Tag: biscuits

Biscuits 2: Sour Cream

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Ever on the trail of things The Engineer and I can enjoy doing together, 2015 is the year we make biscuits using a new recipe every week with this cookbook as our roadmap.

We started on New Year’s Day with sturdy dorm biscuits, and yesterday it was sour cream biscuits, cooked to enjoy with our friends who spent the weekend with us atop this mountain. You know, kneading biscuit dough is a good arms workout . . . especially when the recipe calls for 2.25 cups of self-rising flour but I use 3 cups because
I am distracted by talking to our friends. That’s my reason, and I’m sticking to it . . . even though I feel like I’m bumbling my way through this biscuit making adventure.

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I just kept adding sour cream by the unmeasured blob until the dough was clumpy, then I kneaded till it was smooth and made a nice enough coherent ball.

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I remember my grandmother cutting her biscuits out with a glass top dipped in flour. Best I can recall, it was a jelly glass. Though I don’t have the glass Grandmother used, it was still quite satisfying to dip the glass in flour, then press it into the dough, twisting it first one way and then the other to completely separate and define the circle.

Did you know that if the bottoms brown too quickly, you can simply slide another baking pan underneath it to retard the browning? Neither did I . . . until this morning.

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These biscuits were hard – not crisp, but hard – tiptoeing up on delicious anyway, something helped along by the addition of condiments like Moonshine Jelly and Carolina Peach Preserves and – wait for it – Toe Jam. I think the hardness comes from leaving the biscuits in the oven longer than the recipe called for to get them to brown. I still think it’s an altitude thing.

But hey, they look like biscuits, and I’m tickled pink about that.

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ButteredSugaredBiscuits

This morning, what to my wandering eyes should appear, but buttered sugared biscuits made by The Engineer using the leftover biscuits. Made just like Grandmother used to make. And that, my friends, is true love.

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Using the heirloom bread bowl, I’m kneading my matriarchal lineage in 2015 (and learning something new with The Engineer), one biscuit at a time.

It all started here.

From Scratch

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My grandmother made biscuits from scratch three times a day every single day. For an afternoon snack, we’d use our finger to drill a hole in the side of a leftover biscuit, fill the hole with syrup or molasses (whichever was readily available), and make a big ole’ mess like you’ve never seen devour. Sometimes we’d have Buttered Sugared Biscuits, cutting the leftover biscuit in half, smearing butter over each half, then covering the butter with sugar and broiling till the butter melted, the edges browned, and the sugar crisped-up. You’ve never tasted anything so yummy . . . or napped so soundly afterwards.

Maybe that’s why I have such a deep, lasting, loving relationship with biscuits. I love everything about biscuits – I even love the word “biscuit”. So when the Southern Biscuits Cookbook fell off the shelf and into my hands last Saturday night, a new tradition for 2015 was hatched: The Engineer and I will sift, knead, and eat our way through the year, baking biscuits from a new recipe (or 2) every week starting with page one and making our way to The End.

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Using the wooden bread bowl that has been in my family for I don’t know how long, of course. The preferred biscuit bowls are wider than they are deep, you know, and wooden bowls need only be wiped out between uses.

Preparation

This morning, we cracked open the book and before we could get started on Julia Regner’s Sturdy Dorms Biscuits, we had two new culinary adventures: we made our own self-rising flour and a big batch of Homemade Refrigerator Biscuit Mix (aka Bisquick). I mistakenly used the 1/2 teaspoon instead of the 1 teaspoon, but I caught my oops in time for The Engineer to do the math, add the necessary additional quantities, and get us back on track.

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Being on top of a mountain messes with every baking adventure, and these biscuits – thin as they were – took almost 3 times as long as the recipe called for. Good news, though: they were mighty delicious. So delicious, in fact, that we ate them before I even though to snap a picture. And there were no leftovers. Nary a one.

Oh, and just so you know: I have already hired a personal fitness trainer.

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