24 January 2007

Hot Little Biscuits

I love biscuits, and I find that they amplify and complete a simple meal, like the "porky pea soup" I pulled out of the freezer last night. [Yes, that's how W. labeled it when he put it away, and it was indeed porky.] But most biscuit recipes make far too many for our little family of two adults and one unpredictable child, and since they're best right out of the oven, I don't like to have leftovers. So, I've finally perfected a recipe to make biscuits for two (or three). It uses only one cup of flour, and makes about six biscuits. I've given a couple of options - one for the leavening, one for the liquid. I've had a can of Bakewell Cream in the cupboard for awhile, along with a can of buttermilk powder in the fridge. If you have either, use - otherwise, don't. The somewhat unorthodox baking method works beautifully and comes from the back of the Bakewell Cream can.

Hot Little Biscuits, for two or three people

1 cup flour
1 t. Bakewell Cream*
1/2 t. baking soda
OR 1 1/2 t. baking powder in place of the Bakewell Cream and baking soda
1/4 t. salt
2 T. butter
3/8 cup milk
OR 3/8 cup water + 1 1/2 T. buttermilk powder in place of the milk

  1. Preheat oven to 475° F.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together (this includes the buttermilk powder if you're using it).
  3. Cut butter into smallish pieces, about 1/2" chunks, and add to the dry ingredients. Using your fingers, toss the butter to coat with flour, and quickly squish the butter pieces to flatten. Work quickly so the butter doesn't melt from the heat of your fingers, and keep squishing until all the butter is in nice little pieces.
  4. Quickly add the liquid (water or milk). Stir with a butter knife until it comes together. Using the knife, carve out five or six lumps of dough and place on a non-stick pan. Pat them if they're too unruly looking. They should be about 3/4" thick.
  5. Bake for five minutes at 475° F. When the timer goes off, turn off the oven and leave the biscuits in the oven for another 10 minutes, until golden brown.
*Bakewell Cream is a substitute for cream of tartar - when combined with baking soda, it becomes like baking powder. Here's a good explanation. The Bakewell Cream makes really fluffy biscuits - they rise better than those made with regular double-acting baking powder.