Sunday, October 22, 2006

Put Your Hands in the Air and Scream!

I'm waiting for the Sunday Ham to cook, Steph's birthday cake is done (We are going over to Mom's as soon as we finish eating) and I am getting ready to make biscuits. I have to time it right, though, so I'll tap out a few thoughts while I wait for the right moment. So, this week was great! A far cry from last week as I sadly chronicled in my other blog. Read it and weep for me.

The week ended up very productively with me getting several projects well on their way to completion, including the knitted womb I am making for my new pal Kris, the ATC's I am making for my one-skein pal Kristin that are too late for the exchange, but oh well, and a return to spinning. I got to go out to dinner with my birthday ladies and go see Nanci Griffith in concert! She was outstanding. I was a teeny tiny bit afraid it would be a protest concert, but she was very classy about expressing her opinions and really let the music speak for itself, so I was not forced to stand up and remind people that NOT all republicans are warmongering, gun-toting, redneck jerks, some are really nice people.

Yesterday I had two classes which went really well because knitters are among the nicest people in the world. Things at home are settled and peaceful for the last few days, and life is just good, even though it was really busy and there were moments when I felt like I was orchestrating a military operation. Overall though, it was a lovely, serendipitous week. Funny how life just goes up and down, eh? Just like a roller coaster. All we can do is put our hands in the air and scream!

Its time for Biscuits. Here is my favorite easy recipe. I use powdered buttermilk and keep it on hand at all times, and it works great.

Tall and Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

We prefer to use low-fat buttermilk in these biscuits, but nonfat buttermilk will work as well (though the biscuits will be a little lighter in texture and flavor). For the highest rise, use a double-acting baking powder, such as Calumet, Clabber Girl, or Davis. Store leftover biscuits in an airtight zipper-lock bag. Reheat by placing them on a baking sheet in a 475-degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes.

Makes 12 biscuits
Nonstick cooking spray

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces)
1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold), cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups buttermilk cold, preferably low-fat

To Form and Finish Biscuits
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (5 ounces), distributed in rimmed baking sheet
2 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Spray 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Generously spray inside and outside of 1/4 cup dry measure with nonstick cooking spray.

2. For the dough: In food processor, pulse flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda to combine, about six 1-second pulses. Scatter butter cubes evenly over dry ingredients; pulse until mixture resembles pebbly, coarse cornmeal, eight to ten 1-second pulses. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Add buttermilk to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated (dough will be very wet and slightly lumpy).

3. To form and bake biscuits:Using 1/4 cup dry measure and working quickly, scoop level amount of dough; drop dough from measuring cup into flour on baking sheet (if dough sticks to cup, use small spoon to pull it free). Repeat with remaining dough, forming 12 evenly sized mounds. Dust tops of each piece of dough with flour from baking sheet. With floured hands, gently pick up piece of dough and coat with flour; gently shape dough into rough ball, shake off excess flour, and place in prepared cake pan. Repeat with remaining dough, arranging 9 rounds around perimeter of cake pan and 3 in center. Brush rounds with hot melted butter, taking care not to flatten them. Bake 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 450 degrees; continue to bake until biscuits are deep golden brown, about 15 minutes longer. Cool in pan 2 minutes, then invert biscuits from pan onto clean kitchen towel; turn biscuits right-side up and break apart. Cool 5 minutes longer and serve.

STEP BY STEP: Shaping the Biscuits

1. Using greased 1/4-cup measure, scoop 12 level portions of dough onto floured baking sheet. Lightly dust top of each biscuit with flour.
2. With floured hands, gently pick up piece of dough, coating outside with flour, shaping it into ball, and shaking off excess flour.

3. Place 9 biscuits snugly around perimeter of pan, then arrange last 3 in center.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so jealous that you got to see Nanci!! I only saw her once, back when I was in college at the U of U, but it was FANTASTIC.


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