French Fridays with Dorie – Saint-Germain-des-Pres Onion Biscuits

Saint-Germain-des-Pres Onion Biscuits

I can’t make biscuits.  I’ve come to this sad conclusion after dozens of attempts.  The worst part is that I love them.  That pretty one in the center is the money shot for this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Saint-Germain-des-Pres Onion Biscuits.  The rest of the batch turned out like little hockey pucks, their crusty outsides overshadowing the minimal soft, flaky centers.

My relationship with biscuit recipes can best be captured in this scene from one of my favorite movies, Forgetting Sarah Marshall.


I opted for doing less, and while the biscuits were tasty, the texture and height were off.  I  patted my scraggly dough to the suggested 1/2 inch, cut the biscuits, and hoped for the best.  The other change I made was switching the onion for green onions, using all the white parts and some of the greens.

This is how my dough looked after mixing in the milk.  I really did not want to overwork it.  Should I have done more?

Saint-Germain-des-Pres Onion Biscuits Dough

The next biscuit recipe in my radar is Mark Bittman’s yogurt biscuits from How to Cook Everything.  Bittman swaps yogurt for the milk and uses both baking  powder and soda.  I have Costco-sized containers of Greek yogurt in the house, so I will definitely try these soon.

Spiced Butter-Glazed Carrots

It’s carrot season!  One of my favorite farm stands, Siembra Tres Vidas, has been harvesting carrots for the last month and I arrived to the market early enough last Sunday to grab a bunch of these beauties.

Farmers' Market Carrots

The spiced butter-glazed carrots, a December 2010 recipe, were the obvious choice for using up most of these carrots.  The carrot coins are sautéed with butter, onion, garlic, ginger, and cardamom, simmered in broth until tender, and then cooked uncovered until the liquid evaporates and all that remains is a delicious spicy glaze.  We loved them and could definitely see why this recipe got such great reviews from the FFwD crowd.

Spiced Butter-Glazed Carrots

French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group where on a weekly basis we work our way through Dorie Greenspan’s award winning cookbook Around My French Table

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Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

35 Responses to “French Fridays with Dorie – Saint-Germain-des-Pres Onion Biscuits”

  1. March 9, 2012 at 7:29 am #

    I think it all looks great. Ahem. Compared to *some* people’s biscuits LOL! I loved those carrots – so simple and elegant but tasty!

  2. March 9, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    Nice looking carrots!
    I like your biscuits too! If you didn’t tell us we would have never know they didn’t turn out as you hoped. (You should have seen mine! Flat pancakes!)

  3. March 9, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    Well they certainly look good!! Hmmm … maybe your biscuit cutter isn’t sharp enough? If it’s not it will compress the dough when you cut it. Also having them touch each other slightly helps them rise. But then, I am no biscuit expert believe me!!

    • March 9, 2012 at 11:06 am #

      I always bake them pretty spread out and my cutter is the cheapest kind. This weekend may be a good time to try with your suggestions. 🙂

  4. March 9, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    Hmmm. It took me a long time to get past the pucks. While I am far from perfect, cold & minimal handling seem to be a friend. Personally, I prefer recipes that use either buttermilk or yogurt – those seem to work out the best for me.
    They still look lovely 🙂

  5. March 9, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    Great double post! And, kudos on the Forgetting Sarah Marshall reference.

  6. March 9, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    I want to make those carrots now, too!

  7. March 9, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    I admire you to keep going…you’ll find a recipe that works for you. Anyway, I think your top biscuit photo looks really lovely. Enjoyed the movie clip. Green onions sound good in these…I’m guessing they really did taste good.

  8. March 9, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    I look forward to seeing the yogurt biscuit recipe. Now that I have a taste for biscuits I’d like to try these again to get a lighter, fluffier one.

  9. March 9, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    I’m wondering if your dough was too dry. I didn’t post my picture of the mixed up dough, but while it wasn’t wet, I didn’t have any dry bits in the bottom of the bowl either. It looked a lot moister than your dough. Let us now how the yogurt biscuits come out. I adore Mark Bittman, but haven’t tried those yet. I am also much more likely to have yogurt in the house than fresh milk. Don’t give up if you like biscuits, You’ll find the perfect recipe eventually. Have a great weekend.

  10. March 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    Adriana, I have to tell you that I don’t share Dorie’s affection for squishing things with my hands so I always use a pastry cutter. And, when baking anything for the first time, I set the timer for 5 minutes before it’s supposed to be done – you can always bake things longer, but never “unbake” them. The only other thing I can think of is to check the expiration date on your Baking Powder.

    Anyway, I love your carrots & missed making that recipe when it was assigned, so I’ll have to take care of that.

    Have a lovely weekend!

  11. March 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    Sorry to hear that you have problems with biscuits, I too have a few recipes which I really fight with. I think that my dough was actually a little more mixed than yours, I don’t have any pictures, but it looked a little wetter before I patted it out. I was also always taught that you need to cut biscuits with a sharp cutter and no twisting or dragging while you cut. Push the cutter straight down and pull it straight up, otherwise the layers will get glued together and inhibit rising. That’s about all the biscuit knowledge I have. Good luck.

  12. March 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    Mine didn’t come out so great when I made them, thus I didn’t want to try my hand at them again for this week. I like the idea of using green onion, though! Good luck with Bittman’s recipe.

  13. March 9, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    I think your biscuits look great too! You may have needed to add a bit more milk?

    Carrots look fab too! One of my favorite Dorie recipes.

  14. Cakelaw
    March 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    Your biscuits look eminently edible! I skipped the honey glazed carrots when they came up because of poor timing – however, they look fab and I will have to get round to them soon.

  15. March 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    You’d never know they were hockey pucks – they look picture perfect in your money shot. I loved the glazed carrots – I thought they were really great.

  16. March 9, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

    Hmmm. My first instinct was that you are overworking the dough, but it doesn’t sound like that’s the issue. I don’t have any suggestions for you as I’m only now getting pretty good at making biscuits. Like Susan, I also used a pastry cutter instead of my hands. And I only patted down to a little more than half an inch. At least your picture looks pretty!

  17. March 9, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    Whoops. Really, Adriana, I think the biscuits look yummy. They look good enough to eat. I am not a great baker either so I feel your pain. Let me know how you and Mark make out with his version of biscuit. I have his cookbook and like it. Mary

  18. March 10, 2012 at 12:37 am #

    Your biscuits do look good and I never made the carrots so they are at the top of my to make list as I am a lover of carrots big time! I never make biscuits so I’m not really familiar with the technique. I added more liquid to mine, a tablespoon of lemon juice so I think my texture was okay. They were tender but didn’t rise that much, but as long as they taste good I suppose it doesn’t really matter what they look like!

  19. March 10, 2012 at 3:22 am #

    Well they sure look good! I think you could have added a bit more milk, your dough does look a bit dry. I hope you’ll post your yogurt biscuits. Love Mark Bittman! Great looking carrots.

  20. March 10, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    These do look great, fun post, I never saw that movie!

  21. March 10, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    Sorry you had problems with these….it’s so frustrating! Loved your movie reference…That’s how it used to be for me with pie crust. I have since mastered that…it took many frustrating moments and many failures! Your biscuits do look delicious!

  22. March 10, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    I loved the film clip, Adriana. I think your biscuits look pretty! I’m sorry that you had problems with them, but I wonder if there is a lot of humidity. It affects the dough. Your glazed carrots turned out beautifully. My son especially loved that dish and seeing yours makes me want to make them again when he comes home on break. Have a great weekend!

  23. March 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    You are too funny. The biscuits in the photograph are beautiful. In my opinion, all that really matters is how they tasted. I’m glad you enjoyed the carrots, I liked them too!

  24. March 12, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    They don’t look like hockey pucks at all! I love biscuits made with cream…and you got a lot of great advice here for your next attempt. I know you will have fabulous results very soon 🙂

  25. March 12, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    Well, they look delicious! Mine didn’t rise very much either and I used fresh baking powder. I like the idea of using baking soda and powder. When we made them in the south, we always used self-rising flour. Maybe you could try that sometime. I think I will.

  26. March 12, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    They look like they would taste good, even if they didn’t rise as much as you’d have liked. I made a batch of these using Greek yogurt instead of milk and it was the best batch. I doubled the baking powder, though, to make up for the acidity of the yogurt. That may have helped, too.

    The butter-glazed carrots are so delicious! I’ve made them a few times now. Your photo is making me want to revisit them again.

  27. March 27, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    If you go to the organic market at La Placita de la Roosevelt we should meetup. We buy our tatsoi, eggplants, and other herbs from the Daniella at Siembra Tres Vida. I would love to make biscuits at home but would need to find a vegan recipe for my mate. The carrot recipe are a must try! Great blog post.

    • March 27, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

      I’m an EARLY bird at the market. The lines at Daniella’s tent at 8:30am are something to behold. If you have a vegan alternative to yogurt, let me know. I’ll gladly try to come up with a vegan biscuit recipe. There’s a big bag of whole-wheat pastry in my pantry that needs to get used too. So nice to meet you at #140confPR, Lucy!

  28. April 5, 2012 at 12:01 am #

    I have the same relationship with yeast products – like bread. Can’t seem to make it work for me! Anyway, the biscuits look pretty, even rustic (hehe) – which I like!

  29. April 19, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    Uhmmm!!! amo las cebollas y amo los biscuits, que maravilla que estén ambos ingredientes juntos en esta receta.
    Te quedaron espectaculares!!!
    Hay que probarlos, jeje.

    • April 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

      ¡Te debo, Cristina! No creas que se me ha olvidado. ¡Espero que ya te hayas dado la vuelta por la página en español!


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