Ever have one of those meals where you are running around like proverbial headless chicken, trying to make a nice dinner, and yet still, you do 456 things incorrectly while cooking? Please tell me you have evenings like that. If nothing else, lie to me. I’m cool with that.
I made fried chicken for dinner tonight. Ultimately, it was fine, but the burner I prefer to use seems to be having hissy fits lately and has no medium temp. It’s either high enough that the food (in this case, the fried chicken) is somewhat burned on the outside and half raw inside or the oil temp is too low and the chicken ends up greasy. Yes, yes, I know, I could just move to another burner, but one, I LIKE the left hand side and two, that seems defeatist. Please don’t ask me why I stick with it and have food come out poorly, because I have no answer for that other than orneriness.
Then, the socket that I plugged the rice cooker into decided to go on the fritz and it wasn’t until the rest of dinner was done that I realized that the rice had never cooked. I had to plug it in elsewhere and try again. So, now we have 3 cups of cooked rice because no one wanted any by the time they finished the rest of dinner.
One part that turned out wonderfully was these biscuits. I have a lot of friends who aren’t comfortable using yeast and if you fall into that category yourself, these are the biscuits you want to try. They use both yeast and baking powder, so are virtually foolproof, and are so light and fluffy. These come together so easily; you don’t need a mixer of any kind. A couple hours chilling time, bake, and you have a pan or two of amazingly delicious biscuits. These are fantastic plain, or with butter and jam.
You know the drill…. 🙂
- 1/2 cup warm water (between 105 and 112 degrees)
- 1 envelope yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 5 cups flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (just plain old salt; nothing fancy)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup cold shortening, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, sliced thin
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- In a small bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and one teaspoon sugar. Stir and let sit for five minutes. it should get foamy and bubbly. If it doesn’t, your yeast is dead; use a different pack.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
- Use a pastry blender to cut in the cold shortening and butter until the mixture is crumbly with pieces of butter ranging from pea to nickel sized. Pour in the yeast mix and the buttermilk, all at once. then stir until the dough is thoroughly moistened and you can mash it together into a ball.
- Cover the bowl with plastic and put it in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to 24.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 and lightly butter two 10 inch cast iron skillets (or a buttered baking dish). Dump dough out onto a lightly floured board. Pat into a 1 inch thick circle; fold in half; repeat process twice.
- Finally, pat or roll the dough into a 3/4 inch thick round. Cut the dough with 2 inch biscuit cutters. You can use smaller or larger cutters, but adjust your cooking time to suit.
- Place the biscuits, sides touching, in the prepared pans. Brush with half the melted butter.
- Bake at 400 for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans once during baking, until the tops are golden brown. Brush with the rest of the melted butter and serve.
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