Savor The Earth

eat tastier, eat greener, eat cheaper

Wing-it Bicuits May 4, 2010

Filed under: biscuits,bread,breakfast,easy,fast,locavore,vegetarian — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 1:34 pm

Why yes, I would like some biscuit with my butter!

OK, so I was VERY hungry and late on my lunch this afternoon, having flowered and delivered a cake for the Teachers Appreciation lunch at my kindergartner’s school.  (My carrot cake really “rose” to the occasion—see photos.)  But biscuits never fail me—butter and starch, spread with more butter and maybe even some honey?  Bring it on, honey!

Richardson Farms locally grown whole wheat flour (available at their Barton Creek location) shines its fresh and sweetly wheaty glow onto every recipe it touches.  These super easy, quick as a flash, homey drop-style biscuits are no exception.  With a light and fluffy texture (not at all heavy, despite their whole grain content), these fast little breads fill you up like royalty when spread with great butter and local honey or your favorite fruit preserves.  Let ’em cool down and you can even shortcake ’em!  Plenty of local strawberries teasing at our farmers markets lately.  And dewberries!  We’ve been keeping an eye on our patch in the woods and so far have collected two—berries that is.  But our pint from Naegelin Farms (SFC market at Sunset Valley) this past Saturday helped put the color in our kids faces, literally!

WING-IT BISCUITS makes 8 biscuits

  • 140 grams organic all-purpose flour
  • 100 grams organic or local (Richardson Farms) whole wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder, sieved.  I prefer Rumford, aluminum-free and non-GMO.
  • ½ Tablespoon organic sugar.  Widely available in bulk departments around town.
  • generous ½ teaspoon baking soda, sieved.
  • scant teaspoon salt.  I use Real Salt.
  • 1 cup yogurt.  I make my own from local goat milk.  Check out how.  The folks at Swede Farm Dairy just had a baby and Wateroak Farms will be taking a two-month break.  I’ll let you know how our options are faring.
  • 1 stick organic butter, cut into bits and well-chilled.  Organic Valley is my favorite.  Natural Grocers has OV butter on special for only $3.99 a pound through May 15.  Closer to my hood, Sprouts counters with a price of $4.49, through May 5.

Preheat your toaster oven to 425°.  You can use your full-size oven, of course, but it’s May and warm here already.  I use the toaster oven whenever I can in hot weather as it heats up the kitchen less.  Plus it uses less energy than the big oven.  Have a 9″ round cake pan handy and get out your ¼-cup scoop.

Combine the dry ingredients (flours through the salt) in the bowl of a food processorRun the machine to thoroughly mix them.  Add the butter and process for a few seconds to cut it in.  Turn the flour mixture out into a bowl and pour on the yogurt.  Stir together quickly to moisten all the flour.

Using your scoop, preferably spring-loaded, scoop out 8 rounds and place them in a 9″ pan.  You’ll have seven mounds around the perimeter and one scoop in the middle.  Bake at 425° for about 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 400° and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more, until biscuits are browned and cooked through.

Place pan on a cooling rack for a few minutes before carefully loosening biscuits from pan.

Fill your belly!

 

Texas Velvet Biscuit Cake March 28, 2010

Filed under: biscuits,bread,breakfast,cake,easy,locavore,vegetarian — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 10:00 pm

honey me this

Back to baking!  With the reintroduction of beans into our diet after last week’s brush with death (well that’s what it felt like, anyways), and it being Sunday and coolish, I decided that biscuits were in order.  And honey.

This super easy recipe combines local Richardson Farms fresh ground whole wheat flour with a softer flour from King Arthur for a fluffy and super-light texture that soaks up a hive of honey.  So comb your cupboards and nectar nooks for the bee sap to enjoy this mound melligenously.  Yeah, that’s right.  I made up an adverb.

TEXAS VELVET BISCUIT CAKE makes a 9″ round of 6 (sort of) large biscuits

Combine the dry ingredients in your food processor and whirl until mixed.  Add the butter and lard and process until the mixture looks mealy.  You’re not going for flaky here so do blend the fat in well.  Turn the flour out into a bowl and stir in the yogurt with a fork until well blended.  Using a greased ½-cup measure or spring-loaded scoop (best), scoop out six heaping ½-cup portions and place them in a buttered 9″ round pan (1½” to 2″ high).  You’ll get five biscuits around the perimeter and one in the middle.

Bake at 425° for 20 to 25 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown and well-risen.  Let the biscuits cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before turning them out.  Use a fork to pull the biscuits apart (they’ll have coalesced) and split them for honeyin’.

Bzzzzzzzzzzzz!

 

Dai Due…Good Lard!! Biscuits Fine and Flaky September 22, 2009

Filed under: biscuits,bread,Dai Due,easy,fast,locavore — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 4:24 pm
Butterless Biscuits---Honeyed Up!

Butterless Biscuits---Honeyed Up!

I just finished eating some of the best biscuits I’ve ever baked.  Thanks to Dai Due’s luscious lard, layers of flavorful flakes softly crunch, crumble, and finally, melt in my mouth.  With local honey perfectly complementing the taste of the pork fat, I’m having a hard time sharing.  Luckily that cold front came through, ’cause I’m gonna have to crank up the oven again!

LARD BISCUITS makes about a dozen

  • 4 ounces best-quality lard.  I highly recommend Dai Due Butcher Shop’s house rendered pork fat from Richardson Farms pastured pigs.
  • 62 grams (½ cups plus 1 Tablespoon) organic white whole wheat flour.  Whole Foods generally offers the best deals on flour.
  • 60 grams (scant 2/3 cup) organic whole wheat pastry flour.  Ditto.
  • 122 grams (1 cup) organic all-purpose flour.  Ditto.
  • scant ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder, pressed through a fine-meshed sieve.  Aluminum-free and not genetically modified, Rumford is my choice.
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda, pressed through a fine-meshed sieve.
  • 2/3 cup yogurt.  Local goat milk—try Swede Farm Dairy or Wateroak Farm—makes perfect baking yogurt.  Try homemade.
  • 1 Tablespoon local honey.  I usually buy Good Flow in bulk at Central Market.

Preheat your oven to 425º.

I keep my lard in the refrigerator for freshness.  So when I dig it out of the jar, it comes out in pieces.  This is ideal.  Place the lard shards on a plate and refrigerate it while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and whiz ’em up to mix.  In your measuring cup, stir together the yogurt and honey.

Add the lard to the food processor and pulse about 10 times to cut it into the flour.  Don’t overprocess.  You want to leave some largish—maybe almond-sized—pieces of fat.  If you don’t have a processor, use a pastry blender or your fingertips.  Dump the flour mixture into a large bowl and pour all the yogurt over it.  Quickly stir together with a large fork to thoroughly moisten.  Use a flexible scraper to gather the dough together, folding it onto itself and pressing stray bits into the main mass.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface—a silpat is perfect.

Quickly and lightly knead the dough, folding it over itself several times using the flexible scraper.  Roll out or pat to about ½” thickness, approximately 12″ X 12″.  Cut up the dough into biscuits.  I use a bench scraper to speedily, if not artfully, stamp out some squares (and squarishes).  Shapes and yield are up to you.  Place biscuits on a large baking sheet.

Bake about 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve hot with local honey.  I dare you to share!


 

Hurry up Biscuits August 3, 2009

Filed under: biscuits,bread,easy,fast — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 2:02 pm

biscuits 'n' gravy

Drop biscuits are fast and fine.  If you add a little cornmeal to ’em they’re mighty finer.

CORNMEAL DROP BISCUITS yields 10 or so, depending on your scoopin’

  • 2 1/2 ounces (5 Tablespoons) butter, I prefer Organic Valley’s regular unsalted butter for this recipe
  • scant 2/3 cup milk, preferably local
  • 2 3/4 ounces (3 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons) honey, preferably local
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 7/8 ounces (1 cup) cornmeal
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) white whole wheat flour, preferably organic
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • freshly cracked black pepper, a little or a lot, optional

If you’re baking these in your big oven, start preheating it to 400º now. Usually I just bake a partial batch and the toaster oven gets it done with minimal preheating and minimal kitchen heating.  Really saves energy.  Cut your butter into 1/4 Tablespoon or so chunks.  Put the butter bits on a small plate and pop it into the fridge while you work on the rest of the recipe.

Combine your milk and honey together with the salt.  I mix it with a fork in my measuring cup to spare a bowl.  Whisk together the remaining dry ingredients and place them into your food processor.  Dump in the chilled butter and pulse a few times to incorporate.  You want to still see some chunks so don’t pulse to uniformity.  If you don’t have a processor you can cut in the butter the old-fashioned way in a bowl with a pastry cutter.  My pastry cutter is pretty much relegated to chopping hard-boiled eggs.  That activity doesn’t happen very often around here but I do find this implement to be perfect for the task.

Dump your buttered flour into a bowl and pour all your honey/milk in at once.  Quickly stir it all together with a fork (use the same fork) to evenly moisten the mass and don’t overmix.  Scoop the mixture onto a baking sheet right away using anywhere from a heaping Tablespoon to about 2 Tablespoons per biscuit.  (Do make them equally sized.)  If you won’t be eating the full batch right now, and of course a full batch won’t fit into the toaster oven anyway, scoop out some biscuits onto a plate and put the plate in the freezer for awhile.  When the frozen dough has firmed up, you can cleave the hibernating honeys from the plate and place them into a plastic bag or container for the next time you want even-faster biscuits.  Around my house that’s usually about a minute after we eat the last of the beginning batch.  They actually bake up texturally superior from the frozen state.  I find them moister inside even when I bake them browner.

Bake until browned and done, anywhere from about 10 minutes to maybe 15 minutes.  Depends on size of biscuit, size of oven, spacing of biscuits (I generally like them farther apart, hence crispier-crusted) and whether your dough’s freshly mixed or frozen.  The bottoms on these babes can brown, overly to my taste, so adjust your rack to give ’em a margin of safety.  In the big oven an insulated pan can help.

The flavor of these biscuits improves on cooling, but who can wait?  At any rate, everybody knows to eat ’em fresh.  Enjoy!