Today I'm going to share with you, one of the best things I've put into my mouth this year. It may not be much to look at from the outside, but crack these babies open and the fluffy cheddar and chive biscuit parts to reveal a soft boiled egg with a molten gold core. It may look like some kind of sorcery, but I assure you, there were no spells involved in the making of these magical biscuits.
I wish I could lay claim to this brilliant idea, but I first saw something like this at Craftsman and Wolves in San Francisco, and I belive the idea comes from Texas baked eggs, where muffin tins are lined with biscuit dough and filled with a raw egg before being baked.
The trouble with baking the eggs without being covered is that the top inevitably gets a little rubbery by the time the biscuit dough cooks through. By enclosing the whole egg in dough, it protects the egg, keeping it from drying out. Of course if you've ever worked with biscuit dough you know it's less a dough and more a batter in consistency making it virtually impossible to get a raw egg inside.
The trick is to soft boil the egg and then chill it before baking the biscuit quickly at a high temperature. The little air-pockets insulate the egg, preventing it from overcooking, giving you a moist fluffy biscuit with a luxuriously soft egg in the center.
While wrangling a soft-boiled egg is easier than trying to wrap a raw egg, it still takes a bit of finesse to get right. With a little practice and a lot of flour (on your hands), it's possible for mere mortals to get the egg inside of the cheddary biscuit.
The real challenge here is to boil the eggs as little as possible while still being able to peel them. If the white starts falling apart while peeling the egg, it will be almost impossible to form the biscuit dough around the eggs, so if you're not confident in your egg peeling skills, give my post on perfect boiled eggs a read and make a few extras. I've found that 4 minute eggs are pretty tough to work with, so I usually let them go for 5 minutes.
Also, keep in mind that once you mix the yogurt and dry ingredients, the baking soda will activate, leavening the biscuit with CO2, but like a baking soda volcano, its powers are finite, which is why it's important to work quickly once you've mixed the yogurt in.
Lastly, using a good quality egg with a golden yolk is obvious, but most of the flavor in this biscuit comes from the cheddar, so be sure to find the best aged clothbound cheddar you can find.
- Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine.
- Distribute the butter evenly over the flour and pulse 1 full second at a time until the mixture resembles gravel. Add the cheese and pulse a few more times to break up the cheese, but be sure to leave some small chunks.
- Transfer this mixture to a bowl and stir in the chives.
- Shake (or whisk) the yogurt until it's thin enough to pour.
- Add the yogurt to the the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. It's okay if it's not 100% incorporated but be careful not to overmix.
- Working quickly, put 4 small circles of batter down on the parchment paper and top each one with an egg standing upright. Cover each egg with the remaining batter and place the pan into the pre-heated oven.
- Bake for 4-5 minutes and then turn down the heat to 400 degrees F (200 C) and bake until the biscuits are golden brown (about another 7-10 minutes).
- Serve hot, or transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.