Flaky Ricotta Biscuits

flaky ricotta biscuits (yossy arefi)
flaky ricotta biscuits (yossy arefi)

These biscuits are kind of a happy accident, born a couple of Sundays ago from an extreme desire for something buttery and carby to eat with breakfast and a complete lack of any sort of milk, buttermilk, or yogurt in the house. However, there was half of a tub of ricotta (that hadn't yet gone moldy) hiding in the depths of the fridge that I had forgotten about. I quickly searched around for a ricotta biscuit recipe and surprisingly came up pretty empty handed, but decided to go for it anyway. Dairy is dairy, right? The results were pretty fantastic: flaky rich, and tender with a wonderfully dramatic height thanks to the folding technique in Tara O'Brady's new cookbook: Seven Spoons (which I am going to share a recipe from soon!!) Dare I say that they are just as good as any buttermilk biscuit I've ever had? Give them a try and let me know what you think.

A little note about the eggs for those who are interested: I made them using this method that I recently learned about from a food stylist. I cook them for 7 minutes and it makes the most perfect, custardy, EASY TO PEEL, eggs ever. Bless.

Flaky Ricotta Biscuts

makes 8 small biscuits

Recipe adapted from Serious Eats, folding technique from Tara O'Brady's Seven Spoons Cookbook

4 ounces unsalted butter, cold and cut into roughly 1/2-inch cubes

1 1/2 cups (7.75 ounces) all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (8 ounces) whole milk ricotta (use the good stuff)

1 large egg

heavy cream for brushing the tops (optional) 

Preheat oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together. In a small bowl, whisk the ricotta and egg together.

Add the butter and toss to coat with flour. Use your fingers or the palms of your hands to press each cube of butter into a flat sheet. Toss the butter in the flour as you go to ensure each butter piece is coated with flour. When finished, you want pieces of butter from the size of lima beans to quarters.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the ricotta/egg mixture. Use a fork to gently stir until most of the flour is moistened. It's okay if there are some dry spots, it's best not to over mix at this stage.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a rectangle about 3/4-inch tall. Fold the dough in half, turn it 90 degrees, and again, pat it out into a rectangle. Dust the surface of the dough with flour and repeat this process 4 more times, folding, turning, and flouring the dough lightly.

Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 8, even squares. Make sure to press straight down on the knife to make clean cuts rather than using a sawing motion. The clean cuts will help the layers of dough rise and puff evenly.

Arrange the biscuits on a baking sheet, a couple of inches apart and brush the tops with heavy cream. Bake the biscuits for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Enjoy warm with more butter, honey, and a sprinkle of flaky salt if you like.

flaky ricotta biscuits (yossy arefi)

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)

Craft projects are not the usual subject matter of this blog, but I think we can all agree that these naturally dyed easter eggs are too beautiful to not share. There are a ton of in-depth tutorials for naturally dyed eggs online and I pulled information from many them, but this tutorial from The Kitchn is a good place to start if you are new to natural dyes. Better Homes and Gardens also has a great list of foods you can use as dyes.

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)
Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)
Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)
Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)

For the eggs in this post, I used three dyes: one made from shredded red beets (pink and maroon tones), one made from shredded purple cabbage (blue and green tones), and a mix of the two dyes (mauve and gray tones). I used both white and brown eggs which provided really beautiful, subtle color variations that I love. I also dyed some eggs yellow with turmeric, but the results were a bit pale so I didn't include them in these photos. You can also over-dye naturally green and blue eggs laid by Aracuna hens, which I have done in the past. The results are just stunning, but the eggs can be a bit pricey so I skipped it this year. 

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)

A quick announcement! This here blog was nominated for a Saveur Blog Award in the Best Baking & Desserts Category, and I am thrilled! Thank you to whoever nominated me! If you feel compelled, visit Saveur to vote for your favorites in all 13 categories. So many wonderful blogs (and people!) are up for awards, and I am honored to be among them. 

General Method for Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

You'll need about 1 cup of dye matter (shredded beets, shredded cabbage or check this post for more color options ) per 1 cup of water, and about 4 cups of dye per dozen eggs. Scale up or down depending on how many eggs you'd like to dye. Hot tip: Shred your beets in the sink to avoid spattering red all over your kitchen.

To prepare the dyes, combine the dye matter with the appropriate amount water in a saucepan, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-30 minutes. Check the dye occasionally for color, you want the liquid to be a couple of shades darker than your desired finished egg color. Strain the dye into a clean container and let it cool to room temperature. Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar per 1 cup of dye. 

Meanwhile, hard boil your eggs and let them cool.

Arrange the cooked eggs in a container or containers (ideally in a single layer) and pour the dye over the top to submerge the eggs completely. Transfer the containers to the refrigerator, and let the eggs sit in the dye baths until they reach your desired color. I let my eggs sit for almost 24 hours. Remember that when the eggs dry they will be slightly lighter in color than when they are wet, like a stone picked up at the beach.

Carefully remove the eggs from the dye baths, give them a quick rinse, pat dry, and you're done! You can rub the eggs with a bit of vegetable oil to give them a sheen and enhance the color a bit if you like.

Now, who has a great recipe for deviled eggs?

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)