Saturday, June 27, 2015

Buttery, Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

One of my favorite quick meals consists of boudain and biscuits with a little mustard on the side.  (I know that sounds strange, but trust me- it's good!)   When I texted my husband earlier this week to tell him I felt like being adventurous in the kitchen and to ask for suggestions, he responded with a request for boudain.

So there was my dilemma: boudain & biscuits.  Delicious?  Yes.  Adventurous?  Not so much.

To compensate, I decided I'd try my hand at making biscuits from scratch for the first time.  I've gotta say, you haven't had a biscuit until you've had a homemade biscuit.  Despite some misadventures (more on that in a sec), these were the richest, flakiest biscuits I've ever had.  I was pretty darn proud of myself!

On to the misadventures...  This is a forgiving recipe.  A very forgiving recipe.  I made two mistakes with these biscuits.  First, the directions call to roll out the dough to 1/2 inch and cut out 12 biscuits.  After rolling the dough out, it became very clear that I was not going to get 12 biscuits out of it with the dough so thick.  I ended up rolling them to somewhere within the 1/3-ish inch realm.  They may have been a little thin, but I really didn't notice a big difference.  Next time I'll try rolling to 1/2 inch and will just reroll some of the remnants to get a couple more biscuits out of it.

The second mistake I made was brushing entirely too much buttermilk on top of the biscuits before baking.  The original recipe called to brush on 2 tablespoons.  I took that fairly literally and brushed them rather heavily with buttermilk.  I ended up having to bake them an additional 5 minutes so that the tops would brown.  (No harm, no foul though- they were still tender and fluffy.  Crisis averted!)  Next time I'll use my good sense and brush on a reasonable amount.

From Allrecipes

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
7 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled in freezer and cut into thin slices
3/4 cup cold buttermilk
Additional buttermilk for brushing

1.  Preheat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.  Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl.

3.  Cut butter into the mixture with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 5 minutes.

4.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.  Pour in 3/4 cup buttermilk and stir until just combined.

5.  Turn dough onto a floured work surface and pat together to form a rectangle.  Fold the rectangle in thirds.  Turn dough a half turn, gather any crumbs, and flatten back into a rectangle.  Repeat twice more, folding and pressing dough a total of three times.

6.  Roll dough on a floured surface to about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut out 12 biscuits using a 2.5 inch round biscuit cutter.

7.  Transfer biscuits to the prepared baking sheet.  Press an indent into the top of each biscuit with your thumb.  Brush the tops of the biscuits with additional buttermilk.

8. Bake in preheated oven until browned, about 15 minutes.
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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Plain Baked Oatmeal with Old-Fashioned Oats

I'm not a morning person, so breakfast is always an issue for me during the work week.  I have to be at work before 7:00, and my commute is about three times as long as it was before last year.  (Maybe that's an exaggeration.  Have I mentioned that I'm not a morning person?)

I have been on the hunt for easy-to-throw-together breakfast items that won't leave me hungry halfway through my morning.  This baked oatmeal certainly fit the bill.  I made it on Sunday night, intending to heat up a piece each morning.  Instead, I've gotten hooked on eating it cold.  (Straight out of a sandwich baggie.  I'm classy like that.)  
It looks an awful lot like a granola bar, but it's not.  It's very soft and moist and would remind you of a super soft oatmeal cookie.  But with only 1/4 cup of sugar and no butter or oils to speak of, you don't have to feel guilty about nomming down on it for breakfast.

3 cups old-fashioned oats 
2 eggs 
2 cups milk 
1 tsp vanilla 
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder 
1 tsp salt
Dash cinnamon (optional 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together and spread into a 9x13 buttered (or sprayed) metal pan.

Bake for 25 minutes.

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