For the most part, I’m one of those savory sorts. See I didn’t say unsavory: is that the same as sweet? Yeah, rather a nonsensical statement. I prefer salty, spice-filled dishes over the coma-inducing, sugar laden stuff. I enjoy dessert, I just don’t crave it.
A major exception to this personal quirk would be biscuits. Maybe that’s because they roll back and forth between sweet – smothered with jam – and savory – popping with cheese, black pepper and herbs.
I’ve stirred together plenty of biscuits over the years; some with great success, others that would have smashed the tiles on the floor…then I encountered jammers at Grand Central Bakery. Biscuit bliss goin’ on here.
You will definitely not be greeted by bite-sized nibbles; jammers are big and stuffed with warm jam. They are not gorgeous, perfectly rolled out and precisely cut balls of dough. They are well browned, crisp on the outside and quite frankly a bit disheveled. And inside this rustic exterior is a complete, impeccable crumb.
Now, I most certainly can’t visit Grand Central Bakery every morning, but Piper Davis and Ellen Jackson have generously shared this celebrated recipe in their book titled, “The Grand Central Baking Book.” Enjoy!
Grand Central Bakery Biscuit Jammers – Recipe from The Grand Central Baking Book by Piper Davis and Ellen Jackson
- 4 cups (1 pound, 4 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, plus more for the baking sheet
- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups (10 to 12 fluid ounces) buttermilk (either low-fat or full-fat)
- About 3/4 cup preserves or jam
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly butter a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
- Dump the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl with high sides or the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine.
- Dice the butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Use your hands or the paddle attachment of the stand mixer on low speed; blend the butter into the dry ingredients until the texture of the flour changes from silky to mealy. There should still be dime- to quarter-size pieces of butter remaining. (You can cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the biscuit dough overnight.)
- Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in 1 cup buttermilk all at once. Gently mix the dough just until it comes together. It will look sorta rough and scrappy. Scrape the dough from the sides and bottom of the bowl, then add another 1/4 cup buttermilk and mix again to incorporate any floury scraps. The majority of the dough will come together on the paddle if you’re using a stand mixer. Stop mixing while there are still visible chunks of butter and floury patches. The dough should come out of the bowl in 2 to 3 large, messy clumps, leaving only some small scraps and flour around the sides of the bowl. If the dough is visibly dry and crumbly, add up to 1/4 cup more buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing no more than one rotation after each addition.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Use the heels and sides of your palms to gather the dough and gently pat it into an oblong shape 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick. It won’t look smooth or particularly cohesive; that’s okay. Use a biscuit cutter to cut the jammers into circles at least 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Layer the leftover scraps on top of one another and gently pat them out to a thickness of 1 1/2 to 2 inches and again cut into circles.
- Use your thumb to make an indentation the size of a fifty-cent piece in the middle of each biscuit. While gently supporting the outside edge of the biscuit with your fingers, use your thumb to create a bulb-shaped hole that’s a bit wider at the bottom and that goes almost to the bottom of the biscuit (think pinch pot). Try to apply as little pressure as possible to the outside of the biscuit, to avoid smashing the layers, which are the key to flaky jammers. Fill each indentation with 1 tablespoon jam and put the jammers on the prepared baking sheet with 1 1/2 inches between them.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. The jammers should be a deep golden brown.