Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bad Weather = Good Cooking


Today's weather was cold and rainy, very dreary, thanks to Hurricane Kyle. The good news is that Kyle stayed out in the ocean and went further north, missing us by a good distance. Not such good news for our friends up in Nova Scotia - they're getting 75-90 mph winds and drenching rains.

Bad weather usually means I'm home for the day, and since we've had several days of rain, I've pretty much accomplished my list of things-to-do. That means it's baking time, and I've spent a happy afternoon baking biscotti and - a new recipe for me - cream biscuits.

Both turned out well. But the cream biscuits were tender and wonderful. I altered the recipe slightly, adding grated cheddar cheese, as I had about a cup of cheese left over from another dish and wanted to use it up. Worked great - the cheese added a bit of dimension to the biscuits, and they taste lovely by themselves with a touch of butter, or could be used for small sandwiches (ham is the first thing to come to mind).

If you are looking for a quick, easy recipe for biscuits that only take a few minutes to pull together, try this one. You can skip the cheese - they're great without it.


Quick and Easy Cream Biscuits

Makes Eight 2 1/2-Inch Biscuits

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour , plus extra for the counter
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
optional - 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese


1. Place oven rack to upper-middle position, heat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.

2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the cream with a wooden spoon until dough forms, about 30 seconds. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball. Knead the dough briefly until smooth, about 30 seconds.

3. Shape the dough into a 3/4-inch-high circle. Cut biscuits with biscuit cutter into rounds, or cut into wedges. Place rounds or wedges on parchment-lined baking sheet. (The baking sheet can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 hours.) Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking.

Kneading

Unlike traditional biscuits, cream biscuits benefit from relatively rough treatment. This biscuit, which was kneaded for 30 seconds before baking rose higher compared to biscuits which were handled gently and kneaded only a few times.

2 comments:

Henrik said...

Hmmmm... looks delicious!

Michele said...

cream biscuits are great! I love using them to make stuffing during the holidays. I may have to make them with my ham and black eyed peas for new years.