Sunday, October 21, 2007
The Easiest Biscuits in the World
I'm beginning to feel like an advertisement for this book:Baking Illustrated: the Practical Kitchen Companion for the Home Baker, by the Editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine. Almost anytime I try something for the first time, I will turn to this book, and I'm pretty sure it has never led me astray.
This is another example. I haven't made biscuits in years, and decided to give it a try yesterday morning. When I turned to my baking bible, there were two recipes listed - one was pretty traditional, with cold butter cut into the flour. But this one was the easy version, and instead of butter, it uses only heavy cream. I was intrigued and gave them a try. They were indeed incredibly easy to make, and they were actually really good! The texture was crispy on the outside, soft and flakey on the inside. I must confess, I am not a true connaisseur of biscuits, but I can't imagine ever using another recipe (and the other folks at the breakfast table didn't seem to have any complaints either.)
Cream Biscuits, from Baking Illustrated: the Practical Kitchen Companion for the Home Baker, by the Editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Oven to 425 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
Whisk together dry ingredients, then stir in only 1 1/4 cups of the heavy cream with a wooden spoon. When the dough comes together, dump it onto a lightly floured countertop, and then use small amounts of the remaining cream to moisten the dry bits left in the bowl. Add these to the dough and knead briefly until smooth. Pat dough to 3/4 inch thickness and cut out biscuits. Bake for about 15 minutes.
PS - I discovered that this recipe works great for dumplings in a pot of veggie soup. I halved the recipe, which worked well. I also used half-and-half in place of the cream, because that was all I had around, and it worked fine. Just make sure not to crowd the dumplings too much, or else you may end up with little under-cooked spots.