Saturday, January 26, 2013

Making Biscuits (and a mess)

These are just too good not to share.

Biscuits, my friends.

During my weight loss journey I haven't had very many so you can be sure that when I do partake they better be worth it.

Josiah loves biscuits. And because I am on a mission to make him a well-rounded guy I am teaching him to cook the things he loves (maybe not poptarts) and the basics.

Biscuits happen to be pretty easy to make. They can be served with any meal and they provide a wealth of teachable moments when your child (or you) is learning to cook.

We used an old family recipe for biscuits. I love things that are passed down. And by all means. If you make biscuits differently, please do. But this is how we roll.





First. Wash your hands! Very important. Almost as important as the next step.(also take a minute to preheat your oven to 400)


Which involves taking a random picture of your nostrils. Very important. 


Gather your supplies. For making biscuits we needed a large mixing bowl, mixing cups and spoons, a mixing spoon and some sort of cutter. We also got out the rolling pin. You don't need it to make biscuits, but Josiah likes it.


You will also need these ingredients: Flour, milk (we used buttermilk), shortening or oil, baking powder and salt. Now. We used self-rising flour because I have some in my freezer that needs to be used up.
This means we didn't add salt, but still used the baking powder. Makes the biscuits extra fluffy.

Here is a good teaching moment: Baking is science. If you use ingredients that are old and out of date, often you will wind up with an inferior product. 


We also used Coconut Oil in place of the shortening. It is supposed to be healthier. We'll see.


Measure out the dry ingredients and sift them together. Misplaced your sifter? You can use any of these techniques instead.


Add the shortening (or oil) and cut the shortening into the flour with a fork or pastry blender. We use the fork method. Our pastry blender is currently residing in the Storage Building. If you use The Fork Method simply use the back of the fork and press the bits of shortening into the flour mixture until it looks all crumbly like. You can also use your hands if you are not adverse to getting a bit messy.


Add the milk. We love using buttermilk. And we are fortunate in the fact that we have a Studly Muffin who loves buttermilk almost as much as he loves me. If you would like the tang of buttermilk, but aren't  blessed with having a 2 week supply in fridge you can use one of these substitutes.


The biscuit dough at this point should be a little sticky. Add just enough flour to make it just a little less sticky (don't you appreciate my technical ease?). It needs to be the consistency that allows you to move it to the mat and work with it just a bit. We put just a bit of flour on our mat (which came 4 or 5 for a $ at The Dollar Tree).



Knead the dough just one or two times (not too much) and flatten out on the mat.


The whole rolling pin move is completely unnecessary. But what do you do? It's fun to play with.


And now it's time to cut out!  Josiah chose a star shape for his biscuits. And had time for a little flour art.


Very nice.

Here is something I need to stress. For those of you who can't stand messes (and please forgive me for being so blunt) you are going to have to chill. Teach them to clean as they go. But learning needs to be hands on. The end product (a well-rounded individual, family time, some yummy food) is well worth it.


Bake the biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet at 400 for 8-10 minutes. Beautiful!



And perfectly yummy with our Fall Apple Butter. 


3 comments:

  1. I watched an episode of Good Eats on the Food Channel a long time ago (when we still had cable). Alton Brown made homemade "poptarts" that looked simply divine. Just something to think about.

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  2. Here's a link that basically transcribes the episode, if you are interested. It has a biscuit recipe that is transformed into a homemade "poptart."

    http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/season9/pocketpie/pocket_pie_tran.htm

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ooo! Thanks, Cristy! I am going to have to check that out. We need a healthier alternative ;<)

    ReplyDelete

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