Friday, June 25, 2010
i love breakfast. from childhood i remember Saturday morning breakfast, pancakes, waffles, eggs, breakfast breads, etc. i wish i could wake up most mornings and just cook breakfast pastries and meats. obviously then i am a pretty big fan of the biscuit. light, flaky, versatile, and quick. there is absolutely no reason why you should buy biscuit dough in a popping can. you can make them start to finish in about 30 minutes (cooking included) which if you include time to preheat the oven is quicker than the store bought ones will cook (i checked). everything required to make biscuits should be in your pantry and fridge. i turn to them fairly often for breakfast but also for as bread for dinner as they are the quickest solution that i am aware of. biscuits use baking powder and so they are classified as chemically leavened. i use clabber girl double acting baking powder at home. double acting simply means that its releases of gases happen two times- once when originally mixed and again when the product hits 140-150 degrees. i also love them for their versatility, they take any sort of flavorant well, different cheeses, chili, onions, nuts, etc. most of which can be simply added to an existing recipe. like a pie crust the goal here is not to work the gluten in the flour more than you have to. luckily we only have to worry about this when you have added liquid to the flour. i would give you a recipe but almost every can of baking soda has one on the back, those guys are biscuit pros and i am not, so i trust them. combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Cut in your cold butter (some call for shortening which i never use, but is easily replaced with cold butter)and get into it with you hands, working it until it has a course "mealy" consistency. if you are going to add flavorants this is the step to get them incorporated. make a well and add all of the liquid (usually milk, or buttermilk) at one time. with my hands i work to bring together a "shaggy dough" then turn it out of the bowl onto a floured surface and hand knead for less than 30 seconds. roll it to about an inch thick and cut with a cutter or a buttered glass, place on a cookie sheet, gently re roll remaining dough and repeat. cook at about 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. seriously should only take about 30 minutes total, and is well worth it. these had some gorgonzola crumbled in to them, and i made a bacon gravy to go over them, but they are also perfect with some of grandmas raspberry jam.