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Black Pepper and Bacon Drop Biscuits

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“This is one variation of a Cook's Illustrated recipe for Best Drop Biscuits. As usual, details abound in the directions which suits me, a nervous baker, to a tee.”
READY IN:
27mins
SERVES:
12
YIELD:
12 biscuits
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Cut bacon in half lengthwise and then crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces; fry in a skillet over medium heat until crisp, 5-7 minutes. Transfer pieces to a paper towel and cool.
  2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in bacon pieces.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine cold buttermilk and 8 tablespoons melted butter, stirring until butter forms small clumps.
  5. ***This may look like a mistake, but it's one of the secrets of this recipe. The clumps of butter are similar to small bits of cold butter in biscuits prepared by the traditional method. As the butter melts during baking, the steam helps the biscuits rise and gives them a light and fluffy interior.
  6. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated and batter pulls away from sides of bowl.
  7. Using a 1/4-cup dry measure, scoop level amounts of batter and drop onto baking sheet (biscuits should measure about 2 1/4-inches in diameter and 1 1/4-inch high). Space biscuits 1 1/2-inces apart.
  8. Bake until the tops are golden brown and crisp, 12-14 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and brush tops with melted butter. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
  10. Bring on the gravy!
  11. ### Other variations - omit the bacon and pepper and add:
  12. Cheddar Scallion - 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions.
  13. Parmesan Rosemary- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 teaspoons finely minced rosemary.

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