Breads of all kinds are comfort foods…for sandwiches, french toast, bread pudding, tea and toast, toast with jam for breakfast, rolls, croissants, boules, baguettes, scones, muffins, and more. So many flavors and textures to choose from! Since September is National Biscuit Month, I’m celebrating the biscuit on Comfort Food Monday by combining its fluffy goodness with one of my favorite fall flavors ~ you guessed it: pumpkin!
Adjusting the ingredients in a regular biscuit recipe to accomodate the addition of pureed pumkpin and warm autumn spices, and serving them with a Spiced Maple Butter, gives us yet another way to enjoy one of the South’s classic comfort foods and takes me another step further on my path to “Southern Mamahood.” As my son settles in at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!!), I’m having a wonderful time doing some virtual settling in of my own, learning more about the South, the amazing destinations we plan to visit, the people and their wonderful hospitality, and of course, the food, which I already loved.
So here’s my Fall take on an everyday standard: Pumpkin Biscuits with Spiced Maple Butter. I started with a Buttermilk Biscuit recipe from a Southern Living Magazine special issue ~ it caught my eye because the way the dough is patted out and folded is similar to the technique for rolling and folding croissant dough…which yields lots of flaky buttery layers…yum. I added my pumpkin and spices. The Spiced Maple Butter just seemed like the right thing to do. I’m sure I have a lot to learn about the ins and outs of making the perfect biscuit…but these were a great start!
Pumpkin Biscuits with Spiced Maple Butter
For the biscuits:
3 cups self-rising flour (I use White Lily Flour; it really does make a difference!)
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold sweet butter, cut into small chunks
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not Pumpkin Pie mix)
2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
pinch of salt
more self-rising flour for patting out the dough2 Tbsp. sweet butter
For the butter:
6 Tbsp. sweet butter, softened
2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1/2-1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
Preheat your oven to 450F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and the Pumpkin Pie Spice and salt (whisking will add air to the flour, which will help the biscuits to be lighter). Then, with a pastry blender or two butter knives, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is crumbly. Cover and chill the mixture in the fridge for about 10 minutes. Whisk together the buttermilk and pumpkin, then stir it into the dry ingredients, stirring just until the mixture comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead it just a few times. Add some flour if the dough is too sticky. Make sure your hands are floured and pat the dough out into a rectangle (about 9″ x 5″). Sprinkle a little extra flour over the dough and fold it as if folding a letter (fold one short end of the dough onto itself about a third of the way across, then fold the other short end over onto the dough). Pat the dough out into a 9″ x 5″ rectangle and fold in thirds as before. Repeat the process once more. Then pat the dough out to a rectangle about a half inch thick and cut with biscuit cutters. Or, I used a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 8 large squares (cut down the middle lengthwise, then cut four times across). These baked up very large, so next time I’ll cut the dough make 10 or 12 smaller biscuits. Place the cut biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet (or into a lightly greased cast iron pan).
Bake the biscuits for 10 minutes, then turn the pan. Look how high they baked up!
Bake them for another 10 minutes, until they’re a nice golden brown. While they finish up in the oven, melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter. Set aside. Combine the ingredients for the Spiced Maple Butter and set aside.
As soon as you take the biscuits out of the oven, brush the tops with the melted butter. Let them cool for a few minutes.
Serve warm with the Spiced Maple Butter and enjoy!
These aren’t just for breakfast. They’d be tasty with chili, soups and stews, and even as a sandwich roll (ham or turkey, bacon, maple mustard and all your favorite day after Thanksgiving sandwich stuffers. Try them for dessert, shortcake style, split and warmed with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and topped with apples sauteed in brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Make a double batch so you can serve some and freeze some for another day. Happy Fall, and Happy National Biscuit Month!