Bacon Cheddar Biscuits
Inspired by Alice Water’s Cream Biscuits in The Art of Simple Food
1 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch smoked paprika
6 tablespoons, (¾ stick), cold, unsalted butter
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
½ applewood smoked, thick-cut bacon
About ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
1. Fry the bacon until crispy and set aside to cool. Reserve the bacon fat and let cool completely until solid. Chop the bacon into ¼ inch pieces and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the flour, baking power, paprika, and lots of freshly cracked black pepper in a large mixing bowl. (Or not a lot, depending on how much you like pepper.) Add the butter to the flour mixture in slivers, and add a tablespoon of the reserved bacon fat. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter and bacon fat into the flour mixture until pea-sized chunks remain. Toss with the cheddar cheese and bacon chunks. Pour ½ cup of the cream into the dough and mix until just combined. Add a tablespoon at a time of the remaining cream until the dough just comes together and is still slightly sticky.
3. Flour a flat surface and roll the dough into a ¾ inch thick square. Cut the scones into eight triangles or squares and place on the baking sheet, about 2-inches apart from each other. Brush with remaining cream and crack a bit of pepper over each scone. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until scones are lightly golden on top. Eat immediately.