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Sourdough Biscuits

Serve warm with cranberry compote
Sourdough biscuits
E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune; Mark Graham / food styling

This two-for-one recipe provides instructions for the sourdough biscuits and an accompanying cranberry apricot fig compote.

This recipe by JeanMarie Brownson appeared in the Chicago Tribune.


Add ¼ cup chopped green onions and ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper to the batter when serving the biscuits with bowls of chili. Increase the sugar to 2 tablespoons when serving the biscuits for breakfast or dessert.


For the biscuits

  • 1 Teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 Teaspoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 Cups flour, plus more as needed
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 Tablespoons salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon baking soda
  • Soft butter

For the cranberry, apricot, fig compote

  • 1 1/2 Cup dried apricot halves, quartered (8 ounces)
  • 1/2 Cup dried Mission figs (3 ounces)
  • 1/4 Cup dried cranberries
  • 1 Cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • Grated zest of 1 small lemon


For the biscuits

Put ½ cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees) in the bottom of a small bowl.

Add the yeast and a generous pinch of sugar; stir and let stand until foamy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in ½ cup of the flour.

Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight (or up to about 24 hours).

Butter a 9- or 10-inch well-seasoned cast-iron skillet.

Scrape the sourdough starter into a large bowl.

Stir in 5 tablespoons melted butter, salt, ½ teaspoon sugar, baking powder and baking soda.

Stir in the remaining 1 ¾ cups flour and gently mix to make a soft dough.

Work the dough gently; it’s OK if it’s shaggy-looking.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface.

Gently pat or roll to ½-inch thickness.

Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut dough 12 to 14 rounds. (Be gentle when re-rolling dough scraps.)

Place the rounds in the buttered pan (it’s OK if they touch).

Cover with a towel and let rise about 1 hour.

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Brush the tops of the biscuits with the remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter.

Bake until golden and firm to the touch, about 20 minutes.

Serve warm with soft butter and the compote.

For the cranberry, apricot, fig compote

Put the fruit and orange juice into a medium glass or ceramic baking dish.

Microwave on high, stirring often, until very hot, 4 or 5 minutes.

(Be careful: The bowl will be very hot.)

Stir in honey, butter and lemon zest; let cool about 1 hour.

Juices will thicken.

Serve warm or at room temperature.