Sunday, September 26, 2010

Biscuits

Charlie was always an early riser. If anything, she woke up even earlier on Saturday mornings than during the week. After all, on weekends her favorite playmate was available for adventures at the park. 
M. Babette, after a 60 hour workweek slaying dragons, was often awakened at dawn by little Charlie tugging on his arm. Together they would tiptoe down to the kitchen and make biscuits. Then they would head to the park for playtime, bug safaris, whatever. Sometime later, I would find the pan of leftover biscuits, which I'd eat with honey or blackberry jam, while reveling in the silence of an empty house.

Now, Charlie is a teenager. She sleeps in a bit later on the weekends. She likes scrambled eggs and turkey bacon for breakfast. There are still biscuits, they both know the recipe by heart. Even when they're not really speaking, they make biscuits together. They eat the leftovers the next day, split, with smoked turkey.

Baking Powder Biscuits
adapted from Beard On Bread

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter (2 ounces)
¾ cup milk (preferably whole)


Preheat oven to 450ยบF.

Add baking powder and salt to the sifted flour, and whisk or sift into a mixing bowl.  Work in the butter with your fingers, or use a pastry blender until it is the consistency of cornmeal. Add milk and stir into the dough just enough to make the particles cling together. (It should be a very soft dough.) Turn onto a floured surface and knead for about 1 minute. Then either pat or roll out to a ¾ inch thickness.

Cut out the biscuits into rounds or squares, according to your taste. Arrange on an ungreased cookie sheet or pan. If you want them crisp all around, place them far apart; for fluffier biscuits, place close together. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the tops are golden.
Makes 12 to 18 biscuits. 

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