Monday, February 20, 2017

Belated Sunday Eats - Buttermilk Biscuits

Weekends in our house start earlier than most people. Since I have a good hour commute to work, I leave extra early, or the drive home will be up to 2 hours due to heavy Chicago traffic. That means getting up before 5 a.m. So on weekends, "sleeping in" means getting up around 7. That makes it easier to get up so early on Monday morning. But today was a day off for me, and my husband took a vacation day to spend time with me. Abby wasn't so inclined to get up. When I went into my office, I could barely see her little head from around the corner of the desk where she was still snoozing on her dog bed (during the day she prefers to be on the futon, but at night she can see the front door from the dog bed).
Mom, I'm not awake yet, would you make biscuits?

Still, no one was moving too fast this morning, so I decided to make a hot breakfast, some Einkorn flour homemade bread toast for me (ancient grain Einkorn doesn't trigger my wheat allergies like hybridized wheat) and a batch of hot southern buttermilk biscuits for my husband.

In my decidedly Yankee kitchen with 70-year-old gas stove, I'm always tweaking recipes. Sometimes you find one that you don't need to do anything with. This one, sent by a friend in Georgia, is perfect and they freeze well, so I can just thaw some out and reheat for my husband, or in this case, took some ones hot from the oven to our elderly next door neighbors who were out in the garden already getting ready for planting soon.
Don't let the extra steps discourage you.  Pressing and folding the dough takes only a couple of extra minutes and the results are worth it.  High, tender biscuits. If you don't have a jelly roll pan, simply bake 8 of them on a cookie sheet and the remaining four separately or on another small cookie sheet.

Another decidedly southern take on these is to add 4 Tablespoons of pickle relish to the buttermilk before mixing with flour. Those make the backbone of an awesome little off the bone ham with mustard sandwich.  But today, simple breakfast biscuits.
The soft wheat flour (White Lily is my preferred brand) is the ONLY flour you should use for biscuits.  It's made from soft red winter wheat and the low protein and low gluten content keep the biscuits from becoming too dense.  If you put some in your hand and some all purpose flour in the other you can feel and see the difference, the soft winter wheat flour is much lighter, finer and whiter. There is a reason southern biscuits are so much higher and lighter than "northern" biscuits Traditional flour available across the country is made out of HARD winter wheat and just doesn't make the same quality biscuit.  If you can't find it at a larger retailer, order from Amazon.  Link is:

https://www.amazon.com/White-Lily-Rising-Bleached-Flour/dp/B006E5E8O4

(cut and paste this in your browser window).
Paired with some Oberweis Dairy pork sausage and Lingonberry jam, it got me a thumbs up and a dog laying right under someone's chair waiting for a crumb or sausage to fall.

Best Buttermilk Biscuits Ever

1/2 cup cold butter
2 and 1/4 cups self-rising White Lily flour
1 and 1/4 cups buttermilk
Self-rising soft wheat flour (a little extra set aside for working with dough)
2 Tablespoons melted butter

Directions

1.  Cut butter with sharp knife or pastry blender into quarter inch thick slices./  Sprinkle butter slices over flour in a large bowl.  Toss butter with flour.  Cut butter into flour with pastry blender until a crumbly and mixture resembles small peas.  Cover and chill 10 minutes.  Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.  (if you don't have buttermilk, replace 3 teaspoons of the milk with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and let set out at room temperature 5 minutes.)

2.  Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.  Knead 3 times, gradually adding additional flour as needed.  With floured hands, press or pat dough into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches)  Sprinkle top of dough with additional flour.  Fold dough over onto itself in three sections, starting with one short end. (fold dough rectangle as if folding a letter sized piece of paper).  Repeat entire process two more times, beginning with pressing dough into a 3/4 thick dough rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches) then folding, again.

3.  Press or pat dough into half inch thicknesses on a lightly floured surface.  Cut with a biscuit cutter and place side by side on a parchment paper lined (or lightly greased) jelly roll pan.  Dough rounds should touch (for higher biscuits).

4.  Bake in preheated 400 F oven for 13 - 15 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven.  Brush with melted butter if serving immediately (for ones I'm going to freeze, I skip this)

5.  Accidentally drop one to the dog. And a couple of thse sausages.  (Abby, quit taking over the keyboard when I go to get a coffee refill!)


9 comments:

  1. Great post, I can almost smell the biscuits! I'm definitely going to order that flour and try this recipe. And Abby almost had me at the end of the recipe - her comment made me think of Melanie, my mini-dachshund, who always waited for food to drop as I was cooking. Then I remembered that Abby doesn't eat wheat (I think).

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  2. Your commute sounds a lot like mine. Looks sooooooo yummy!

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  3. I need to spend the weekend at your house!

    Aroo to you,
    Sully

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  4. Step # 5 is the BESTEST one. Of course you must do #'s 1-4 in order to GET to #5.

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  5. Jeff, Astro's dad asked me if I would make your Meatloaf recipe again this week:)
    I can't imagine what would happen if I made your biscuits.
    Maybe I better make extra to freeze.
    My commute is 3 miles, at 4 a.m. no one is on the road.

    Astro and Linda

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  6. Oh my goodness... my stomach is growling after reading about your biscuits!

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  7. We love Abby's additions!! We're into dropped food. Sleeping late here is 5:30 a.m. BOL! And we don't have to get up that early, but we like being up and out.

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  8. I will try to make real american biscuits for mark once... hope they will look as good as yours, we europeans mostly fail with real american food :o)

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  9. This about says it all:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SnPpY8CsIs

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Welcome to The Book of Barkley. This blog was created for more memories of Barkley as well as updates on Abby the Senior rescue Lab,who we adopted in 2014.

Stop in and say hello. 100% of book sales are donated to animal rescue organizations across the U.S. and Canada and Search Dog Foundation. If you have a non-profit animal organization and would like autographed copies of the book for fundraisers or a blog post featuring your organization please contact me at cliodna58@gmail.com