Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Biscuits - the best thing I've E.V.E.R. made

I do realize that in the scheme of the universe, a biscuit is just a biscuit. You get some flour, some fat and some liquid, mix it, bake it, eat it. I know people who aren't going to care about this one little bit, how sad. I, on the other hand, care deeply and am going to share this with you because sometimes you play in the kitchen and you make something so delicious you look around to see who you can share it with. Sometimes a bite is that good.

Anyway, you can make a biscuit with a mix or without much thought but then you wouldn't be nearly as happy as I am at this moment, having just eaten the best thing I ever made. You have to make this version, every day and eat it and make it for people you love. Make it for your boss and you'll get a raise, for strangers and they'll become friends and for people who hate you, well, you'll be on the Christmas list for SURE.

I surf the net all the time looking for new and interesting twists on food, I saw a recipe that called for the sugar on the outside and thought, oh yes, we like this idea a lot. I didn't want to use white sugar and thought brown would be too heavy. I searched through my cupboards and made a glorious discovery...an ingredient I don't use much but thought I could be onto something cool...I wondered if it would work but forged bravely ahead - it's only a bit of flour after-all.

These biscuits are a little sweeter than many recipes but what's life without a sweet biscuit. I think they would do fine without the sugar on the outside and maybe the addition of some shredded cheese and chives for dinner. The texture of these is divine and I have no doubt they would lend themselves to all manner of ingredient addition, whether sweet or savory. Here is what I did today (and I actually wrote it down and measured, see, I'm learning)

In a food processor, sift,

2 cups AP flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp sugar (if you want, don't do this for a savory version)

Whirr it around and add 6 Tbsp of very cold (mine was actually frozen because I plan badly) unsalted butter cut into teenie weenie pieces.

Whirr it around until it looks like peas, then dump it into another bowl (I have never trusted a Cuisinart with biscuit dough)

Add up to 3/4 cup milk to the dough and mix with a fork until it forms a shaggy dough, turn it out onto a board floured with...wait for it... confectioners sugar! (icing sugar) You don't need much, just a light dusting, which I passed through my seive to remove any lumps. Quickly form the dough and roll it to about 3/4 inch thick. I'm notorious for overworking dough so have a light hand here. The sugar doesn't get absorbed at all but makes a lovely little coating and stops the dough from needing extra flour which would make it tough, sweet AND useful - wondrous. I did dust it off a bit before I cut the dough into pieces.

Cut into rounds, straight down, no twisting allowed! I used a juice glass, 2" diameter maybe and got 9 biscuits. Do not re-roll the dough, squash it back together and do a quick shape and then cut, those biscuits are shaggy and almost like pull apart biscuits and that's bad, how?

I added a teenie weenie shard of cold butter on the top of each biscuit and baked it at 450 for 15 minutes on a parchment lined pan on the upper third of the top oven. See how specific I'm getting, I've been recipe nagged for just long enough now.

The biscuits come out crispy on the outside with a slight sugar crust almost and are soft and flaky and unctuous on the inside. They rise beautifully and you don't need a knife to cut them apart, they are easily pulled apart to separate the warm insides waiting for a knob of cold butter and a healthy dollop of ice cold seedless raspberry compote.

There's not much more to say, I'll just leave you with the images...

Put this on your short list of things you can do my heart, you'll make them often. I'm going to make a savory version now, all in the name of culinary research of course...




    Connor 8D

  2. I have been looking through your recipes for the Perfect biscuit because I made some killer onion sausage gravy the other day and have been too busy to make biscuits. Guess this is what's for breakfast. Thanks, Tracy.