Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Backward Biscuits

Sometimes we surprise the owl-cats with a backward day. We have dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. This year the owl-cats got into metaphysical tangles about what would actually constitute an opposite day, but truly, what can we expect with a philosopher in the house?

This year, neither Owl nor I could stomach the thought of hamburgers for breakfast, so we made biscuits and gravy, which, in our habitat, is more dinner-like than breakfast-like. It was a hit, as was the rule that the owl-cats had to watch Phineas and Ferb before touching their homework.

This biscuit recipe is a white-flour indulgence. Every attempt I have made at adding whole grains has altered their flakiness.

Warm Buttermilk Biscuits
Adapted from any old biscuit recipe you can find. Again, we bake at 4500 feet, so if these don't rise as they should, you may need more leavening--many recipes call for baking powder as well, which we have found to be redundant.

2 cups flour (not whole-wheat, sorry)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 8 chunks
1 cup buttermilk

0. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
1. Sift together dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda) in large bowl or twirl in food processor (with steel blade) a few times.
2. Cut in butter with fork, pastry blender, or by chugging the food processor around 8 times. You want the butter to still be cold. You also want some of the butter to still be in visible chunks, ranging from pea-sized to half that size.
3. Stir in buttermilk. (So if you used the food processor, dump the mixture from step 2 into another bowl.) Don't stir too much. Some of the flour will still feel two dry.
4. Dump it all out on the counter and knead until it comes together and is smooth. It will take about 10 turns to get it that way. You may need to adjust flour/buttermilk if they are too dry or too wet.
5. Roll into a rectangle, 1/2 inch thick (or thicker if you like tall biscuits). Using a round cookie cutter (or mason jar ring or glass), cut out biscuits, reforming leftover dough to cut out more. Alternately, you can just use a knife and cut into squares. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
6. Bake 8-10 minutes.
7. Serve hot. Take one quickly before the others disappear. Butter and strawberry jam make this into dessert.

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