Unless you are some sort of bread baking savant, Thanksgiving is not the day to experiment with yeasted breads. It's one of those days where it's best to stick with old faithfuls—preferably those that don't require kneading, rising, or intricate shaping. Quick breads such as cornbread or biscuits can be thrown together while the turkey is resting and baked just before serving.
These Cornmeal Biscuits with Honey Butter from Eric Ripert's Avec Eric are a biscuit-cornbread hybrid and just the kind of Thanksgiving bread that's quick enough to be totally doable. The dough comes out of the food processor moist enough to shape but thankfully not at all sticky. They're simple to roll out and shape, and out of the oven in a little over 10 minutes. They are light and fluffy with a great cornmeal crunch, and when spread with the sweet-salty honey butter, totally irresistible.
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Avec Eric to give away this week.
- For the biscuits:
- 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1 cup cold buttermilk
- For the honey butter:
- 8 ounces softened unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the biscuits: Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Place the cornmeal in a food processor bowl. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and add to the cornmeal. Pulse the cornmeal mixture once to blend. Add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 3/4 cup of the buttermilk and process just until the dough starts to come together, adding more buttermilk as needed. Do not overwork the dough!
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Gather the dough and pat it into a rectangle that is about 1/2-inch thick. Using a 3-inch-diameter biscuit cutter, cut out 8 to 10 rounds. To ensure the biscuits rise properly, flour the cutter before cutting out each biscuit and do not twist the cutter. Place the biscuits, barely touching, on a baking sheet and bake until the biscuits are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
For the honey butter: Use an electric mixer on high speed. Whip the softened butter, honey and salt in a bowl until fluffy.