One of the perks of living in Los Angeles is that there is never a shortage of restaurants. They may not all be hits, but I often stumble upon some great restaurants. My latest discovery was a modern Chinese restaurant, Yang's Kitchen. All of the dishes were solid but the one that stood out the most was their cheesy biscuit twists. The biscuits looked like breadstick twists but with sesame seeds and scallions. It was an Asian spin and I absolutely loved them. And so, I came home and decided to try making them myself. Not only are these twisted scallion biscuits fun to make, but they're also just as fun to eat!
Twisted Scallion Biscuits
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (333 grams)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder (14 grams)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup cold butter cut into small chunks (170 grams)
- 1 cup buttermilk (250 ml)
- ½ cup chopped scallions (25 grams)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter (28 grams)
- 6 teaspoons black sesame seeds
- 6 teaspoons coarse sugar
- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar (38 grams)
- ¼ cup water (63 ml)
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sambal
- 2 teaspoons rice wine
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ cup creme fraiche
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine flour with baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add cold butter and combine with a pastry cutter, two forks, or with your hands. Mix until butter is well incorporated with flour and mixture looks like coarse sand.
- Slowly add buttermilk to dough, stirring constantly. Add scallions and mix dough just until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Lightly flour clean work counter and flatten dough into 1-inch thick rectangle. Fold in half and flatten dough until it's 1-inch thick. Fold dough again and flatten until it's ½-inch thick.
- Cut dough into 1 ½-inch wide strips for a total of 6 strips. Grab the two ends and twist each strip in opposite directions to create a spiral effect. Repeat with the remaining strips and place biscuits on prepared baking sheet.
- Brush melted butter on top and sprinkle 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds and 1 teaspoon sugar per biscuit. Bake biscuits for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, make dipping sauce. Whisk together sugar with water, rice vinegar, sambal, rice wine, and cornstarch in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Spread creme fraiche in one half of a dipping bowl and pour sweet chili sauce in the other half. Serve biscuits warm with dipping sauces.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
If you ever made biscuits before, these twisted scallion biscuits will be a cinch to make. The recipe is the same as a regular biscuit; the only difference is in how you shape them.
Just like when you make regular biscuits, you want the butter and buttermilk to be cold. If it's a hot day, you can also chill the flour.
Combine the dry ingredients with cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse sand. If you have a pastry cutter, I highly recommend using it. You can use your hands but it's best to work quickly so that the heat from your hands doesn't melt the butter.
Slowly add the buttermilk to the dough, then add the scallions and mix just until combined. You don't want to overmix the dough or the biscuits can end up tough and dense.
Although you don't technically have to chill the dough before shaping it, I found it easier to handle when chilled. Usually, you just roll out the dough and cut it into round or square biscuits. However, since we're making twisted scallion biscuits, it requires a bit more time to roll out, cut, and twist.
If your kitchen is warm, go ahead and place ice packs on the counter before handling the dough. Then, lightly dust the counter and fold the dough - folding the biscuit dough will help create beautiful layers.
Cut the dough into 1 ½-inch wide strips. Then, grab the two ends and start twisting them in opposite directions. Don't worry if it's not perfect, it'll just look homemade!
Place the twisted scallion biscuits on a lined baking sheet and brush the tops with melted butter. Sprinkle black sesame seeds, or regular sesame seeds if you prefer, and coarse sugar. I used turbinado sugar to top my biscuits.
Bake the biscuits until golden brown and let them cool slightly before serving. Just like the restaurant, I served these twisted scallion biscuits with a sweet Thai chili sauce and creme fraiche. You can buy sweet Thai chili sauce from the market but like most things, homemade is just better.
Dunk the warm twisted scallion biscuits into the dip, making sure to get a little creme fraiche and sweet Thai chili sauce. Now close your eyes and savor that bite. Delicious, isn't it?
The buttery, flaky biscuits with a hint of pepper from the scallions and crunchy sugar exterior is a wonderful mix of textures. Paired with the dip, you really can't go wrong.
For more biscuit inspiration check out these everything bagel scallion biscuits!