Author Topic: Biscuits  (Read 217 times)

Online Delmonico

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Biscuits
« on: October 04, 2019, 04:56:51 am »
I do a lot of cooking where I use a few basic recipes and modify the recipe slightly for other dishes.  This is a good example of one that has many uses.  Make a single flat bread and you have pan de campo, common in the Southwest US and Mexico.  Make a bigger loaf and you have Canadian Bannock or Australian damper.

Put it as a crust on a chicken or beef stew and bake it you have a pot pie.  Make balls and steam it you have one form of dumplings.

Add more sugar and top a fruit and bake and you have a slump, a cobbler like dessert.

You can make a pizza crust or many other things.



Biscuits


Baking Powder

For 12 inch shallow dutch or 12 inch skillet

2 cups flour                                                       
2-4 teaspoons baking powder                         
1 teaspoon salt       

Or
 
2 cups self-rising flour
                                                 
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of sugar (optional)
3 tablespoons of lard or 4 tablespoons of butter
? cup of milk (more or less)
? teaspoon vinegar ( any kind)

Mix the dry ingredients and cut in the butter/lard, add vinegar then the milk and stir with hand, just enough to mix well adding a bit more milk or flour to get slightly sticky soft dough. (If using canned milk and the can is empty, just add a bit more water.)   Working it beyond what is needed with toughen the final product, stir as much as possible.

In fact the vinegar is not there for taste, it won't be noticed, it's to keep the gluten from forming long strands that toughen the biscuit, same thing is often done with pie crust.

Cut Biscuits:  Roll the dough or flatten with your hands to between ? inch and 1 inch thick, cut the desired size with either a biscuit cutter or an empty can.  Place in dutch oven or skillet.

Cathead Biscuits:  A common old west term for a biscuit formed with the hand instead of rolled and cut, often bigger and thicker than a cut one, hence the term, depending on the size, these will need to bake longer than the smaller cut biscuits.  Also place in oven.

Drop Biscuits:  Use the above recipe but increase the milk to 1 cup and using a tablespoon, fill it to heaping with the softer dough and drop them in the bottom of the oven and bake as above, these also tend to be thicker and need a little extra baking time over a thinner cut biscuit.   

We are now ready to bake this, have the dutch oven one plans on using ready and very lightly greased or at least make sure it?s well seasoned.  (A 12 inch cast iron frying pan will work in the home kitchen.  When using the oven at home, preheat to 400-425F)  When baking with a dutch oven outside the question is if to preheat or not before baking.  I seldom do, for one it?s an extra step and I like to keep it simple because I?m often running several ovens at once, also with coals and the iron it comes up to temperature in about the same time as putting a non preheated cooking vessel in a preheated oven.  But like most things where there is more than one way to do it, none of the methods are wrong provided the results are as desired.  With these quick breads you just want to bake in a hot oven which is the same around 425F.  Bake for 10-15  minutes or until golden brown,  thicker biscuits may take longer.

For a little fancier menu sometimes herbs, cheese or citrus rind is added to the biscuits, this also shows up in period recipe books, it can be a nice change of menu.


Buttermilk and Sourdough Biscuits

These are sometimes misunderstood, the origins of these date back to before baking powder, the acid in cultured buttermilk or sourdough starter reacts with either baking soda aka Sodium bicarbonate aka salertus or on earlier times a refined wood ash called pearl ash, both being alkaline substances and as we learned in chemistry class, mixing an acid and an alkaline substance produces CO2 which provides the leavening.


Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups flour
? to 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of sugar (optional)
3 tablespoons of lard or 4 tablespoons of butter
? cup of cultured buttermilk (more or less).


Sourdough Biscuits

1 ? cups flour
? to 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of sugar (optional)
3 tablespoons of lard or 4 of butter
1 cup sourdough starter

As with the baking powder biscuits, mix the dry ingredients, cut in the shortening and add the liquid, form and bake the same as baking
powder biscuits.

 
Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.

Online Delmonico

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Re: Biscuits
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2019, 04:58:22 am »
A few more.

Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.

Online Delmonico

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Re: Biscuits
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2019, 05:00:42 am »
And a few more
Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.