That’s right, I’m not above starting with a little bacon porn.
Zoe Nathan of Huckleberry, Milo and Olive and Rustic Canyon fame is another of my lady baker-crushes. So, it wasn’t without anticipation that I patiently waited for her first cookbook, Huckleberry, stories, secrets and recipes from our kitchen to come out earlier this fall.
I’ve talked about Nathan’s iconic Santa Monica brunch (well, and lunch and dinner) spot before. And even though I still don’t have any tattoos and still feel the same about coconut water, Huckleberry is still a favorite of mine.
And now, so is the cookbook. I’ve been working my way through the cheery, yellow-polka-dot edged book, and have to admit my favorite part so far is her double-page spread of “Apologies” that appears right before the index like a little chocolate served after dessert and coffee. She is my kind of lady. Oh, and the recipes are great too.
The maple bacon biscuits at Huckleberry are compulsory for any first timer (or second timer…or third timer). Almost criminal in their decadence, these sweet-savory-crumbly-rich treats alone are worth spending 30 minutes in line listening to the couple in front of you discuss their call-back triumphs and whether that pilot where they had a walk-on will get picked up.
As if you needed further proof than “bacon” to try these, I’ll tell you, they woke Tom out of his general TMH-baking immunity. People often comment that TD must love all of the baked-goods produced out of the TMH kitchen. And sometimes he does. But mostly he just ignores it all. It’s probably the peppercorns I use. Well, these babies, baked before the sun came up one weekday morning for a meeting caught his attention.
Because they are baked from frozen, this is a great recipe to make through the baking, freeze and have on hand when someone needs a little extra loving’.
Maple Bacon Biscuits
from Huckleberry, stories and recipes from our kitchen, Zoe Nathan
- 15 slices thick-cut bacon
- 2 TBS bacon fat (reserve this from cooking your bacon)
- 6 C (750g) all-purpose flour
- 2 TBS baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 C (50 g) granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 C (450 g) cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch squares
- 1/2 C cold maple syrup + 3/4 C for glaze
- 3/4 C cold buttermilk
- 1 egg+ 2 TBS water for egg wash
- fleur de sel for topping
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Lay bacon on a sheet pan or on a wire cooking rack fitted into a sheet pan (TMH method) and bake until golden brown, about 15-25 minutes. Allow the bacon and fat to cool.
- Chop up bacon and reserve 2 TBS bacon fat.
- In a very large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Whisk or toss well to combine.
- Add-in the cold butter and work it/cut it in with your finger tips (it’s sort of a snapping-motion) until the pieces of butter are about the size of lima beans.
- Add the first 1/2 C maple syrup, buttermilk, bacon and bacon fat. Lightly toss.
- Immediately dump everything onto a clean surface with plenty of room to work.
- Using only the heel of you palm, flatten out the the dough. Gather the dough back together in a mound and repeat. After 2-3 repetitions, the dough should begin holding together. Do not overwork the dough, you should still see pea-sized pieces of butter in the dough.
- Flatten the dough into a 1 inch thick disk and cut-out the biscuits (remember to resist twisting the cutter as you pull up).
- Gently push the scraps back together and cut once more (TMH note-I got exactly 18 biscuits out of this).
- Freeze raw biscuits for at least two hours. Can be frozen, tightly wrapped, up to a month.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Remove biscuits from freer. Space them with plenty of room to breath on two ungreased baking sheets.
- Bush with egg wash and sprinkle with flour de sel.
- Bake from frozen until cooked through and starting to brown, about 25 minutes.
- Pour 2 tsp maple syrup over each biscuit to glaze and bake an additional 5 minutes.
- These are best eaten the day, nay, minute they come out of the oven.