Early Spring is the season of weekend brunches, wouldn't you agree? Whether guests come for Easter celebrations or a Mother's Day gathering, brunch is a wonderful opportunity to entertain and visit with friends and loved ones.
I often daydream of hosting a large outdoor brunch, complete with a long wooden table, mismatched chairs, happy children, flowing linens and a buffet of quiches, salads, breakfast breads, preserves, fruit, juices and mimosas. The skies would be clear, a light breeze in the air and sunshine aplenty. I envision twenty or so of my favourite people relaxing and enjoying the food, the setting and each other. I have yet to entertain in this way but it's on my list of things to do soon. And when I do it (and I will) these biscuits will most certainly make an appearance on that buffet of goodness.
Prep time for these goodies is less than fifteen minutes and baking time is approximately twenty. They are best when served toasty warm and straight from the oven, which means these morning biscuits are achieved in less than thirty-five minutes. Taking a tip from Chef Michael Smith, always keep some butter in your freezer for biscuit making. It really does make a difference in the flakiness of the the finished product.
If brunch is not on your desired list of things to do, I might suggest enjoying these baked breads paired with warm cups of tea and a sweet movie on a rainy Sunday morning, which is how we recently savoured them. There was no long wooden table or mismatched chairs and the skies were anything but sunny, but my visit with my two little loved ones was just as nice. Still, I look forward to hosting that brunch some day.
Chopped Chocolate and Sea Salt Biscuits
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 heaping tablespoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup frozen butter, grated
- 1 1/2 cups cold milk
- 6 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 tbsp coarse sea salt
- 1 tbsp coarse sugar
- 2 tbsp milk
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the flours, baking powder, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Add the grated butter and work it through the flour mixture to create a mealy texture. Add the chopped chocolate and the milk and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. Dump it out onto a lightly floured counter-top or wooden cutting board and knead the dough a few times.
Pat the dough into a large round circle, approximately 1/2 inch thick. Cut the dough into wedges, like a pizza, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the tops of the biscuits with milk, sea salt and coarse sugar. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.