The Artisanal Kitchen: Baking for Breakfast

33 Muffin, Biscuit, Egg, and Other Sweet and Savory Dishes for a Special Morning Meal

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Make the happiest meal of the day even happier with 33 recipes for baked deliciousness from Cheryl and Griffith Day, New York Times bestselling authors and owners of Savannah’s must-visit Back in the Day Bakery. Whether you’re hosting a brunch or feeding the family, try these irresistible recipes for authentic Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits; inspired muffins, coffee cakes, and quick breads; one beautiful Farmers’-Market Quiche; and so much more.


This book has been adapted from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook (Artisan, 2012) and Back in the Day Bakery Made with Love (Artisan, 2015).


BIscuits, Muffins & Hand pies

Buttermilk Biscones

Makes 10 to 12 biscones

The biscone, a cross between a biscuit and a scone, is a trademark at the bakery. We make our biscones with Southern flair, using lots of butter and a mix of all-purpose and cake flours to get as close as we can to the White Lily flour my grandma Hannah favored. If you're lucky enough to find White Lily, substitute 3 cups of it for the flours called for here. You'll end up with a crispy, flaky biscone just like my grandma used to bake.

1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1½ cups cake flour (not self-rising)

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons baking powder, preferably aluminum-free

¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

1 cup dried fruit, such as sour cherries or currants (optional)

1½ cups buttermilk, or as needed

1 egg, beaten with a pinch of fine sea salt, for egg wash

¼ cup Cardamom Sugar (see here) or coarse sanding sugar for sprinkling

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and cardamom and whisk until completely incorporated. Add the butter and, working quickly, cut it in with a pastry blender. You should have various-sized pieces of butter, from sandy patches to pea-sized chunks, and some larger bits as well. Add the dried fruit, if using, and toss to distribute it evenly.

Gradually pour in the buttermilk and gently fold the ingredients until you have a soft dough and there are no bits of flour in the bottom of the bowl. You should still see lumps of butter in the dough; these will give you light and flaky biscones. If the dough seems dry, you may need to add a little more buttermilk. The dough should be moist and slightly sticky.

Gently pat down the dough with your hands right in the bowl until it resembles a loaf of bread. Dust the top of the dough lightly with flour. Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, arranging them about 1 inch apart so that the biscones have room to rise and puff up. With lightly floured hands, gently tap down the tops of the biscones with your palms.

Brush the tops of the biscones liberally with the egg wash. Sprinkle with Cardamom Sugar or sanding sugar.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through for even baking, until the biscones are lightly golden and fully baked. Serve warm or at room temperature. These are best eaten the day they are made.


Applewood-Smoked-Bacon Biscones: Omit the sugar and the dried fruit. After cutting in the butter, add 10 slices applewood-smoked bacon, cooked and roughly chopped, and 1½ cups shredded extra-sharp white cheddar cheese.

Blueberry Biscones with Lemon-Zest Glaze: After cutting in the butter, add ½ cup blueberries instead of the dried fruit. Use fresh berries if in season; if you're using frozen berries, add them unthawed.

While the biscones are baking, whisk ¾ cup confectioners' sugar with the grated zest and juice of 1 lemon in a small bowl until smooth and creamy. Drizzle over the slightly cooled (for approximately 10 minutes) biscones.

Cinnamon Biscones with Vanilla Drizzle: After cutting in the butter, add ½ cup cinnamon chips instead of the dried fruit. Use whole milk instead of buttermilk.

While the biscones are baking, whisk ¾ cup confectioners' sugar, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons milk together in a small bowl until smooth and creamy. Drizzle over the slightly cooled (for approximately 10 minutes) biscones.

We Buttermilk

Buttermilk is one of our baking staples. Every self-respecting Southerner (and other scratch bakers and cooks across the land) has good old-fashioned buttermilk chilling in her refrigerator. Why? Because she knows she can use it to make tender biscuits, moist desserts, tangy dressings for slaws and salads, and so much more.

Real, traditional, or genuine buttermilk is a slightly sour, creamy liquid that is a by-product of butter making; it's the liquid left behind after churning butter from cream. Back in the day, farmers would let pitchers of this liquid gold with flecks of butter sit at room temperature so the natural cultures would ferment, sour, and thicken it. Old-timers still drink buttermilk straight, calling it "Grandma's probiotic" because of the many benefits it provides, including healthy bacteria, much like those found in yogurt.

"Real" buttermilk is hard to find these days, but it is making a comeback in farmers' markets and health food stores, thanks to demand from customers and to the local dairy farmers who still make it. Give it a try—it just may become one of your cooking staples too.

Homemade Jam

Makes 2 pints

When Griff and I travel, I often pick up a jar of locally produced jam, knowing that the flavors will remind me of our trip. There's just something about opening a jar of fresh berry jam in the middle of winter and spreading it on a warm biscone. This simple and flavorful version won't take much time to make, and it's a fun thing to do with your kids on a lazy afternoon.

2 pounds fresh berries, such as strawberries, blackberries, or blueberries

4 cups sugar

Grated zest of 2 lemons

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Special Equipment

Candy thermometer

Mason jars with lids (optional)

Rinse the berries in a colander under cold running water; drain. Hull strawberries and cut into quarters; leave smaller berries whole. Put a small saucer in the freezer while you boil the jam.

Put the berries in a large, heavy nonreactive saucepan and toss them with the sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Cook, stirring, over low heat until all the sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes. You will notice the mixture begin to rise and foam around the edges of the pan. Gradually raise the heat to high, stirring often, and continue to cook, stirring constantly and gently scraping the bottom of the pan so the mixture does not stick. (If the mixture does begin to stick, turn down the heat slightly.) The mixture will start to boil slowly as the berries release their juices; continue to boil, stirring frequently, until the jam reaches a rolling boil or registers 220°F on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let the mixture rest for a few minutes, then carefully skim the foam from the top. Return the pan to the stove and cook until the juices begin to gel, about 5 minutes. The jam should look glossy and dark at this point; this is when you should begin to test for doneness. Place a teaspoon of the jam on the cold plate. Return the plate to the freezer for 1 minute. If you can make a line through the jam with your finger, it's ready. If the jam still is too runny, continue to cook and test it until it is ready. Let cool.

Store the jam in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or seal it in Mason jars according to the manufacturer's guidelines.

Turn Your Jam into Jam Butter

Jam butter made with your homemade jam is an easy and delicious way to layer flavors on scones, biscuits, breads, and muffins.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), cream ¾ pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, until light and fluffy. Add 5 tablespoons of your favorite jam and mix until combined. Serve at room temperature in small cups or ramekins. Jam butter will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1 week.

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits

Makes 12 biscuits

In the South, biscuits are treated with the same respect as a fine French croissant. Everyone has a secret family recipe and technique that make the perfect biscuit. Well, here is mine: I gently roll and then fold my biscuit dough. You will see big chunks of butter peeking through the dough, which makes for a very delicate, flaky result. People always say not to overwork your dough, especially when it comes to biscuits. My way of handling the dough will help you avoid that overworking.

I like to turn my biscuits into breakfast sandwiches. Split a warm biscuit and stuff it with a fried egg, candied bacon, grated cheese, or anything you desire. But remember: biscuits are not just for breakfast—they can be enjoyed anytime, all day, at any meal.

2½ cups unbleached self-rising flour, preferably White Lily

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon granulated sugar

8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening, cut into ½-inch pieces

1½ to 2 cups buttermilk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for brushing

Special Equipment

One 3-inch biscuit cutter

On Sale
Sep 4, 2018
Page Count
112 pages