Friday, September 18, 2009

Simple Biscuits

With intermittent chilly mornings and the scent of autumn in the air, busy weekday mornings yield a need to slowdown and sometimes pause on weekends. Saturday morning equals biscuits, to be enjoyed with jam, creamy country gravy, and even alone! Mmmmm....a great way to end the week and prepare for the week ahead!
This anytime biscuit recipe is a bit on the simple side, no rolling, no cutting, no chilling. Drop biscuits are the easy way to go! Let go of your fears and let go of the Pillsbury dough boy's hand, you can do this all by yourself or with the help of curious little hands! Not only will you be filled with pride, but your body will also thank you for not filling it with harmful preservatives!

I came across this recipe via Cook's Illustrated. With the recipe, came a magnificent tutorial on the need for clumped butter in the batter. When your butter clumps, it's a good thing! You're on the right path, so keep going!
Simple Biscuits
adapted from Cooks Illustrated, December 2007

2 cups (10 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder, aluminum free
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup cold buttermilk
1/4 cup cold milk
8 tablespoons margarine, melted and slightly cooled
plus 2 tablespoons melted margarine for brushing biscuit tops

Preheat oven to 475 degrees

Whisk dry ingredients, first 5 ingredients, together in a large bowl, set aside.
Combine buttermilk and 8 tablespoons of melted margarine, stirring until large clumps form.
Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula just until combined and batter pulls away from sides of bowl.
Using a greased ice cream scoop or greased 1/4 cup dry measuring cup scoop an equal and level amount of batter onto either a parchment or aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Space biscuits about 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake until tops are golden brown and crisp, 12-14 minutes.
Brush biscuit tops with remaining melted margarine.
Cool on wire rack, serve warm.
Makes one dozen biscuits. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Reheat in a 300 degree oven for about 10 minutes, for best results.

* It's very easy to over mix. Over mixing will result in a tough heavy biscuit
* You can omit 1/4 cup milk, I found it made the biscuit heavy and pleasingly dense. That is how the original was written, but I wanted a lighter result.
* Adding 1tsp onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese to dry ingredients and sprinkling with salt and old bay seasoning on baked tops, renders a close cousin to a biscuit served at a certain restaurant known for it's crustacean logo.
* Other variations include adding bacon and cheddar cheese, or rosemary and parmigiana cheese to name a few.
* Amend to your taste and get creative!

No comments: