Monday, June 8, 2009
Strawberries were on special... and they were so sweet and juicy...
One day it was strawberry shortcake and a day later, not wanting to waste a single berry..I made some scones.
Here is the basic sweet tea biscuit recipe I use. Instead of rolling or cutting ..I just drop it in huge dollops onto a baking sheet. It makes lovely rustic looking scones.
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
4 tsps. baking powder (I usually reduce this amount)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup firm shortening (I always use butter)
Mix dry ingredients in bowl. Cut in fat with pastry blender 'til mixture has the appearance of fine crumbs.
Beat the egg with a fork in measuring cup and add milk to make one cup. Add milk and mix gently. If it seems a bit dry I add a couple of tablespoons of plain yogurt. Perhaps if you prefer to roll it or make cut outs.. you won't need the extra moisture..., but I like mine nice and moist.
Drop large rounds onto a baking sheet..leaving a bit of room to spread.
Bake at 400 F for 10 - 20 minutes. depending upon the size.
It says it makes 12-18 biscuits 3/4 inch thick. I usually make 9 large mounded scones....or 6 giant ones.
For a creamy lemony/strawberry scone... substitute buttermilk or sour cream for the milk, add juice of 1/2 to 1 whole lemon and some lemon zest; reduce baking powder to 2 teaspoons, add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and a handful of cut up strawberries. I usually make some smaller chunks and some a bit larger .... Sprinkle sugar on the top if you like.
These are lovely ... with a great crumb.... and even two days later (if any survive that long ) .. are not dry or tasteless. If you want to reheat ...place in a paper towel...and heat for a few minutes in the microwave. Just like fresh out of the oven. Quick and easy... give them a try..you'll be glad you did!
Friday, June 5, 2009
Ciabatta ... apparently the name means "carpet slipper"... is a no-knead bread anyway, so I'm not sure what the big deal is in the video ...but, it seemed so simple compared to other recipes in my bread books... (which call for a few more steps and a few more ingredients) ... so, I gave it a try. It was simple...pretty tasty and I'll definitely make it again. I was surprised that the crust did not get as dark as the Tuscan Peasant Bread... but, perhaps the oil and cornmeal on the baking sheet is the way to go versus the parchment .... ?? or, perhaps the water in the oven for extra moisture is the answer.. or, perhaps the honey in the mix ... ?? who knows, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the bottom more golden than dark brown. Not that I mind a well cooked crust. I also love a chewy crust...which this has. Yum... I only had one small piece today...but, can't wait for toast in the morning.... I love artisan type breads toasted!
The crumb of mine is not as airy as the master's... but, it still has a few good sized holes. My bread book says to handle it very gently to preserve the air bubbles for those lovely large voids. .. not that extra large holes would enhance the flavour. Perhaps I'll wear kid gloves next time.... just so I can have a holey loaf for my photo shoot.
Oh, yes....the guy doesn't mention it in his video..but..on his blog...he says he always bakes bread with a pan of water on the bottom of his oven. It would probably be a good idea to revise your video mister...
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Had to post this one.... Susan sent me a no knead video... the one that calls for heating your lovely Le Creuset dutch oven in blistering heat before you toss in the dough... and I just couldn't get my head around doing that. Not that I own one but, you know..say if I did....some day.....
Plus..it sounds a bit dangerous...so hot and all...
So...I while I was checking out the video..I saw this one. Ahhh...much better idea. Hey Susan...it is the Tuscan all over again... your recipe is still the best. Although, with this one ... they just mix and leave it for 18 hours..then bake it. I'm definitely giving this one a go... I'll let you know what happens.
UPDATE:: I knew it!! found this post on a foodie site talking about no-knead breads.....
Don't use your enamel Le Creuset for this procedure! Massive, permanent, discoloration and funky spots and stripes to your pot. Did this about a year ago and my beautiful pot, although functional, is now ugly.