Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Our Fourth Of July Breakfast.

Today's lesson topic is BISCUITS. And it's brought to you by Kelly of Evil Shenanigans blog fame. Well not really. Kelly's recipe was my starting point. But after that, you can blame me for the rest. Now if Mr. Hawthorne knew I was getting ready to post about biscuits, he'd be laughing his ass off. "Wait a doggone minute!!! Don't you mean you're writing about HOCKEY PUCKS? I can do biscuits in my sleep better than the best biscuit you've ever made which still tasted like crap." When I do make biscuits from scratch or even from Bisquick, they're flat, tough, inedible, and just plain ... unfortunate. Mr. Hawthorne is the biscuit maker in the family. He prides himself on his biscuits. Move over Mr. Hawthorne. Now, even I can do biscuits, thanks to Kelly. Here's Kelly's recipe for the biscuits. Kelly goes to culinary school, so when she bakes, her measurements are precise - as in ounces and tenths of ounces. No cup fractions for this gal. With that said, what I've done is taken Kelly's recipe and dumbed it down for me. Instead of ounces and tenths of ounces, I'm using the closest approximations to cup fractions to make it easier for the home cook without access to a digital scale to recreate Kelly's biscuits. I would think I'm in the minority by having a digital scale, but after reading so many recipes couched in ounces and tenths of ounces, I finally broke down and bought one. And I'm glad I did.
Also, I'm cutting Kelly's recipe kind of/close to in half. So, basically what I've done is butcher someone else's excellent recipe by putting my spin on it. I wanted it to be more accessible. And ounces and tenths of ounces aren't for the everyday cook, although I appreciate them. And you should too. If anyone went out and bought a digital scale after reading this, would you please tell me?
My ingredients:
1/2 cup bread flour
1/2 all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
 TB sugar
1 TB baking powder
4 TB Crisco
 1/4 cup buttermilk
 1 egg
I mixed the dry ingredients, then added the Crisco, following one of Kelly's instructions: First - When rubbing in the fat you want a good portion, around 90%, to be the size of pecans. It will look, and feel wrong at first. Trust me on this, big fat equals big layers.
Next, I added in the buttermilk and the beaten egg.
I turned that scraggly mess onto a floured board and followed the 2nd of Kelly's caveats: Second - When I say knead the dough I do not mean the traditional push and turn. I want you to flatten the dough with your palm until the dough is an inch or so thick then fold the dough in half over itself. You will repeat this ten times. You will see the dry mess you start with and say, “No way! This will never come together!” Trust me. It will.
Kelly's third note: Third - When cutting out biscuits NEVER TWIST THE CUTTER EVER! Did I say ever? Yes? Good. Even after you press down and you are sure the biscuit is cut don’t be tempted to twist. Just shake the cutter back and forth gently. Oh crap. I forgot to do Kelly's last step: Last - Egg wash. It will turn what would be a tepid biscuit into a gloriously golden, irresistible biscuit. You can skip it, it makes no difference in flavor, but in overall appeal you will not regret it.

I placed the biscuits in a 400 degree oven and cooked for 15 minutes.
Dang. Wish I'd put that egg wash on.
I put on a bit of butter on the biscuit
and dipped it in my sausage gravy and forgot all about the egg wash.
Oh, wait.
You gotta have some of Mr. Hawthorne's sourwood honey.
 I made biscuits.
 Layers and layers of tender, flaky, scrumptiousness.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you, Kelly.
 I can now make biscuits that I don't end up feeding to sea gulls.

 Did I mention sausage gravy?
I had cooked sausage patties for the Hawthornes and their various friends who'd slept over and wanted to make a sausage gravy for my biscuits. However, whatever type sausage I used was very low on fat. So I added a plop of butter to the pan.
I pulled apart one cooked sausage and added that and flour (2-3 tablespoons). Stirred and cooked the flour.
I poured in milk gradually, cooking, stirring, and thickening. Salt and pepper.
A bit of granulated garlic.
A shake of onion powder.
And my new BFF seasoning, Montreal Steak.
 Add more milk if needed.
And I give you the first of three breakfasts: 
Daughter Hawthorne's Breakfast #1:
Biscuit in the back with sausage gravy,
 lightly scrambled eggs with cream and cheddar cheese,
bacon and sausage.
Here's Middle Hawthorne's breakfast #2:
 biscuit with sausage and sausage gravy,
 extra biscuit, bacon, and eggs over hard.
 (And that's very hard for me to do, since I like a runny yolk.
Kids. What do they know?)
And Youngest Hawthorne's Breakfast #3:
Sausage biscuit with gravy, bacon, and non-scrambled,
 slightly sliced and turned egg on rubber/plastic cheese.
 (And it absolutely KILLS me to make this one.)
 BOTTOM LINE: I made biscuits!
GOOD biscuits!!
And you can too!!!
Thanks, Kelly!


Marilyn said...

Good for you! That reminds me, I haven't made biscuits in a while.

And really, you can't do a Sandra Lee Money Saving Meal recipe and figure out how much money you've spent without a digital scale.

Seriously, I like to use mine to make sure that I have even patties for burgers. I'd really hate for the family to go after one another because someone had gotten a bigger burger!

Rocquie said...

My husband likes eggs like #3. His mother has never been much of a cook, and that was the quickest and easiest way to get breakfast done, and back out in the garden, which is her passion.

They call them yeller an' white eggs.

Donna-FFW said...

Love this post. I suck at biscuit making. Ill have to try this one.

Kelly said...

Those turned out so lovely, egg washed or not! So glad you liked them!!

Hairball T. Hairball said...

I'll have the #1 please.