Thursday, May 28, 2009

Passing the time

Since moving to Kugaaruk I had to come to the realization that heading down to Manitoba Avenue to my local Bakery had become null and void. So I had to start baking. Don't get me wrong, I love to bake. I find it therapeutic to mix and mingle all my ingredients. Personally,half the time I don't even like to eat my creations. I think baking a cake, cookies or biscuits take all the mystery out of the food... and who doesn't like a little mystery.

I wanted to pass on one of the easiest recipes that I have been baking on a bi-weekly basis. I'm an avid watcher of "Chef at Home" with Chef Michael Smith - he cooks out of his house on PEI. He made these biscuit to have with Clam Chowder. I like them with everything from blueberry shortcake to pasta salad and of course with lasagna and chili.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.
Chef At Home

Ease of Preparation: Easy
Makes 8-10 large biscuits

These are my gold-standard biscuits. My secret? Frozen butter! It’s an old pastry chef’s trick that has served me well. Butter tastes great and when it’s frozen it becomes very easy to shred into the dough. After you try these a few times you’ll be able to bake them in under twenty minutes – and clean up the mess too!

Frozen Butter Biscuits

Four cups of all-purpose flour
Two large spoonfuls of baking powder
Two small spoonfuls of salt
Two sticks of frozen butter, eight ounces
A cup and a half of milk
A sprinkle or two of salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together until they’re evenly mixed. Grate the frozen butter into the dry ingredients. Shred it through the large holes of a box grater or potato grater directly into the flour. Toss gently with your fingers until the butter shards are spread evenly throughout the flour.

Pour the milk into the flour mixture and stir with an upside down wooden spoon to form a dough mass. The handle of the spoon is gentler on the dough. Fold the dough over a few times with your hands until all the ingredients come together. If necessary add a few spoonfuls more milk to help gather up any stray flour. This kneading will strengthen the dough a bit but not enough to toughen the biscuits. It will also help them form a crisp crust when they bake.
Pat the dough out on a lightly floured cutting board forming a loose round shape. Cut into wedges – like a pie - or any other shape you’re in the mood for. Position on a baking sheet; sprinkle on a bit of coarse salt and coarsely ground pepper. Bake for fifteen minutes or so. You’ll know they’re done when they turn golden brown. Enjoy at once with lots of brown butter!

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