Thursday, February 19, 2009
Comfort Food on the cheap: biscuits
Biscuits, biscuits, biscuits, who doesn't love 'em? Well my husband to start with but he's not writing this blog. If you can whip up a batch of biscuits and open a can of soup, you are well fed on pennies! Even my kids can make these.
Why is it that cheap food is often not very healthy? Don't ask me. I'm only here for the BISCUITS!
Preheat your oven to 350 and line one baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, place 2 cups of flour.
Now here I guess you could add some whole wheat flour, but only maybe 1/2 cup or you're making door stops, not biscuits.
To that add 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 Tablespoon of baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Remember baking powder, not baking soda!
Stir all that dry stuff together.
Now cut a stick of butter into 8 equal pieces. There are lines right on the wrapper for your convenience. If you can't follow those, well I can't help you. I'm considering trying these with 3/4 of a stick next time, just to see if I can cut the fat, but then again maybe I'll add more!
Place those butter pieces evenly over the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl.
With a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles course meal. Now, please for the sake of all humanity get yourself a pastry cutter. Pampered Chef makes a dandy one and you'll be making biscuits so often you'll be glad you invested a few dollars in this tool. You could try the criss-cross knife thing but I can tell you now, you'll be cursing my name and have tendinitis by the end of it. Get the pastry blender. Also, most Americans probably wouldn't recognize "course meal" if it showed up on the door step delivering for Publisher's Clearninghouse sweepstakes. Course meal means all the butter is in little tiny dry pieces now, and none of those pieces is bigger than a green pea. If you don't know what a green pea is, again I can't help you.
Make a well in the center of this mixture, and pour in there 3/4 cup milk. Any milk will do.
Work this mixture around some with a wooden spoon, then get your CLEAN hands in there and work it some more - just until it holds together.
Plop that dough out on just a bit of flour spread on a cutting board and work the dough a just little more, and I mean JUST A LITTLE bit more. You may need something under your cutting board to hold it in place. We don't need any unfortunate kitchen/biscuit accidents.
Put some flour on your rolling pin and roll that dough out until it's about 1/2 inch thick. Don't skip the flour on your rolling pin part, trust me on this.
Using anything that's round and about 2 inches across, cut circles from your dough. We use a water glass. Works fine. Nothing special to see here folks, go back to your homes and places of business.
Put those circles on your sheet, spaced apart like cookies. Roll out any leftover dough and do it again. That last little lump? Just shape it in the form of a biscuit - it won't disappoint!
Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. Watch them! Your oven may be hotter than mine.