3 Cups Sifted All purpose flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon baking Soda
4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
2/3 Cup lard (134 Gr.)
1 1/2 Cup of Buttermilk
125 Gr. Grated Cheese ; Sharp Cheddar works very well
4 Tablespoons of Chopped Chives
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper or Espelette
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Ground Pepper to garnish the biscuits
Using a large bowl, stir in the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix well.
Add the lard cut in small cubes and rub your fingers through the flour and lard until the entire mixture looks like sand with a few flecks of lard or rough cornmeal.
Add the milk all at once and stir vigorously with a stout wooden spoon. The dough will be soft in the beginning, but will stiffen in 2 or 3 minutes.
Scrape from the sides of the bowl into a ball and place on your work surface dusted with a little bit of flour.
Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough to about 4 cm thick. Using a round cutter, start cutting the biscuits making sure to dip the cutter into flour after each cut, otherwise the dough will stick to the cutter.
Dust off the biscuits with a small brush. Mix an egg with a tablespoon of water in a small bowl mix and brush each biscuit with a little bit of the egg wash. Garnish with a good amount of cracked pepper.
Place the biscuits on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Bake in a very hot oven 220 Celsius with a fan on, for about 13-15 minutes.
TIP DU JOUR : If you do not have buttermilk, simply pour the milk into a bowl and pour 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Mix well and let the milk rest for about 30 minutes. It will start to curdle and this is what you want. The acidity of the vinegar will help the rising agents to activate.
You can substitute the cheese with any type you prefer. You can also add bacon, pancetta in your mixture.