Sunday, May 27, 2012

perfect morning for...

This morning was a perfect morning for a lot of things. Many of which I did not in fact do, like sleep in, make my own coffee, or clean my room.

However I did make biscuits.  It may have been one of the best decisions I've ever made on a Sunday morning. Ever.

On Friday I was in Portland and I had a biscuit and egg for breakfast. While I may be giving the biscuit itself more credit than deserved, as my exhausted post concert state may have made me slightly more susceptible to false-biscuit-charm than usual, I've been dreaming of them ever since.

I've made pie dough and scones and the occasional shortcake biscuit, but never your traditional non dessert variety. You know the kind. The biscuit and gravy kind. The biscuit and jam kind (my favorite, obviously). The biscuit and chowder kind. The kind of biscuit that can be easily adapted to any taste or meal- sweet or savory.

Since I didn't have a recipe I thought I would lean upon the world of mathematics. I know, I know, but I'm studying for the GRE so I need my practice and Michael Ruhlman may just be the smartest man I know....

Let's talk about Ratios. Or rather, the ratio that leads us to delicious breakfast biscuits- the likes of which are perfect for lazy, grey Sunday mornings.

According to my man, it's a 3:1:2. Essentially, the same ingredients as pie dough, but with twice the liquid-- meaning more gluten and more flakes, crumbles, butter, and overall doughiness.

Sounds good to me.

Oh and let me tell you, Mr. Ruhlman nailed this one one the head. Or rather, if you will allow me to, took the biscuit with this recipe.

He also added baking powder, which I did as well, and then I took the liberty of adding some baking soda in addition to the powder. Resulting in a more rustic and charming biscuit.

3:1:2 Biscuits
Adapted from Ratio by Michael Ruhlman 

3 cups flour (scant cups)
A measurement I just learned, meaning a cup that is not completely full. Personally, I think it's a terrible word, simply because of the way it sounds, but until I find a better one it will do. 
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
A heavy pinch of salt 
2 scant (or substitute your invented word) cups of butter milk
8 ounces cold unsalted butter. 

Like pie dough, mix flour, salt, powder, and soda in large bowl. Add in cubed ice cold butter and incorporate well into the flour. You can use two knives or just your thumb and forefinger to pinch the butter into the flour mixture. Add in buttermilk. Stir and let set in the refrigerator for about an hour. 

Drop dough onto a lined baking sheet (not greased) and bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.  Feel free to sprinkle with a little raw sugar or salt depending on your preference or intended biscuit accompaniment. 

Then enjoy.

Like this...

And like this.

Yes, that is a poached egg. I am still working on it, but I've determined it comes down to panache. There are tips and techniques- vinegar, spiraling water, etc- but I'm convinced it comes down to just a splash of verve.

I wanted to end with one last biscuit pun. But the only idioms I could think of didn't seem that fitting. Something to do with buttering my biscuit or broken biscuits and grizzly bears...

I don't know. What I want to say is I have a kitchen full of biscuits and worse things have happened.

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