I’m not one of those people who is crazy for bacon in everything. The idea of pairing it with chocolate still weirds me out a little, and I’ve never tried it in brownies or ice cream. That being said, bacon is probably the top reason I would have trouble being a vegetarian. Crisp, sandwiched with some dripping heirloom tomato slices and lettuce on toasted sourdough, and I’m dreamy happy. Salty fatty fried chunks studding my bowl of baked beans, and my evening is made.
What I am generally crazy for is breakfast. But not at breakfast time. I can’t handle a big savory meal early in the morning. A fried egg sandwich, okay (and with a little sriracha in the mayonnaise? Be still my heart!). A pancake or three, maybe on occasion. The big, multi-course breakfast is, for me, wasted on the morning. I’m a breakfast-for-dinner kind of girl.
This week, in need of comfort as spring break drew to a close and allergy season burst wide open, we decided breakfast sandwiches were just what we needed. Eggs, bacon, fluffy buttery biscuit, and why not, a little goat cheese?! But layering these components together would not suffice. Thick slices of bacon smashed against a cloud of scrambled egg and crumbles of goat cheese seemed like a mess waiting to happen. I’ve incorporated cheese into biscuits before with great success, why not do the same with the bacon?
The result: goat cheese bacon biscuits. A simple revelation, but let me tell you, a spectacular base for a scrambled egg sandwich. Crisp squares of bacon, cold cubes of butter, crumbles of chevre, and a healthy glug of buttermilk.
These are pretty cinchy to make, though thanks to the addition of the goat cheese your biscuit dough will be a little stickier than usual. Try not to add too much flour – you don’t want them to get dense. They bake up into lovely little puffs, and the bacon stays crisp against the soft dough. The goat cheese wasn’t as strong a flavor as we were expecting, though after the biscuits cooled a bit we did pick up a pleasant tang from the larger crumbles. Loaded up with a simple layer of scrambled egg, and you have a perfect, three-bite sandwich with all the right trimmings. And because it’s only three little bites, you can have two or three without any guilt to speak of. Or four… or…
The funny, blackened stakes lying in a pile in the background of this photo are roasted rainbow carrots. They were incredible. And don’t just take my word for it – I knew they were the real deal when N. carefully sampled one, turned to me, and said “wow.” If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you will know that N. is not intentionally grudging when it comes to food praise; he’s just not particularly effusive about it. A “wow” is like fireworks.
Breakfast-for-dinner slam dunk, then. What’s your favorite?
Goat Cheese Bacon Biscuit Sandwiches
2 cups flour (All-Purpose is fine)
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 TB baking powder
4 slices bacon, diced and fried until crisp, drained and cooled (do this a bit ahead of time so the bacon has time to cool off – if you toss it into the mixture hot, you’ll heat up the butter and your biscuits will be less fluffy)
6 TB cold butter, cut into chunks (chunking it isn’t absolutely necessary, but it does make it easier and quicker to incorporate)
½ cup crumbled goat cheese
6 oz. buttermilk
Preheat your oven to 400F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Whisk in the cooled, crisp bacon.
Add the butter and incorporate using a pastry blender or your hands. When the chunks are about the size of lima beans, tumble in the goat cheese and blend it in until there are no more large pieces. The pebbles of butter should be about the size of peas when you are done.
Pour in the buttermilk and fold it into the dry mixture. I find using a fork works best for this – the tines pick up and jostle around the flour mixture better than a spatula or wooden spoon. Don’t overmix, but be sure the buttermilk is well incorporated.
When your mixture is evenly damp, abandon the fork. You can turn the whole mess out onto a floured board, or you can just reach in with flour dusted hands and knead the dough a few times in the bowl until it comes together.
Pat the dough into a plump something-like-a-rectangle on a floured board. The thickness and therefore the size of the rectangle is really to you, but mine was probably just under an inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or the floured top of a glass, punch out biscuit rounds by pushing straight down all the way through the dough. Don’t twist your cutter as you go down; you’ll disrupt the craggy layers in the dough and the biscuit won’t rise as high or as evenly.
When you’ve punched out as many rounds as the rectangle of dough will allow, place them on your parchment lined baking sheet at least an inch apart, gather the dough scraps, knead them together a bit, and pat them back into a new rectangle. Continue punching out biscuits and reshaping the scraps until you run out of dough. Given the small size of cutter I chose, I managed 16 sweet little biscuits. You will have more or less depending on size and thickness.
For a small biscuit (2 inch diameter), bake at 400F for 12-14 minutes, or until the layers have puffed and the top is golden. Larger or extremely thick biscuits will take longer; try 15 minutes to start.
If you just want to eat them as is – and I’d sympathize completely if you did – you’re all set to go. Dig in. If, however, you want them as sandwiches, split them down the middle of the puffy, buttery layers and insert a fold of softly scrambled egg.
These are best the day they are cooked, so I’d advise only baking as many as you and your dinner partner(s) are going to eat. The remaining biscuits can be frozen, still unbaked, and enjoyed another day. To freeze them, set them on a piece of wax paper or parchment in a single layer on a plate or baking tray. Wait until they are frozen, then relocate them to a zip-top freezer bag. They don’t even need to be defrosted, just pop them into a preheated oven for a few extra minutes (maybe 15-18 for a small biscuit) and dinner – or breakfast – is served!