Rosa’s Biscuits

by Hilary Gauntt on October 11, 2014

The pastry chef at Del Posto restaurant in New York City has a book due out October 2oth called “Fancy Desserts”.  Bon Appetit recently published an essay from the book about the much loved Rosa, who among many jobs at the restaurant, makes her fabulous biscuits for the staff dinners.  As Brooks puts it “Del Posto’s best recipe isn’t on the menu.  In fact it never leaves the basement.  Serving it hot is all that matters.”   One of the restaurants Italian managers (very Italian, very hard to please) grabbed a few off of the family table, took a bite, and said “This is the best thing I have ever eaten in America.”  How could I not try this recipe??

Southerners may find this not traditional enough for their taste….it’s light, sweet and crispy; more like a dessert biscuit.  But I thought they were divine and ate way too many.  I wanted to make them ahead, so I had the little balls ready to go on the parchment covered sheets and put them in the refrigerator for several hours so I could serve them freshly baked. Thank you Rosa Pacheco – you deserve to be famous.

2  1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cups sugar

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more

1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces; plus 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick), melted

3/4 cup chilled buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and 1 1/2 tsp. salt in a large bowl.  Add the chilled butter and toss to coat.  Work butter into flour mixture with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal with several pea-sized pieces of butter remaining.

Using a fork, gently mix in the buttermilk, then gently knead just until dough comes together (do not overmix).

Pinch off pieces of dough and gently roll into 1-inch balls; place on 2 parchment lined baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.  You should have about 24.  If butter softens too much while you are working, chill the dough until firm before baking, 15-20 minutes.

Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes.  Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with more salt.  Serve warm.

Note:  Since mine came out of the refrigerator they took about 5 minutes longer.  You want to make sure they are lightly browned and crispy. More like a small scone than a biscuit. So good!

Rosas biscuits

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