Pecorino & Pepper Biscuits {ModBak}

The seventh recipe in the Modern Baker Challenge (and the second quick bread I agreed to post) is Pecorino & Pepper Biscuits. I love biscuits, and I love savory recipes with cheese and pepper, so I was looking forward to trying this recipe. But I was a little nervous, too. I’ve never had huge success with biscuits, pie crusts, or other things that are supposed to come out light and flaky. But as I’ve noted elsewhere, taking on recipes I have never tried or never made successfully was a big part of my motivation in taking on this challenge.

Although I’ve been baking the quick breads in order, I decided to skip ahead a few pages to make these biscuits for dinner this evening. This recipe has only seven ingredients, all of which I had on hand: Pecorino Romano cheese, AP flour, baking soda, salt, black pepper, unsalted butter, and buttermilk (I used dry buttermilk powder, which I keep in the cupboard all the time). Most of these are staple ingredients in my kitchen. I don’t always have Pecorino Romano on hand, but I happened to have some left over from when I made the Roasted Onion and Asiago Miche for the BBA Challenge.

As with the other quick breads, these biscuits came together really fast. I mixed the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and buttermilk powder in a bowl. I pulsed the cheese and butter in the food processor a few times, added the flour mixture, pulsed it a few more times, then finally added the water and pulsed until the dough came together.

I dumped the dough out onto a Silpat with a little flour on it, kneaded it a few times, and pressed it out to a thickness of about 1/2 inch. I cut the dough into 2 1/4-inch circles, which I put on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. One trick I learned from this recipe is that when you cut biscuits, you should press straight down. If you twist your cutter — as I always have in the past — the biscuits won’t have nice straight sides.

I baked the biscuits for 20 minutes (I think they should have come out at about 18 minutes) and served them with butter for dinner, along with oven baked chicken and green beans.

These biscuits were a bit hit. They were light, flaky and oh-so-flavorful. I wasn’t sure if the kids would like the strong flavor of the Pecorino and the bite of the pepper, but they gobbled them up.

These biscuits took about 30 minutes from pantry to table, so they are easy enough to make anytime. And Nick Malgieri offers four variations, making this a great go-to recipe you can (and will want to) make often to go with dinner.


  1. April 13, 2010 at 10:55 am

    This looks like a winner. I have so many I want to make, all at once, I am stuck. I think, I will make mine first so that is done properly and then play.

    • gaaarp said,

      April 13, 2010 at 2:19 pm

      That’s kind of what I did. I have my posts out of the way, so now I am baking the recipes in order (more or less).

  2. yumarama said,

    April 11, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Woah, these look really good!!

    I can’t! I can’t join another group… too much baked stuff…
    O the agony! I’ll have to live vicariously through your blog.

    • gaaarp said,

      April 11, 2010 at 8:21 pm

      Paul, you can always just read the posts and bake the ones that interest you most — like this one.

  3. ap269 said,

    April 11, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I know I will skip some recipes in the quick bread section, but this is definitely NOT one of them. They look sooo yummy!

  4. April 11, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Oh you are so tempting me to join in this new challenge. The book sits beside my bed, calling my name but common sense tells me not to go down this road! (too fattening!) The biscuits look amazing. Didn’t know about not twisting the cutter either.

    • gaaarp said,

      April 11, 2010 at 1:37 pm

      A lot of people are baking along but not necessarily baking every single recipe. So that’s always an option. Besides, I always LOVE reading your posts. No pressure — just sayin’.

  5. Abby said,

    April 10, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    These look and sound delicious! I’ve not committed to baking every single recipe from the Quick Breads section yet, but you’ve definitely convinced me to try these!

  6. April 10, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    This is one of the recipes in this section of Modern Baker that I’m eagerly anticipating. I’m thinking about one of the variations. Biscuits scare me a little, but I’m inspired by your success! Beautiful job, congrats on perfect biscuits.

    • gaaarp said,

      April 10, 2010 at 7:47 pm

      Thanks, Nancy! I’m surprised at how many people — like me — are intimidated by biscuits. This recipe may be the breakthrough we all need!

  7. Frieda said,

    April 10, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Biscuits are another go-to bread on my list….these look so light and gorgeous!

  8. Kayte said,

    April 10, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Oh, I can’t wait to get to these. Confession: I have never actually made anything that passed for a good biscuit. I have only made them once before in TWD and they did not rise well, etc., so eager to try these. We get another shot at a different biscuit at TWD this month, so maybe I will, between the Modern Baker one, and that one, become somewhat adept at a passable biscuit. Yours looks so beautifully done. Gorgeous color on those…and the lift…OMW great!

    • gaaarp said,

      April 10, 2010 at 7:37 pm

      Thanks, Kayte! I, too, have never succeeded with biscuits until this recipe. They were so good and so easy. I will definitely be making them again.

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