Cutting out biscuits is messy, and it’s hard to find the extra time to clean up first thing in the morning. These biscuits are formed right out of the bowl so there’s no need to roll and stamp out the dough on a flour-dusted counter. Just whisk the dry ingredients together, cut in a cold stick of butter, and stir in milk, fresh lemon zest, and chives. Divide the dough into 6 portions, pat them into rounds, drop on a baking sheet, and after about 15 minutes, you’ll have buttery, flaky biscuits to slather with more butter, stuff with smoked salmon, or serve as part of a fancy Crab Benedict.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup cold whole milk
1/4 cup finely chopped chives (from about 2 bunches)
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (from about 2 medium lemons)
Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl to aerate and combine. Add the butter pieces and toss to just coat them in the flour mixture. Place the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, and working quickly so as not to soften the butter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it’s in pea-size pieces. Drizzle in the milk, add the chives and lemon zest, and stir with a wooden spoon just until a moist, shaggy dough comes together.
Pat the dough into a disk and divide it into 6 equal portions (about 1/2 cup each). Pat each portion into a 2-1/2-inch-wide disk and place them on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart.
Bake until the biscuits have risen and are golden brown on top, about 15 to 16 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.