14 August 2010

Biscuits


Some mornings just call for biscuits. Alas, living in New York, fluffy, layered biscuits are a rarity. I can't recall the last time I saw biscuits on a brunch menu anywhere near Brooklyn, and so recently I went looking for a place where I could find some down home comfort. Suffice to say, in the end it seemed easier to make them myself. 
Happily they couldn't be easier to mix up on a lazy Sunday morning. In the time it took Andy to get the paper, my biscuits were rising up in the oven, and with a pot of coffee, a pan of freshly sizzling bacon and that leftover jam we had a leisurely breakfast centered around the humble biscuit. 

Most recipes for biscuits are pretty much the same -- some flour, baking soda, salt and sugar, buttermilk to bring it all together -- but I liked the technique implemented by Homesick Texan. A simple fold of the dough seems both clever and 'why didn't I think of that?'  
Biscuits 
Adapted from HomesickTexan

Ingredients:
2 cups of flour 
1 tablespoon of baking powder 
1 teaspoon of sugar 
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 stick of cold butter, (8 tablespoons)
3/4 cup of buttermilk, plus extra for brushing atop biscuits

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Mix all the dry ingredients, then cut the stick of butter into pieces, and work into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, or, my mother's method, two butter knives, until the mix resembles pea-sized crumbs. Add the buttermilk, mixing until just combined.

Pour dough out on a floured surface, and knead for a minute. Dough should be smooth and no longer wet, but add more flour if necessary. I often knead the dough in a large bowl to avoid sticky dough on my counter top.  

Roll out dough until it’s 1/4 of an inch thick, and then fold it in half.
Using a 2 to 2 1/2 inch round cutter (or a glass or a cup if don’t have a biscuit cutter) cut out your biscuits from folded dough.

Place on a greased baking sheet close together, and bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are golden. Serve with butter, bacon, and/or jam. 

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