Thursday, March 24, 2011

Buttermilk Biscuits

First get a sister-in-law who is sweet enough to make a biscuit "coozie" for you.  If you aren't lucky enough to have one of those (the sister-in-law or the coozie) you can make one yourself or just use a plain old dishcloth.  It is nice to keep them wrapped up and steamingly warm while you finish cooking the eggs or whatever; or while you eat your first biscuit.  Biscuits are not something I make that often but there is no real reason for that.  They are so super easy to make and wonderful to eat.  Serve with sorghum syrup, butter, honey, sausage, and/or a fried egg.   If you are really lucky and have a grandmother who excels in the world of jams and jellies you can serve them with muscadine jam or pear "honey" made from pears you helped your grandmother knock out of the tree last autumn.

Sonrisa Farm's whole wheat flour is perfect for things like biscuits because it is so soft and makes them nice and flaky.   For those of you who have a milk share, buttermilk is really simple to make and totally worth it.  For a quart of buttermilk add about 1/4 cup of cultured buttermilk (either store bought or from your last batch) to a little less than a quart of sweet milk.  Let it sit at room temp for a few days, or until the milk thickens are looks a little curdled.   Then chill it and use as needed.

Grandmama's pear honey, Anderson Bailey's sweet little bowl
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F

  • 2 cups Sonrisa Farm whole wheat flour (or any other locally grown and milled flour, if you are fortunate enough to find some)
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • pinch of salt and sugar (sugar is optional)
  • 6 T butter, chilled
  • about 3/4 - 1 cup buttermilk- depending on the flour (some absorbs liquid quicker than others)

Mix the flour and baking soda and powder and salt together.   Cut the butter in with pastry blender or your fingers (I use my fingers) until mostly blended but the butter is still in little pieces, like oatmeal maybe.  Pour the lesser amount of milk into the flour and stir til it comes together in a ball.  You don't want to overwork the dough or it won't be tender but don't be too cautious or it won't hold together.  Knead it a few times gently until it forms a nice soft dough and then roll or pat it out on a floured surface to about 1/2 inch thick (or a little more than half the hight you want you biscuits to be).  Cut with a biscuit cutter and bake til brown and yummy smelling, about 12 mintues. I usually check to bottoms and when they are nice and brown the biscuits are usually ready.  It can be a little hard to tell with all whole wheat flour because they kind of look brown to start out with.  Serve warm, wrapped in a handmade biscuit blanket or clean dish towel.

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