Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The comfort of biscuits

  Everyone loves warm biscuits, fresh from the oven…

When it’s cold outside, a warm biscuit just seems like the natural bread selection to go with most meals or for a special treat. A biscuit is the original comfort food. Take a bite of its crusty golden top and soft, fluffy inside and you’ll be on cloud 9. Pure creamery butter is a requirement, but you might also add some honey.

Biscuits go with almost everything, and in fact, they make ho-hum meals better. You’re in a hurry and have a quick bowl of soup or a quick salad; think how much better each would be with a simple, mouth-watering biscuit!

Biscuits are national and international favorites. Add gravy to a biscuit and you have a proper Southern breakfast food. In England, a biscuit's a cracker and in Canada, it's a cookie. And cooks everywhere are always trying to improve upon the almost perfect. We now have recipes for cheese biscuits, pizza biscuits and the pièce de résistance – bacon biscuits!

Good news, you can actually make perfectly simple and simply perfect biscuits like these in a half hour.

9 to 12 Easy-Peasy Biscuits

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, cut in small cubes

3/4 cup milk

1 medium egg, beaten

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Sift together in a large bowl: flour, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt
  • Blend in the butter squares with a folk
  • Pour the milk in the center and mix; it will be thick
  • Place the dough on a lightly-floured surface (if it's sticky, add some flour)Press into a ball, then use a rolling pin to roll out to an even 3/4"thick
  • Use a juice glass or a round cookie cutter to make 9 to 12 circular shapes
  • Brush the top of each shape lightly with beaten egg

Bake for 10 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.
They're done when they're golden brown.

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