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Biscuits

Note: Dough can be refrigerated for up to two days if necessary. The technique for mixing is
much the same as Aunt Ida's pie crust tips. Cut your favorite herbs into any of the following
recipes. Or, add sun-dried tomatoes; grated Parmesan, Romano, or blue cheese; crumbled
bacon, minced pepperoni; sesame, poppy or sunflower seeds; minced scallions or onions;
chopped black olives.  Mix some honey with ground ancho peppers and drizzle on biscuits served with Mexican Stew.

Basic Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cp white unbleached flour

2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1/4 cp + 3 T unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes for easier handling
2/3-3/4 cp buttermilk
milk, cream, or melted butter for brushing tops

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (adjust to your oven's temperament)
2. Combine dry ingredients and cut in butter til texture is coarse and grainy.
3. Sprinkle buttermilk over mixture and stir lightly with fork to blend.
4. Turn onto floured board and knead 8-10 times, til dough is just rollable.
5. Roll out 1/2" thickness and cut into 2" discs with a cookie cutter or glass (dipped in flour
first) and place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
6. Brush tops with milk, cream or butter. Cook for 12-15 minutes

Cheddar-Glazed Biscuits

2 cp unbleached flour
/2 t salt
4 t baking powder
2 cps finely grated sharp cheddar (recipe calls for orange, we use yellow)
1/3 cp shortening or half shortening and half unsalted margarine
2/3-3/4 cp milk

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Combine dry ingredients with cp of the grated cheese.
3. Cut in shortening and margarine til mixture is coarse and grainy.
4. Stir in milk and mix lightly til ingredients are evenly moistened
5. Turn onto lightly floured board and knead about 10 times, til dough is just smooth.
6. Roll out to 1/2" thickness and cut into 2" discs with cookie cutter or glass (dipped in flour
first) and place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
7. Bake 10 minutes, then cover tops with remaining grated cheese. Return to oven and bake
til biscuits are golden brown (about 15 minutes total time)

Spice and Sweet Potato Biscuits

2 cps unbleached flour
4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 T brown sugar
Pinch each, cinnamon and nutmeg
1/4 cp unsalted butter
1/4 cp shortening
1/3 cp finely chopped pecans (opt)
1/2 cp evaporated milk or light cream
2/3 cp mashed potato

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Sift dry ingredients (including sugar).
3. Cut in butter and shortening till mixture is mealy.
4. Add pecans, stirring gently. Stir evaporated milk or cream into mashed sweet potato and
stir that mixture into dry flour mixture to form soft dough.
5. Knead briefly on lightly floured board and pat down to thickness of 1/2" to 3/4"
thickness. Cut into 2" discs and place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
6. Bake till lightly golden, 12-15 minutes.

                       Washington Post

Squash Biscuits

Note:  This cook struggles with any yeast-based recipe.  Joy of Cooking recommends dissolving compressed yeast in liquid at 85 and dry yeast at between 105   and 115.  Most recipes call for dissolving yeast in   "lukewarm" water.  I had to boil water to get it to reach the latter temperature -- not my idea of lukewarm!  The authors also suggest raising dough over a pan of warm water or in an oven heated less than 1 minute and turned off, especially if room is cold.  Next time I try this recipe, I will use muffin tins to prevent spreading. 

1 yeast cake
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 cup scalded milk
4 TBS melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups flour [ + or - ]
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed squash

Dissolve yeast in warm water.
Combine milk , butter, sugar and salt.
Cool till lukewarm; add yeast and beat in 1 cup flour, eggs and squash. Beat in 1 more cup flour. Cover and let riser 1 hr.
Beat in 2 cups flour, knead lightly, cover and let rise for 1 1/2 hrs. Shape biscuits , place on greased pan, let rise. (see note)
Bake at 425 for 25 min.

                 Ralph Dorrington