I love hosting friends and family in our home, but I also love sitting and eating with my guests, so when planning a menu, I always try to strike a balance of effort and ease. I pick one or two menu items that will require more of my attention and balance those with easier prep items.
In the case of my Jesus Year birthday, I hosted a Biscuit Buffet. I focused my effort on baking plenty of whole grain biscuits, a few staple toppings and invited my friends to bring their favorite toppings, as well as some bubbly. Below, you’ll find my Whole Grain Biscuit Recipe and ideas for creating quite the spread of fixings.
The Biscuit Breakfast Sandwich
There’s a biscuit breakfast sandwich on the menu of The Vandal, a Pittsburgh eatery, and I crave it like clockwork, so a biscuit sandwich option was a must. To make this combo easier for serving a crowd, try making eggs using this sheet pan method and baking your bacon, so you can continue to focus on popping corks and welcoming guests. For an even more iconic looking egg layer, use a biscuit cutter to cut out rounds from the sheet pan eggs.
There’s nothing quite like a warm biscuit and creamy butter, but a spread of infused butters will surely impress your guests. I served a Cardamom Brown Butter and Lavender Infused Butter, but you can also tip toward the savory side with fresh herbs or garlic (recipes here).
Biscuits & _______
You can’t have a biscuit buffet without the number one association. This hearty Mushroom Gravy will win the hearts of any vegetarian guests without upsetting the meat lovers. Garnish with fresh herbs for a pop of color and flavor. (recipe here)
Jellies & Jams
If guests are bringing toppings, you’ll likely receive an assortment of jams. If you’re providing all the toppings yourself, have a few options. Throw in some honey varieties too (honeys harvested from different seasons, different regions or infused honeys), and the brunch can become a taste test as well.
Any proper brunch needs a hefty supply of coffee. For ease without sacrificing quality, I recommend buying an air pot’s worth from your favorite local coffee shop. I served my biscuits with a pot from one of my favorite Pittsburgh coffee shops, Caffè D’amore, so everyone had plenty of quality refills. The best part of hosting a Biscuit Buffet is eating all the leftovers!
How do you like your biscuits?
Whole Grain Buttermilk Biscuits
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking
Yield: 6 or 7 biscuits
About this Recipe: High quality butter and buttermilk pair with the lightness of whole wheat pastry flour for a wholesome take on the southern breakfast classic.
2 cups chilled whole wheat pastry flour (recommended: Bob’s Red Mill)
2 Tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (from grass-fed cows such as Kerrygold)
3/4 cup organic buttermilk, chilled; more for brushing
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. Chill a food processor blade and bowl as well as a large mixing bowl. Line a cookie sheet or a baking stone with parchment.
Pulse the flour, baking powder, and salt in the food processor until combined. Add the cold butter and process with ten 1-second pulses; the butter should be the size of small peas.
Transfer the mixture to the chilled mixing bowl. Add the buttermilk, moving your hand, with fingers apart, in circles to incorporate it into the dry ingredients. The dough is mixed when it just barely comes together.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Pat and roll it into a 1-inch-thick square. Using a floured 2-1/2-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out as many biscuits as you can, dipping the cutter in flour between cuts to prevent sticking and making sure to lift the cutter straight up, without twisting. Arrange the biscuits on the parchment-lined sheet so they touch.
Gently gather the remaining dough scraps and press them into a 1-inch-thick rectangle. Cut out as many biscuits as you can and arrange them on the sheet, snug against the others. You should have 6 or 7 biscuits.
Brush the tops of the biscuits with buttermilk and bake until golden-brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
Serve warm with your choice of toppings.