re-baking: biscuits & scones

I feel like I should apologize to those of you who’d like to see more dessert recipes turn up here, at least on the baking posts, for Pete’s sake. I, on the other hand, get excited when I get to learn to bake something new and don’t end up with a bunch of sugary things that after a bite or two are just too much for me and that I then have to pawn off. So I jumped on the chance to make scones and biscuits totally savoury with herbs and cheese. This time, it’s Gouda buscuits to top mushroom and lentil pot pies.

The stew (it really was a stew that you could enjoy even without the biscuit topping–but why would you deprive yourself?) was thick but still bubbled up and boiled over. It finally made sense then, that this biscuit called for a drier ratio of flour to butter than the scones had. They were a little more crumbly on top than most biscuits I’d had, and if you were making these to be enjoyed on the side, I would suggest you add more fat actually. But sitting atop this stew, the bottom of these biscuits almost steamed while baking which made me grateful for their drier texture and crispy cheese topping which stood up to all of that. The texture was also a perfect match for the softened mushrooms and lentils. After two attempts, I’ve already discovered that scones and biscuits are easy to manipulate, even for a non-baker like me, and also, probably discovered my Thanksgiving entree in this perfect little recipe.

If you have any ratio advice or a favourite scone or biscuit recipe to share, please do so back at the original “scones” post in this installation of the le sauce baking academy. I still have a lot to learn and I know you have secrets to share!

Mushroom and Lentil Pot Pies with Gouda Biscuit Topping
Via Bon Appetit

1/2 cup lentils
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
6 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons chilled unsalted butter, diced
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup (packed) coarsely grated Gouda cheese about 3 ounces

For filling:

Combine 3 cups cold water, lentils, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in medium saucepan; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain; set lentils aside.

Pour 3 cups boiling water over porcini in medium bowl; soak 25 minutes. Remove porcini from soaking liquid, squeeze dry, and chop coarsely. (Reserve soaking liquid.)

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fresh mushrooms. Sauté 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon oil, onion, carrot, sage, and thyme. Sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium-low. Mix flour into vegetables; cook 1 minute. Add porcini soaking liquid. Mix in porcini, potatoes, soy sauce, and tomato paste. Cover; simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally, 13 to 15 minutes. Add lentils; season with salt and pepper. Divide filling among four 2-cup ovenproof bowls. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature before continuing.

For topping:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in processor; blend 5 seconds. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk; pulse until dough forms moist clumps. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 equal pieces; shape each into 2/3-inch-thick disk. Set rounds atop filling; top with cheese.

Bake pot pies on baking sheet until tester inserted into biscuit topping comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.