Week 2 is biscuit week, and the signature challenge is to make 36 savory biscuits. Again with the 36! Who is going to eat all of these?! Anyway, the challenge is to make 36 cheesy, savory British-style biscuits which are consistent in bake, size, and shape. Now as an American biscuits do not mean the same thing to me. When I hear “biscuit” I think Southern biscuit and gravy, light fluffy bread. What the British mean is something akin to a cookie or a cracker. While re-watching the episode they mentioned water biscuits/crackers and what “digestives” are.
Originally I wanted to go with a cacio e pepe shortbread (because yum), but based on the description of the challenge this would be baked more like a slice of cookie than the desired biscuit. As I searched there were plenty of options, making it more difficult to choose from.
I skipped out on anything including a jam, as it is supposed to be savory, so I want to avoid sweetness like fig jam. I liked the idea of an herb paired with a cheese, so when I stumbled across Stilton and rosemary shortbread, I knew they’d be perfect. What’s more British than Stilton cheese? Unfortunately, Stilton is tricky to get here in the U.S so I substituted another blue cheese.
- Making the Dough
This was honestly just a weird experience attempting to cream butter and blue cheese. The dry ingredients came next, but rather than add the rosemary after (as instructed) I’d heard on Spring Baking Championship that you can rub the herbs into the dry ingredients to get more flavor.
2. Roll & Chill
Shortbread is a really crumbly dough. I managed to stick it together, though I did consider adding cold water like a pie dough. Once chilled, I tried to roll it into a log shape so I could cut out even biscuits. Unfortunately they ended up flat on one end.
3. Shape & Bake
I tried to shape the biscuits into little squares but they crumbled easily. I ended up with an odd shape and very little consistency between biscuits. Fortunately, the bake got a nice golden brown on the edges (despite making my house stink!).
While the first batch baked, I tried re-working the dough. Rolling out the dough between saran wrap finally got the dough to come together. I cut out square shapes (though I honestly should have used a ruler) and baked again. These biscuits were wonderfully flaky with multiple layers. These are the ones I would have given to the judges.
So it turns out not many people are a fan of blue cheese. One of my coworkers spit out the biscuit! One person who loved blue cheese liked the flavor. Boyfriend even enjoyed some, taking the whole biscuit when I offered him bites. Brother-in-Law also enjoyed them. One of the doctors at my office was impressed by the layers in the redo batch.
I guess whether or not I did well depends on if the judges like blue cheese. Stay tuned for the technical challenge!