Giant Roasted Jalapeño Biscuits

Recipe by Tami Ganeles Weiser; photo contributed by Sherry Gerstein Yield:  8 biscuits
Prep Time:  35 minutes Cook Time:  1 hour 14 minutes

Giant Roasted Jalapeño Biscuits

These biscuits are spicy hot—no doubt about it—and with jalapeños, like most hot peppers, you can’t tell just how hot a particular pepper or a whole batch will be, so if you have some timid eaters, I would be sure to serve these biscuits with something without any heat at all, like mild avocado or butter. For the heat-seeking foodies among us, these are a pretty great match with any sweet, Texas-style or New Mexico-style barbecued grub. These were designed for a fantasy meal for the Duplass brothers, as an homage to their years at University of Texas in the great food and art city of Austin. Allow about an hour to roast the jalapeños before baking.

Ingredients

6 jalapeño chilies (see Kitchen Tips)

Olive oil for greasing

1¾ cups (228 grams) unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting and rolling

¾ cup (85 grams) cake flour

4 teaspoons (20 grams) baking powder

2 teaspoons (8 grams) granulated sugar

½ teaspoon (3 grams) baking soda    

1 teaspoon (6 grams) salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground white or pink pepper

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1 stick (½ cup/114 grams/4 ounces/8 tablespoons) European or cultured unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes and placed in the freezer for 10 minutes  

⅔ cup (about 5.3 fluid ounces) buttermilk

1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter, for glazing

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rub each jalapeño lightly with a little olive oil, place on a baking sheet, and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until tender and speckled brown.
  2. Wearing plastic gloves, (see Kitchen Tips), place the warm peppers into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Cool to room temperature. With gloves, peel off the skin. Cut open and remove the stems and seeds. It’s fine if there is a little burned skin left on the peppers. Do not rinse them. Mince finely and set aside.
  3. Increase the oven temperature to 425°F. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the flours, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, salt and ground white or pink, black and cayenne peppers, and pulse 3 to 4 times, until mixed well.
  4. Add the cold butter, a few pieces at a time, and process in 8 (1-second) pulses, until the mixture resembles coarse sand, or big crumbs, with a good amount of pea-size lumps of butter in it.
  5. Add the roasted jalapeños and process in 5 to 6 (1-second) pulses just to combine. Add the buttermilk and pulse until it is just moistened. Do not overmix.
  6. Lightly flour a work surface and scrape the dough onto it. Knead (see Kitchen Tips) a few times until the dough just holds together into a ball with a few small clumps of butter still visible. Patting gently with cold fingers, flatten the dough to a thickness of 1 inch.  With a floured (3 -inch) round cutter, cut out the biscuits, positioning the cuts as close together as possible. Place on a baking sheet. You will have 8 biscuits. (You can carefully reroll the scraps and bake them off as a cook’s treat to nibble on.)
  7. Brush the tops with the melted butter. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown. With oven mitts, rotate the baking sheet 180° (front to back) to ensure even baking. Bake for another 6 to 7 minutes. Serve hot from the oven or let cool on a cooling rack—whichever you like.

Kitchen Tips

  1. If you or anyone at your table is heat-averse, these biscuits will be less spicy if you use 6 small or 3 regular-sized jalapeños instead of 6 regular-sized ones. Or adjust the number to your taste.
  2. The chemicals in chili peppers that cause that wonderful feeling of heat on the tongue can cause a not-so-wonderful feeling if they get into your eyes—and can share the love with other foods on your menu. To avoid cross-contamination, avoid touching your face or eyes after cutting and trimming hot chilies. Change work surfaces and knives. Some cooks wear plastic gloves.
  3. Kneading is a technique used to develop bread, pastry, and pasta doughs and make them smooth and easy to work. To knead dough by hand, press it down firmly with the heel of your hand, fold it over, rotate a quarter-turn on your work surface (don’t turn it over), and repeat the process.

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