26 April 2005

buttermilk biscuits

from America's Test Kitchen

2 cups (10 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbs double-acting baking powder
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 Tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1.5 cups cold buttermilk

To form and finish biscuits:
1 cup (5 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour, distributed in rimmed baking sheet
2 Tbs unsalted butter, melted

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees.

In food processor, pulse flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda to combine, about six 1-second pulses. Scatter butter cubes evenly over dry ingredients; pulse until mixture resembles pebbly, coarse cornmeal, eight to ten 1-second pulses. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Add buttermilk to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated (dough will be very wet and slightly lumpy).

Spray 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Generously spray inside and outside of 1/4 cup dry measure with nonstick cooking spray. Using 1/4 cup dry measure and working quickly, scoop level amount of dough; drop dough from measuring cup into flour on baking sheet (if dough sticks to cup, use small spoon to pull it free). Repeat with remaining dough, forming 12 evenly sized mounds.

Dust tops of each piece of dough with flour from baking sheet. With floured hands, gently pick up piece of dough and coat with flour; gently shape dough into rough ball, shake off excess flour, and place in prepared cake pan. Repeat with remaining dough, arranging 9 rounds around perimeter of cake pan and 3 in center. Brush rounds with hot melted butter, taking care not to flatten them.

Bake 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 450 degrees; continue to bake until biscuits are deep golden brown, about 15 minutes longer.

Cool in pan 2 minutes, then invert biscuits from pan onto clean kitchen towel. Turn biscuits right side up and break apart. Cool 5 minutes longer and serve.

brie and fruit french toast

For 12 sandwiches:

6 eggs, lightly beaten
2 c. milk
¼ t nutmeg
¼ t cinnamon
1 apple<>
Cranberry or apricot or other preserves

Slice French bread in 24 slices and put 12 of them in a large baking dish. Core apple and thinly slice into 12 or 24 pieces. Put 1 or 2 apple slices on each piece of bread. Slice the Brie into thin pieces and put the cheese on top of the apple. Put a spoonful of preserves on each sandwich and top with the other slices of bread. Mix eggs, milk, and spices together well and pour half over the sandwiches. Turn each sandwich over and pour the rest of the egg mixture, making sure each sandwich is thoroughly coated. Cook on lightly oiled, preheated griddle heated to 360°. Place sandwiches brie side down, turning once after cheese has begun to melt. Toast should grill to an even golden brown. Serve immediately with fresh berries, bacon, and warm maple syrup.