Over Labor Day weekend I wanted to clear out the fridge from any and all perishable items which basically means milk… so I decided to bake some biscuits per a GChat conversation I had with a friend a few weeks prior (paraphrased below):
Friend: so what are you doing after work today?
me: rehearsal, i ate this morning… so i’m fairly full at the moment
Friend: ah, ok. dinner out then? we’re thinking popeyes but not sure yet
me: i like popeye’s biscuits
Friend: i have been making my own biscuits lately so we usually skip it. it’s super easy takes about 5 min to prep and 10 min to bake
me: what recipe? i might want to try some of my own then
Friend: I don’t remember off the top of my head. but this is very similar to mine if not identical. http://blog.kitchenmage.com/2008/01/simple-flaky-bi.html
Friend: same ingredients, not positive about the ratio but looks about right. you can also sub milk with butter milk or add cheese and jalepenios whatever floats your boat
me: where do you get the buttermilk?
Friend: you can make it or buy it, a little bit of lemon juice in milk will apparently turn it itno buttermilk. if you are tired / lazy like me, i just put the whole thing in a pan and score it then break it up when it comes out so i don’t always make tiny little rounds. if it gets too wet then just do it this way: it will bake up fine, it’s very forgiving. if you are even lazier use self rising flour and skip salt and baking powder, it’s premixed with it. i know cuz i got the flour by accident and didn’t know what it was. oh…and no need for a food processor i just use a fork. for me to get the food processor out woudl be more work than i would like to do but i usually make a very small batch (4 biscuits) so I can manage with a fork quickly enough.
me: looks simple enough, and aside from the milk i have most everything else at home anyway
Friend: they are great b/c leftovers make great breakfast
The things I bake / cook / whatever because of a simple conversation with friends. 😉 Anyway, so I figured why not give it a shot. I wanted to clean out the perishable items regardless and clean out the pantry so it would be easier to start fresh when I return from my trip… so let’s give it a shot.
From the recipe sent to me from Kitchen Mage
All-purpose flour – 2-1/4 cups
Salt – 3/4 tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Baking powder – 4 tsp
Butter (very cold) – 1/3 cup
Milk (very cold) – 1 cup
1: Preheat oven to 450°
2: Place flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in food processor and pulse for a few seconds to combine.
3: Cut butter into small pieces and add to food processor. Pulse half a dozen times and check for the size of the butter pieces. Repeat if necessary until the butter is in pieces roughly the size of peas.
4: Put flour mixture in a mixing bowl and add the cold milk. Toss together gently until barely combined. I use the little white plastic tool in the picture to lift the dough from the side of the bowl and dump it on top of the rest of the dough.
5: As soon as the dough holds together, turn it out on a lightly floured counter. Gently “knead” the dough a few strokes until it is a mostly a cohesive ball.
6: Roll the dough into a rectangle 1/2-3/4 inch thick, depending on how tall you like your biscuits. Cut into 2 inch circles, you should get ~6, and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. (See note about leftover dough.)
7: Bake at 450° for 8-10 minutes. Butter and eat while still warm.
– I use a food processor to cut up the butter for biscuits, pie crusts etc. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a large fork, a pair of dull knives, or just rub the butter and flour gently between your fingers to create the same effect. Your hands will warm the butter a little bit, so if you have time to chill the dough briefly after doing this, do – your biscuits will be flakier.
– There will be some dough left over after you cut the biscuits. Unless you need all of the biscuits for this meal, smoosh it into a ball, wrap it in plastic and stick it in the refrigerator until the next morning. They will be a bit better than if the dough is rerolled immediately.
– I use one of those plastic cutting boards you can pick up for a buck or so because it contains all of the mess and makes cleanup a snap.
Obviously I have a penchant for changing up items and this recipe appears to have a bit of flexibility when it comes to adding / subtracting / substituting ingredients so I decided to finish off the remainder of my bread flour and used the all-purpose flour for the difference thereafter. Thus why I ended up calling my biscuit recipe the biscuit bread recipe. I even went so far as to put the dough into my tray of mini-loaves for good measure.
The result a trio of miniature loaves of bread that tastes a little like bread but also has the fluffiness of biscuits that we all know and love. Granted me enjoying the recipe is one thing… but whether others would enjoy it is another issue entirely, but who would be willing to be my guinea pig(s).
As it would turn out I had relations driving in from out of country that came to visit for the Labor Day weekend / holiday so they as well as any and all children involved were my test rats for this recipe.
When the first morning came I had hot coffee warming up in the coffee maker and I also cut up a few slices of the bread that were toasted and ready to go and it ended up being a hit… a whole loaf was gone that morning before we went to a cafe for “second breakfast” (man we ate a lot over the course of the week). The irony of this tale is that the following two mornings they went to Panera Bread and ended up purchasing more loaves of bread to munch on for breakfast… ah well can’t win them all.
So I ended up giving away / cleaning up the first few loaves of bread. When my relations of out of country left the Monday morning they left behind a whole gallon of milk that they recently purchased. Now wait a minute… didn’t I bake the biscuit bread originally to get rid of the milk in my fridge!??! Where did this new gallon (ok half gallon really) of milk come from?!??! Ugh. So the Tuesday after Labor Day I slaved over a new batch of biscuit bread this time using only the all-purpose flour and following the recipe to a tee.
The result was fluffier and more like biscuits bread. With my grandparents visiting and watering mother’s plants I offered them a few slices of the biscuit bread (which they loved) and they ended up taking a mini-loaf with them home leaving me with two other loaves in my hands (one that I ate on my own throughout the day). It would appear that the recipe is a hit and one that I am bound to use in a pinch… though next time I might just add in cheese or other spices / seasonings into the dough for variety and taste.