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Malted Buttermilk Biscuits for Linda

Sarah Linden is the name of the main character in AMC’s drama The Killing. Her colleagues call her Linden, because they are police officers and that’s how they roll. But for the first few episodes I misunderstood what they were saying and thought her first name was Linda. When he realized this, Bryan had a good laugh at my expense. I still call her Linda.

Linda (played by the totally amazingly awesome Mireille Enos) is a tough nut to crack. Despite being kind of a shitty (though loving!) mom, a terrible partner (her poor fiancé!), and a loose cannon of a cop (what rules?!) she somehow manages to elicit an unusual amount of empathy from me. I love her. Love. I love her smarts. I love her sense of justice. I love her silence and her rage. I love her Fair Isle sweaters and somber parkas. I love her constant gum chewing. I love her ponytail.

I also worry about her. She doesn’t take care of herself. In fact, I think Linda has been uncomfortable for so long (both physically and emotionally) that it has become her normal. Consequently, I spend a surprising amount of time thinking about making Linda a nice home-cooked meal. Throughout the series we mostly see her eat out of vending machines, though I suspect there are days when she doesn’t eat much at all. She needs a break. She needs nourishment. She needs biscuits.

I would like to make her these malted buttermilk biscuits which, like Linda, happen to come from Seattle via The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook. They are easy and delicious. A very crisp crust gives way to a tender interior with a subtle malt flavor. They should be made, and made often. Maybe you’ll serve them with some homemade orange marmalade [1]. Maybe you’ll eat them while watching The Killing? Maybe they’ll write me and these biscuits into the third season of The Killing?

This is the second [2] recipe I have loved from The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook. It is a fantastic book and worth checking out if you’re a home baker.

Malted Buttermilk Biscuits (from the Dahlia Bakery Cookbook [3])

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Using a box grater, grate the frozen butter over the flour mixture. Use a rubber spatula to distribute the butter throughout the flour.

In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and barley malt. Stir to blend thoroughly. Pour the buttermilk mixture over the flour-butter mixture, stirring with the rubber spatula just until the dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Lightly and quickly knead the dough

to finish incorporating all of the ingredients. Then gently press the dough together into a flattened ball.

Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a 1-inch thickness. Cut out biscuits using a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter (remember not to twist! punch straight down and up). You can reroll scraps once, remaining gentle with the dough.

Place the biscuits about 1-inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with a flaky sea salt (like Maldon).

Bake until golden and cooked through, about 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.