Savory wild leek biscuits with cracked coriander seeds [Vegetarian]
Savory biscuits are pure delight for weekend brunches and lunches, and even for dinners paired with a good soup or stew. I don't often make biscuits because they sometimes feel like a hassle, but this recipe couldn't be simpler. It took me less than 20 minutes from when I gathered the ingredients to when I popped these in the oven to bake.
There were wild foraged ramps available at my favorite market, but I still have mixed feelings about using foraged foods found in markets -- are they being sustainably foraged? While I trust the buyers at this particular market, I decided to go with a regular leek. I halved, then thinly sliced just the white and light green portions. This gave the biscuits a mild, savory flavor that we couldn't possibly resist, especially not when they are hot out of the oven!
I didn't have coriander seeds so I used another favorite seed for breads: fennel. Fennel seeds are delicious on breads, and have a flavor that reminds me of star anise. You can try all kinds of different seeds for the tops of these biscuits, like poppy or sesame -- or a mix of all four mentioned here. It's entirely up to you and your taste buds.
Finally, I used gluten-free flour -- the Multi-Blend Flour from Authentic Foods that works as a cup-for-cup style substitute. The gluten-free biscuits were every bit as light and fluffy as if I'd used regular flour. I made them thinner and larger than typical biscuits, and they were perfect for dipping in soup, or even spreading a chutney or jam over the top.
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© Jaymi Heimbuch
Two years ago my daughter and I set a bit of a challenge for ourselves for the month of May. We decided that we would not purchase any baked goods for the entire month. That included bread, cookies, cakes and pies. My husband brought home a loaf of bread once because my kids and I were out on an epic Chinese food shopping and eating expedition and so didn't bake, but the two of us didn't eat any of it. We managed to make some wonderful stuff over the month without ever cheating once. I'm sure there are many of you out there who do this all year round as a matter of course, but for me it was a commitment. I quickly discovered that when you don't have time for the rising of a yeast bread, quick breads and biscuits will fill in quite nicely for the short term. For some reason that I can't quite put my finger on, no matter how easy the recipe, baking bread gives me a sense of accomplishment like no other.
So, faced this morning with an empty bread drawer and a fridge full of wild leeks, I made these biscuits. My daughter initially thought the leek was too strong, but when she tried a second one she changed her mind. I thought the leek flavour was wonderful and not overpowering at all. The coriander on top gave them a nice hit of something unexpected.These would also be nice with a bit of Parmesan cheese mixed in.
This recipe is from the website Klutzy Chef. I simplified the directions a bit, because it seemed to me that there were too many mixing bowls in play, and I don't want to wash more dishes than I need to.
© Jaymi Heimbuch
Wild Leek Biscuits with Cracked Coriander Seeds
3/4 cup chilled buttermilk
3/4 cup thinly sliced ramps (approx. 25 grams)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 tbsp (3/4 stick or 85 grams) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg, beaten (for glaze)
1/2 tsp coriander seeds, cracked
1. Preheat oven to 425°F/215°C.
© Jaymi Heimbuch
2. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add butter and break down the butter with your fingers, until a fine meal forms. You can also use a food processor for this if you wish.
3. Add buttermilk/ramps stirring until dough forms.Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and press out to 7-inch round, about 1/2 inch thick.
4. Using 2-inch diameter biscuit cutter dipped in flour, or a glass, cut out rounds. Gather dough scraps; press out to 1/2-inch thickness and cut out additional rounds.
5. Transfer rounds to baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush biscuit tops with some of egg and sprinkle with cracked coriander seeds. Bake biscuits until golden brown (between 15-20 minutes). Serve warm with butter.