much the same everywhere you go. The keys to making good, fluffy biscuits is to use COLD butter that is cubed, chill the biscuits for at least a 1/2 hour before putting them into a HOT oven to bake, and not to over work the dough. If you follow these simple rules, your biscuits will come out light and fluffy every time.
Biscuits are a part of the Colorado tradition as well. I made some Parmagiano sesame biscuits when I made my Colorado meal for our friends Tim and Leslie. Colorado in the Kitchen They were a big, delicious hit. We had them for dinner, and then reheated them for breakfast the next morning.
Parmagiano Sesame Biscuits
2 cups flour
1 TBSP baking powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 TBSP cold butter, cubed
1 1 /2 cups grated Parmagiano cheese
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 TBSP sesame seeds, black or natural colored
Preheat the oven to 425* F or about 200* C.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Mix the flour, cayenne pepper, baking powder, butter and cheese together either by hand or in a food processor until it resembles fine sand.
Add the buttermilk and mix gently into the dough. Knead the dough a few times on a lightly floured surface then roll out to about 1/2 inch in thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter.
Once the biscuits are cut and placed on the baking sheet, top them with sesame seeds. I used black sesame seeds, but you can use regular sesame seeds too. Press the sesame seeds lightly into the dough and bake for about 15 minutes or until they are are lightly browned.
Serve them warm with wither butter or honey butter. They are D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! We liked them so much we had them for breakfast again the next morning.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.