Make Ahead

Buttermilk Ramp Biscuits

May  9, 2011
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

I experimented with incorporating ramps into my standby buttermilk biscuit recipe, boosted with a little yeast – inspired by the method Nancy Silverton uses for her sweet biscuits -- and some semolina for texture. Once baked, the ramps lose their bite and impart their lovely pungent flavor throughout the whole biscuit. —Midge

Test Kitchen Notes

Ramps in biscuits is a popular marriage, and Midge has found a way to give her fluffy biscuits a spring time kick. The buttermilk and yeast envelope the ramps' garlicly flavor, while the semolina gives them just enough heft. They make for a great side to fried chicken, and (if there are any left) a worthy pairing for scrambled eggs. —Pervaizistan

  • Makes 20 biscuits
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups AP flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup semolina flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 bunch ramps (mine weighed not quite one-third of a pound)
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, 8 TBS very cold and cubed; 2 TBS melted
  • 8 tablespoons all-vegetable shortening (like Spectrum)
In This Recipe
  1. In a small bowl, place yeast, sugar, and 4 tablespoons of the AP flour. Add buttermilk and whisk to combine. Cover bowl with a dishtowel and let rest for about 30 minutes, at which point you should see some foaming on the surface.
  2. Wash and dry the ramps. Roughly chop white and light green parts and mince about 2 tablespoons of the leaves.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine remaining flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and chopped ramps. Add butter and shortening and mix on med-high until pebbly. (Alternatively you can do this with your hands, but move quickly).
  4. Form a well in the middle of the mixture and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix gently by hand until just combined. The dough will be pretty sticky and wet and seemingly unmanageable, but don't worry.
  5. Using your (floured) hands, turn the dough out onto floured surface and knead gently just until it starts to have a little spring. Form dough into a ball and squish into a disc about ¾-inch thick. Cut out circles using a biscuit cutter or, if you don’t have one, a juice glass works too.
  6. Brush the biscuits with melted butter and let rest, uncovered, for an hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Place biscuits about an inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for about 18-20 minutes (or until the biscuits are browned on top), rotating the baking pans halfway through.

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Recipe by: Midge

I’m a journalist who’s covered everything from illegal logging in Central America to merit pay for teachers, but these days I write mostly about travel. I’ve been lucky enough to find myself in some far-flung locales, where poking around markets and grocery stores is my favorite thing to do. Cooking, especially baking, is my way of winding down after a long day; there’s nothing like kneading bread dough to bring you back to earth.