INGREDIENTS (makes 16 biscuits)
Preheat oven to 425° F while you lightly grease a large baking sheet.
Combine the dry ingredients: sift the flour and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle in the sugar, 1-1/2 Tbsp of the black pepper, and the table salt, using a fork to incorporate the additions.
Add the cream to the dry mixture, and use a wooden spoon (and your strong arm!) to stir into a soft dough.
Transfer biscuit dough to a lightly-floured work surface. Put a little more flour on your hands, and knead the biscuit dough, gently, 6 – 8 times.
Melt the unsalted butter in a small pan over low heat; remove from the burner and allow to cool slightly.
Using floured hands again, pat out the kneaded biscuit dough into a roughly 9-inch square that is about 1/2 in thick. Use a 2″ x 3″ rectangular biscuit cutter (usually available from our neighbor-shop down the street, Kitchen Collage) that you have dipped in flour,* to cut out as many rectangles as possible. Squish leftover dough scraps into a ball. Pat out dough again, and and cut out a few more rectangular biscuits in same manner until dough is used up, or leftover dough is not enough to make another biscuit.
Dip the tops of the cut-out biscuits in the cooled, melted butter. Place biscuits, buttered sides up, 1/2 in apart on the greased baking sheet. Sprinkle biscuits with a bit of coarse sea salt and the remaining 1/2 Tbsp ground black pepper.
Place baking sheet on rack in the middle of the oven, and bake biscuits until the bread is golden and cooked through, about 15 min. Biscuits may be baked up to 6 hours ahead and kept (wrapped in plastic wrap) at room temperature. Just before serving, re-heat biscuits in a 350° F. oven until just warm, about 5 minutes.
*(or use a small, sharp knife that’s been lightly floured)