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Bacon-cheddar biscuits

May 23, 2012
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Makes 12

Great with pulled pork, on their own, or for breakfast with eggs.

½pound sliced bacon
cups flour
2teaspoons baking powder
¼teaspoon baking soda
2teaspoons kosher salt
2tablespoons cold vegetable shortening, cut up
½cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut up
cups cold buttermilk
Extra flour (for sprinkling)
½cup finely shredded Vermont sharp cheddar

1. Set the oven at 425 degrees. Have on hand a 2-inch plain round cutter. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, render the bacon until crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels; cool.

3. Remove 2 tablespoons bacon fat from the skillet. Chill until solid.

4. When the bacon is cool enough to handle, crumble it with your fingers; set aside.

5. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to blend them. Add the shortening, firm bacon fat, and butter. With your fingers, toss the fats in the flour to coat them. With your fingers, 2 blunt knives, or a pastry blender, blend the fat into the flour until it looks like large peas.

6. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the buttermilk. Use a rubber spatula to make light, quick strokes until the dough is just combined; do not overwork. It will be very sticky.

7. Sprinkle your hands and a work surface generously with flour. Transfer the dough to the surface. Pat the dough to a 1-inch thickness. Dip the cutter into flour, and stamp out biscuits, reflouring the cutter as necessary. Transfer to the baking sheet. Gently gather large scraps without squeezing the dough, and stamp out more biscuits.

8. Sprinkle the biscuits with cheddar and bacon. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are firm to the touch and light golden brown. Serve hot. Adapted from “Wicked Good Barbecue”

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