It was a privilege to “take class” with the educator and leader that is Chef Joanne Chang and to watch her make her famous sourdough biscuits! I am excited to share her recipe, and some fun butter knowledge, with all of you.
ps. I have written about the joys of European and French butter before so, if you are looking for a refresher, you can find it here.
Here are some top tips from Chef Joanne Chang:
- Make sure the butter for the biscuits is fully chilled! Even cold, the European butter has a little give to it, it is softer – and the color difference is instantly noticeable.
- Always bake with unsalted butter – this way you know how much salt you are actually adding to your recipe. Also unsalted butter is naturally fresher – this was a new fact to me! The salt acts as a preservative and that butter can then be made in bigger batches. Use unsalted butter actively, otherwise, you can freeze it.
- When forming your dough, coat the flour with butter to protect the flour from forming gluten when you add liquid. (gluten = great for bread, not as great for cake or biscuit)
- 120 grams sourdough starter
- 1.25 cup all-purpose flour
- 1.75 cup grams all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley
- 0.5 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 sticks unsalted European butter, cold, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons cold heavy cream
- For the Levain: Mix together the sourdough starter, flour, and 180 grams room temperature water and leave out at room temperature for at least 12 hours or overnight.
- For the Biscuits: In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, parsley, and rosemary. Using your fingers,
- smear and crumble the cut butter into the dry ingredients until the butter resembles smaller marble-sized pieces.
- In a small bowl, mix together Levain and the heavy cream. Add to the dry ingredients and mix in
- thoroughly with your hands. Cover and let rest at cool room temperature for 45 minutes, allowing the
- liquid to fully absorb into the dry ingredients and giving the starter time to work.
- Preheat oven to 375°F and position a rack in the center of the oven. Dump the dough out onto a flat
- surface and pat it into a 1.5-inch thick layer. Using a sharp knife, cut out 2.5-inch squares and place
- them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You should get about 8 to 10 biscuits. (At this point the biscuits can be tightly wrapped and frozen for up to 1 week. Add 5 to 10 minutes to baking time and proceed as directed.)
- Place the biscuits in the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until the biscuits are light golden brown. Remove the biscuits from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Serve day of or wrap tightly in plastic and store at room temperature for 1 day. Refresh them in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.