Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Friday, May 13, 2016

'Quick Bread'

When it comes to breakfast, it is hard to beat good ol' homemade biscuits. Having found a place at the table prior to the American Civil War, they were a cheap addition for any meal, even dinner. Biscuits do not require yeast, therefore, they fall in the category of a 'quick bread'. The leavening agent is baking soda which reacts with buttermilk producing carbon dioxide bubbles that let the dough expand while baking. Not all biscuits have to be made with buttermilk, but that will be the liquid of choice today.

May 14... 
National Buttermilk Biscuit Day

There are an infinite number of recipes for biscuits with a plethora of them being buttermilk biscuits. What made the biscuit so popular in the first place? One of the food staples during the 1800s was bread...not as a loner but accompanied with gravy. The combination could be rather sloppy and messy becoming quite difficult to eat hand to mouth. With the biscuit's crispy, tougher outer 'coat', it was perfect to sop up the gravy leaving the plate clean!
If you find a recipe that says "beat" the dough, somebody likes tough biscuits! Um-m-m? That just may be the one you need to sop up all the gravy. For a light flaky biscuit, handle the dough with care. In addition, there are all kinds of flour on the market. If you live in an area where While Lily flour is available, that is the best flour ever!

~Recipe Time~

Here is my recipe handed down from a railroad porter...


Cathead Biscuits
Preheat oven to 450˚ F

2 1/2 cups self-rising flour (preferably White Lily)
4 tbsp cold butter-flavor shortening
1 cup cold buttermilk
1/8 tsp baking soda

Add soda to buttermilk and whisk thoroughly. Set aside. Sift flour into a small bowl before measuring. Measure 2 1/2 cups & return to sifter. Sift again. Cut in the shortening until mixture is crumbly. (Fingers work real well. No need for a fancy pastry cutter.) 

Make a well in the center of the measured flour. Slowly add buttermilk folding gently toward the center until a ball begins to form. (It may not take the full cup of buttermilk.) Flour hands and work the dough into a smooth ball.

Turn ball onto a floured pastry cloth. Use hands to press gently into a circle about 1/2 in thickness. (No rolling pin necessary.) Cut seven biscuits (six around the edges and one in the center). Take enough of the remaining dough and hand press the eighth biscuit. 

Melt 1/2 stick butter in an iron skillet. Place biscuits in skillet turning carefully to coat with the melted butter. 

HERE COMES THE BEST PART - What to do with the dough left over from cutting the biscuits: Make biscuit bites! Pinch off small pieces of dough and roll into bite-size balls. Place the balls around the sides of the skillet in the holes between the biscuits.

Bake at 450˚ F for 12 - 15 mins. (12 mins in convection oven). The bites will literally melt in your mouth. For extra buttery taste, before eating split a biscuit in half. Slather with butter and broil until lightly browned.

 

yum, yum, yum . . . yummy!