If you’re looking for biscuits with a little extra oomph, look no further than these Poppy Seed Biscuits by Sara Bradley, the owner and founder of Freight House in Paducah, Kentucky. Remaking classic recipes with contemporary flair and quality ingredients is what Sara does best, and it’s what earned her the spot of runner-up on season 16 of the hit Bravo television series Top Chef. Her approach to biscuit-making is no different. Sara first discovered this biscuit recipe in an old church cookbook owned by her grandmother. Now, they’re a Freight House dinner time staple. Sara’s signature biscuits get their fluffiness and tender crumb from White Lily flour, her biscuit flour of choice. Sprinkled with poppy seeds, salt, and black pepper just before baking, these biscuits are sure to be crowd-pleasers.
Don’t miss out on our National Biscuit Month giveaway, hosted by White Lily! Win a trip for two to Charleston, South Carolina, by baking these biscuits and uploading a photo of them on Instagram! Follow @thebakefeed and @whitelilybaking, and use @whitelilybaking, #thebakefeed, #whitelilyflour, and #contest in your caption to be entered to win! Visit our Instagram post for more details.
Get to know Sara
Chef Sara Bradley, chef & proprietor of Freight House, first cut her chops at Johnson & Wales before mastering her skills under the tutelage of Michelin star chefs John Fraser, David Posey, and Paul Kahan. After seeing an opportunity in her native Paducah, Kentucky, she returned to her roots with bold ambitions.
At Freight House, she aims to bring the freshest local flavors to her dishes by sourcing the majority of her ingredients from farmers within a day’s drive while also working within the community to encourage agricultural sustainability through education and demonstration.
Sara is also involved in many charitable and philanthropic endeavors within the community, including being a founding member of Cartel, a Western Kentucky-style pit barbecue team that raises capital funds for the restoration of historic buildings and numerous other nonprofits throughout the region.
She has cooked at the James Beard House and the Sabores y Saberes Festival in San Cristobal, Mexico, which showcased gastronomy, music, crafts, folk art, and more from UNESCO cities around the world, of which her native Paducah shares a designation.
Most recently, Sara received runner-up honors on season 16 of Top Chef, which was largely filmed in Kentucky. Being the only cheftestant from her native state, she battled her way through the competition, ultimately taking the second-place spot in the finale, which was filmed in Macau, China.
- 2 cups (250 grams) White Lily All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
- ½ cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- ¾ cup (180 grams) whole milk
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon (3 grams) poppy seeds
- Flaked salt and ground black pepper, for sprinkling
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and kosher salt. Stir with hands to get any lumps outs. Add cold butter using a “church fold.” Rub your hands together with flour and butter in your palms, almost like shaking hands with yourself, causing butter to smash and stretch. You want long, flat pieces of butter. (You are essentially creating a laminated dough.) This will make your biscuits extra fluffy. (Do not overmix the butter. You do not want the pieces to be too small.)
- Slowly add milk, and keep folding dough over on itself. (Do not knead or squeeze dough to incorporate the milk. The dough should become one but not be wet and sticky. If you need a little extra milk, go for it.)
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1-inch thickness. Using a 2½-inch round cutter, cut dough. Place on a baking sheet. Lightly brush with cream, and sprinkle with poppy seeds, flaked salt, and pepper. Refrigerate for 30 to 45 minutes, or freeze for up to 1 week. (If freezing, let thaw in the refrigerator before baking.)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Bake until golden brown and done inside, 20 to 25 minutes.
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