Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bach Biscuits

I have no idea where I got this recipe, but I have it written on the reverse side of page two of Bach's Prelude from Prelude, Fugue, Allegro. It's amazing how certain things just work. I've been making these biscuits, for at least four years, and have never bothered to transcribe the recipe somewhere else. Instead, every time I crave biscuits I pull out my Bach sheet music and turn to page two. It's a really good recipe. Good enough to add to a classical repertoire...

Recipe: Basic Country Biscuits

2C all purpose flour, sifted
4stp baking powder (get Rumford's if you can)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp sugar
1/2C butter cut into cubes (very very cold)
2/3C cold milk

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put butter in the freezer. Sift all of the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside. Work the cold butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter, a grater, or your fingers. If for some reason the butter is starting to warm up, stick the whole bowl in the freezer for a few minutes and start again. You must not let the butter melt, if you want fluffy biscuits. Once the butter is worked in and the mixture resembles crumbs, add the milk and mix to get a dough. With cold hands, form a round workable dough.

Roll out the dough between two sheets of wax paper to your desired thickness. Keep in mind, they will double in height when you bake them. Cut biscuits out in whatever shape and size you prefer. If you are preparing these ahead of a meal, you should refrigerate them (plastic wrapped) at this point and bake them whenever you are ready to eat them.

Brush with milk or egg and bake 8-12 minutes. Baking time depends on thickness so watch closely.

These biscuits can be sliced open and slathered with homemade jams, or used to make afternoon tea sandwiches or, of course, served with a meal.

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