I recently read a super interesting article in Food & Wine Magazine about the classic Joy of Cooking cookbook that was accompanied by a Cheddar-Scallion Biscuit recipe—it sounded and looked amazing. It’ll be in the newest 2019 edition, but I instantly knew I had to make the recipe (and adapt it to be even easier and whole-grain, of course)! I couldn’t wait to see how it would be with whole-wheat (pastry) flour instead of white. Spoiler Alert… DEEEELICIOUS!!
Joy of Cooking
Surely I am not the only lover of Joy of Cooking here? It was one of my very first cookbooks and has always been my cooking “bible” for all things basic. I own the ’97 edition, which is apparently the most controversial one according to the article (I had no idea! LOL). When it completely wore out, my husband so kindly bought me a new copy of the exact same edition.
The recipes change from edition to edition, and if I wanted to reference the Butternut Squash soup I’ve made a million times, I wanted the version that still had it exactly as I pictured it in my original copy! I went through and transferred all my notes just as they originally appeared and have been trying to keep my second copy in good shape, although it’s starting to show some wear and tear now as well.
How Joy of Cooking Started
I found it interesting that the newest edition that comes out next year is being almost completely rewritten by the great-grandson of the original author (and his wife). Maybe I should get a copy of that version as well then? LOL. But even more interesting is how the very first edition came to be. It was written and self-published by a 50-something homemaker in 1931, Irma Rombauer, in an attempt to both find new purpose and form a career for herself shortly after her husband committed suicide. Quite an ambitious undertaking in that era! It also proves that it’s never too late to try something new.
After several years of selling a modest number of books out of her own apartment, it was revised and then picked up by a publisher, which eventually helped lead her on the path to unprecedented success with what is considered the most popular American cookbook of our time.
So, I haven’t seen the newest 2019 addition yet, but I can tell you that I give this biscuit recipe (that’ll be in there…well, at least a version of it) two thumbs up! Enjoy.
Cheddar-Scallion Biscuits (Whole-Wheat)
- 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons butter cut into 1/2 tablespoon chunks
- 2 green onions (or scallions), thinly sliced about 1/2 cup total, white and green parts
- 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pepper, and salt. Use a pastry cutter, or your fingers, to work in the butter pieces until the mixture is crumbly.
- Use a fork to stir in the scallions and the cheese. Stir in the buttermilk until the dough comes together (adding more buttermilk or flour, a tablespoon at a time, if necessary to help the dough come together—dough will neither be sticky nor crumbly).
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured cutting board and knead 3 to 4 times. Pat dough into an 8" X 6" rectangle; fold 1 short side a third of the way over the center then fold opposite short side over folded end (like a business letter fold).
- Rotate dough clockwise 90 degrees, pat out dough, and repeat folding again. Pat out into one final 8" X 6" rectangle and cut into 8 equal rectangle pieces.
- Place on prepared baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.