Grated Cheese Biscuits
This pitifully easy recipe produces the kind of addictive biscuit that emboldens even an inexperienced cook to tinker.
If you add seasonings, keep in mind whatever else you’ll be serving with the boyikos. To maintain the Ottoman Sephardic sensibility, use a light hand, and avoid excessively bold seasonings – no cracked black pepper, rosemary leaves, or garlic.
These optional seasonings are all compatible with our cuisine:
celery seed & lemon zest
lemon thyme leaves
ground bay leaf
minced bitter orange peel & cayenne (use cayenne very sparingly)
- 2-1/2 cups unbleached flour, measured unsifted
- 2-1/2 cups grated parmiggiano cheese
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (whether mild or full flavored is up to you)
- 1/2 cup water
- sesame seeds (optional)
- seasonings from the list above (optional)
NOTE: Don’t add salt. With so much hard cheese, it isn’t necessary or even desirable.
Sift the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the other ingredients into the well in this order: Oil, water, optional seasonings, cheese. Blend well with a wooden spoon, then compact the dough with your hands. The dough will be very oily. Drape it with a kitchen towel and chill for a half hour.
Preheat oven to 360°F (180° C).
For flat, round, uniform biscuits: Work the dough directly on a sheet of baking parchment. Roll it out to a thickness of 1/4″. Using a small cookie cutter or a shot glass, cut disks in the dough in even rows, spaced 1 inch apart. Trim the excess dough, re-blend it with your hands, roll it out on a second sheet and repeat.
For rustic, “dented” biscuits: Roll the chilled dough into small balls. Space them an inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Using the heel of your hand, flatten them into small disks. They’ll be uneven, which by this method is the desired effect. (Do keep in mind that if they’re too uneven they won’t bake evenly).
Slide the baking parchment onto baking sheets, and put them in the upper third of the oven. Bake until light golden brown, about 25 minutes. Keep a close watch – if allowed to darken, the cheese burns and the boyikos will taste bitter. When done, remove from the oven and carefully slide the parchment off the baking sheet to cool the boyikos.
Try to eat just one. Now try again…