I started my testing of biscuits near the beginning of the month, and only did 6 batches, 10 short of Audax's 16. I fully intended on making his recipe at least once, but I got so sidetracked by sourdough that I never made it that far. In fact, I did my last full dessert biscuit application yesterday, not leaving myself any time to get to his original recipe. Maybe I was just so inspired by Audax's tireless approach to mastering a recipe that I figured I'd adapt a single recipe until I had it nearly foolproof myself.
- 2 c. well fed starter
- 1/4 c. soft butter, warm room temperature
- 2 c. AP flour
- 3 T. granulated sugar
- 1 t. salt
Stir to combine flour, sugar and salt in a medium sized bowl. Butter a cast iron skillet large enough to fit your batch (a 5 or an 8 worked for me for half and whole batches respectively).
Measure starter into a large bowl and add butter. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, mash the butter into the starter until it is no longer visible. Add the flour mixture, stirring with spatula or spoon for a few strokes to help it begin to combine. Then using one hand, begin to fold the batter onto itself until it begins to form a dough. Work quickly, gently, and thoroughly. Stop as soon as all the dried parts of the flour are incorporated, and the dough feels like a dough. (If you can tell it is too dry, add a tablespoon or two of water before you have worked the dough to completion. If the dough comes together and there is still some flour in the bottom of the bowl that didn't get worked in, just discard it and the batch will be slightly less in volume.)
Press the dough out to a uniform thickness, about 1/2 inch (aim for 1 inch if you are going to cut biscuits using the method described above). Cut into 6 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, put a good amount of tart cherry and chocolate filling (recipe below) in the center of the dough and fold up the dough around it. Pinch it tightly to completely enclose the filling, then gently roll the dough to form a ball. Place the biscuits, just barely touching each other, in the prepared skillet.
Let rise (covered with a towel) until nearly doubled in bulk, about 2 hours depending on the warmth of the room. Towards the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 375.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until tops are lightly browned. (You can brush the biscuits with butter about half way through the baking time, or upon removing them from the oven if you like.)
Tart Cherry and Chocolate Filling
- 2 heaping cups of canned tart cherries (250 g.) drained, and pressed mostly dry, juices reserved for glaze if desired
- 4 oz. (120 g.) excellent bittersweet chocolate, chopped finely
Mix to combine. That's it. Here's a picture of what it will look like. And you will probably have a little leftover, which you should eat right away because you can't stand waiting on the oven to produce your sourdough biscuits with cherry chocolate middles...