Big, Fat, Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits

I, personally, am not a huge biscuit fan. However, my Taste Tester loves a fat flaky biscuit. I have tried several recipes over the years but each time they just didn’t ‘hit the mark’ for what we were looking for. That all changed when I tried this recipe. Even I (the non biscuit lover) really really enjoyed these biscuits. They were exactly what I was trying to achieve.

These biscuits baked up big, fat and flaky but best of all, not only did they look great, they tasted great! These would be the perfect sidekick to fall meals like beef stew, chicken potpie, and smothered in gravy. Of course, they are also perfect for peeling apart layer by  layer and eating in your kitchen. Or with a smothering of butter and honey like my Taste Tester eats his

The recipe is easy to follow, uses ingredients you probably already have and take less than 30 minutes from start to finish. You really have no excuse not to make these.

I rate these a 9.5

 Big Fat Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits
found here 

4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter, melted, for brushing over biscuits
Preheat oven to 450°F.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Scatter the cubes of cold butter over the top of the flour mixture; cut in and mix using a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add the buttermilk and cream and continue to mix using fork or pastry cutter until mixture just begins to come together.
Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured counter and pat the dough into a 10 by 12-inch rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Use a 3-inch round biscuit cutter to cut out biscuits and place them on a lightly greased baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Brush the tops of the biscuits with heavy cream.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush tops with melted butter. Serve warm and enjoy!Makes 12-15 biscuits. 

Basic Beer Bread

While I mainly post sweet recipes on this blog there are several other baked goods I make on a regular basis. This is one of those recipes.

Who doesn’t love a piece of soft, warm bread directly from the oven? It can really round out a meal but who has the time to go through the steps and make a yeast based bread? Don’t get me wrong, I love me some old fashioned bread but when you are looking for a recipe that requires minimal input of energy and time with a maximum output of taste and versatility look no further than this quick bread.

I have used this as my ‘go-to’ quick bread recipe for years and it continues to remain one of my favorite recipes to whip up.I love this recipe for a few reasons, first and foremost because it tastes wonderful, especially out of the oven when it is all warm and slightly crumbly. It gets no better. This bread has a more dense crumb than a yeast bread but that makes it all the better to slather with Peanut Butter or to dip into a bowl of piping how soup or chili!

I also love this recipe because it is so super simple and uses ingredients I keep on hand on a regular basis (yes beer is usually in my fridge or at least the garage). Like I said, I can whip this bread up in less time than it takes to watch an episode of Dexter (under 60 minutes for those not familiar with one of the best shows on tv). Lastly, this recipe holds a place in my heart because it is so versatile. You can change up the flavor just by changing the beer you use.

If you want a wheatier (is that a word) flavor use a fuller bodied brew, for lighter taste use a honey wheat. The possibilities are endless. If you are worried about using alcohol in recipes for your family do not fear, you can easily substitute a non-alcoholic beer or soda for the beer in this recipe.

I have had great success using Diet Mt. Dew or Sprite, just know your bread will be slightly sweeter unless you cut some of the sugar down a bit in the dry ingredients.If you are feeling really adventurous why not use an orange soda or how about a grape one and slather some Peanut Butter on toasted bread for a unique PB&J!

I have been inspired as well and besides the original, have had great success playing around with the recipe. I have added cheeses and herbs to my dough (when using beer) with great results.I added toasted walnuts and butterscotch chips to a loaf using Mt. Dew. This was good toasted!I have added a few TBS of peanut butter to the batter when using Mt. Dew for a mild PB taste that went great with jelly!Use your imagination and come up with some great combinations!

I rate this recipe a 9.5

Basic Beer Bread
3 cups  all-purpose flour
3 TBS granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 TBS baking powder
12 ounces beer
2 TBS butter, melted

Heat oven to 375°. Spray a loaf pay with PAM
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.Gently fluff  with fork until mixed. Slowly add in beer (or beverage of choice) and mix just until combined.You batter will be thick.
Spread in prepared pan and carefully pour melted butter over the top.Bake until golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes.
Remove from pan and cool 10 more minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

*If you want to add in herbs or cheese, add to dry ingredients before adding beer. You can also sprinkle some on the top of the loaf prior to bak

Amish White Bread


So, as many of you bloggers may know Peabody from http://www.culinaryconcoctionsbypeabody.com/ is having a virtual open house this Saturday December 8th. In order to attend, you must bring a potluck dish. After much thought and consideration I decided to try my hand at something I have never baked before: a yeast bread.

I enviously drool over the baked items on Peabody’s blog and admire her baking abilities almost as much as I envy my grandmother’s ability to bake bread like no other. So, I thought this open house would be the perfect time to try my hand at a loaf of yeast bread. Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh bread filling a room? So, with that plan in mind I phoned my grandma who sadly informed me that she has no recipe and adds ingredients by sight and feel. Well, a lot of good that does me as she lives 8 hours away!

I decided to turn to http://www.allrecipes.com/ to find a basic white yeast bread recipe. Normally I would buy whole wheat bread, but as I had no whole wheat flour at home, I decided on this recipe http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Amish-White-Bread/Detail.aspx

Let me tell you this bread ROCKED and I will be making more yeast breads in the future! It had a nice crisp crust, soft dense interior that held up perfectly to a generous slathering of Peanut butter at breakfast.

While bringing a loaf of this delicious bread to an open house would be welcomed, I decided to turn one loaf into bite sized grilled cheese. These little beauties are perfect for passing around at a Housewarming Party with a dab of Ketchup (although I would prefer to have these bite sized morsels with a shot glass full of Roasted Tomato Soup!, Maybe next time

because there WILL be a next time!)
.
I rate this recipe a 9

Amish White Bread
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2/3 cup white sugar (I used 1/3 cup based on reviews and my grandma’s advice)
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups bread flour

In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.

Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9×5 inch loaf pans.

Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.