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October 08, 2006

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anapestic

I love that biscuit cutter.

Since my parents come from the South, I was raised in a household where there were strong feelings about the way biscuits should be made, and I can recall my parents getting into more than one argument about the amount of shortening (i.e., too much, according to Mom) that Dad put in whenever he made the biscuits. I have happily abandoned shortening in favor of butter and sweet milk in favor of buttermilk, but my partner makes drop biscuits, and it is hard work to open my mouth to take a bite from one of them without letting a remark pass. Drop biscuit batter is fine as a dumpling, but you cannot split a drop biscuit easily, and you should be able to split a well-made biscuit with your hands, preferably while it is still hot from the oven so that the pat of butter you put between the halves will liquefy almost immediately, causing you to have to flip the biscuit over a few times to ensure even distribution of the butter.

china

i've got the most wonderful ancestral biscuit recipe which requires an ungodly ammount of baking powder (3 tbsp!) and buttermilk. it's seemingly fool proof - i've thought i've messed them up a number of times and it utterly thrills my southern relatives (texan).

zp

I feel exactly the same way about biscuits; in my mind they are related to scones, they are all good, even the fast food versions, except the ones in tubes, but bisquick type are good. For a few years my mother made a bisquick type that came from a local restaurant's mix. And, as per my recent photo, I eat my something out of nothing scones (now happily dubbed "scones so good somone else will get up early and make them for you") with all kinds of savory dishes.

Julie

Biscuits are in the air.

A few days ago I was noting once again the mention of biscuits in Laurie Colwin's More Home Cooking which I had picked up in the course of doing something else but had to take a few minutes to read. I was thinking to myself as I read about biscuits that it was surprising I'd never once tried to make them.

Then I see lobstersquad's post about biscuits and then yours. I'm inspired!

Love the biscuit cutter in the photo. Biscuit cutters seem like a great thing to collect -- something which Laurie Colwin also talked about doing.

lindy

china-I'm sure we would all be delighted if you would send us the family recipe.
julie-I'm sure I subconsciously got the idea of collecting them from L. C. BTW, guys, I'm going to add to the post- another slightly off-center biscuit recipe. This one from Ronni Lundy. Check above.

Rebecca

Biscuits are the best; when I was young it was the first thing all girls learned to bake, whether it was in home-ec class or the 4-H Club, or just at Mom's knee. I still use the recipe from my 35-year old red and white check Good Housekeeping Cookbook, called "Biscuits Supreme", substituting buttermilk and using butter for the fat. It's extra-rich and has more baking powder.

I am intrigued by the recipe on The Amateur Gourmet, by way of Lobstersquad, which has you rolling the scooped dough in flour, then brushing with melted butter.

Love your rolling biscuit cutter!

doug didier

hi

cant figure out how the biscuit cutter functions..

doug

china

here's my mom's biscuit recipe:
ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup flour (about) for handling the dough
3 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups buttermilk


prep:
freeze butter 30 min ahead of time
preheat oven to 400
melt 1 tbsp butter in the pan the biscuits will bake in
melt another tbsp in the microwave in the measuring cup with buttermilk in it

directions:
mix the dry ingredients and sift them into a bowl
grate the butter into the flour and stir it around until its crumby
make a pit in the flour and pour in the buttermilk
stir lightly with the tips of your fingers until just mixed
flour the bowl and pat the dough into a ball
flatten the ball and put a hole in the middle fill the hole with more four
pull the dough into 8 pieces
pat the pieces into balls with loose flour and roll each piece once in the pan, coating it with butter
drizzle the remaining butter on top

bake 15 min


i've tweaked it a bit since i'm using a toaster oven right now (until my real oven gets fixed). the recipe originally came from my great-great-grand mother who cooked nothing else, according to ledgend, because she was such a hypochondriac.

Kimberly

The first thing I'm going to bake in our new oven: biscuits. Because homemade preserves are good on toast, but even better on biscuits. Here's the pressing question: which recipe will I use? Hmmmm...

lindy

Can't believe no one is making fun of the biscuit cosy. You are kind.
Doug-you roll it, making rows of biscuits.
china-thank you! that's an interesting one. I intend to try it. Does it cure hypochondria?
rebecca- I know that book well! The embodiment of nostalgia. It has a great rice pudding recipe too.
kimberly-I am following the kitchen saga with interest. when will the stove arrive on the scene?

Lynn D.

I love old linens and have eagerly accumulated castoffs from grandmothers, aunts, mothers (in law) and friends as well as buying some things at garage sales and thrift shops. From my grandmother I acquired two strange pocketed things that I kept around for years wondering what they were. For storing silver napkin rings and tea balls? No they weren't flannel. A few years ago I started divesting the things I never used and they were the first to go. Mine weren't nearly so fine as yours, just plain pale blue linen. Pardon my speaking so coarsely of such a fine item, but it must be a real bitch to iron. How to you keep it from having unsightly grease stains when in use and how can such thin fabric actually keep a biscuit warm?

I received an electric bun warmer when I got married 30 some years ago. I no longer have it either. I find that 15 seconds in the microwave perks up a cold biscuit admirably

china

the woman lived, on the verge of death, until she was 93. I'd say these biscuits are good for you! she even used shortening. (shortnin')

lindy

Lynn-I think it mainly keeps them warm by keeping them together and covered-like when you put hot biscuits in a bowl or basket, wrapped in a napkin. The ironing is not much of a problem with mine-they are flat when empty. Re the grease-mine are white-I bleach them. All that being said-I don't actually use them often. When I do, well, my family and friends don't hold back with the mockery. Much that is victorian is just not so practical.
I Iove old linens, too. Someday I'd like to find some real linen sheets, for a reasonable price. (I've seen some on ebay, but they cost the earth.)
china-I always knew biscuits must be good for you.

farmgirl

I can't believe I read this before breakfast. Fortunately I was able to scrounge up an oatmeal currant scone in the freezer and am now fine. Love the biscuit warmer thingie. I think I've seen those in antique shops but never knew what they were. While I also love the biscuit cutter, I am so bad at thinking three-dimensionally (I actually had to drop out of an architectural rendering class in college because I could never figure out from the three 'views' that I was supposed to be drawing a bolt or some other mystical item) anyway, even with your explanation, I still can't picture the biscuit cutter in action.

P.S. Thanks for all the great comments you leave on my blog. You always tell the best little stories. They are such a treat. : )

lobstersquad

love, adore, revere biscuits. I´ll try yours with the cream. There´s nothing better. that gadget is pretty fascinating, too.

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