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Posts Tagged ‘biscuit’

GuinessStew_1287

The biscuit was the perfect flaky texture to sop up the lovely gravy from the slow roasted Guinness Stew.

As you know we had our fourth progressive dinner on our street and you already know that I made this amazing Guinness Stew but what I didn’t tell you is that I had a major meltdown about four hours before the dinner was to begin. The stew was going perfectly smoothly, the aromas as it finished cooking on the day of filled the house, it was heavenly; the meat was fork tender, the vegetables still had a touch of bite to them and the cauliflower celeriac mash was creamy and wonderful. But I still needed to make the puff pastry topping.

I had fully intended on learning to make this wonderful laminated dough a few days before but as luck would have it, things got busy (I’m assisting more and more these days, but I’ll tell you about that later) so the day before I pulled out the emergency puff pastry dough from the freezer. I had a few errands to do that day and I finally got back to the house around 2pm which would have given me plenty of time to roll out the dough, cut and bake it ready for assembly for the dinner. But things would not go that smoothly.

ButterBiscuit_1297

A very flaky biscuit indeed

As I pulled the dough out of the fridge, I found it looked a little odd, and then when I opened the package, it had gone off. I was stunned. When I checked the expiry date I realized my error, it was expired!!!! Well, that was that. Or was it? I tossed the package and quickly went to work; several weeks before I had read about a ‘quick’ laminated pastry dough that Liz (from That Skinny Chick Can Bake) made. So out came the iPad and I went to work! The ‘quick’ laminated pastry dough still required more hours than I had to allow the dough to rest in between foldings, but I was determined! I reduced the resting times significantly and I turned Liz’s sweet pastry dough into a savoury one, the results were exceptional. I didn’t use the entire batch so I stored the leftovers in the freezer, resting and I’ll get back to it in the near future, but this quirky version of ‘quick’ laminated dough exceeded my expectations and best of all, it was a hit at the dinner table. Thank you Liz, you saved the day!

Butter Biscuits — a ‘quick’ laminated pastry dough

I made 10 biscuits and put the remainder of the dough in the freezer for another time. Please check here for the original recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp bread maker quick dissolve yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 cm or 1/4″ thick slices
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp merlot sea salt (I received the merlot sea salt as a gift from my friend Kristy at Our Family Food Adventures when we met up )

Directions:

  1. Add the warm water to a bowl and gently mix in the yeast and sugar. Allow to stand until frothy and then add the milk, egg and salt; set aside.
  2. Add the flour to a food processor with metal blades. Drop cut butter and the finely chopped rosemary into the flour, pulsing 8 to 10 times, so that the butter is cut into 1 cm or 1/2 inch pieces.
  3. Combine the flour mixture with the yeast mixture and gently fold the two with a rubber spatula,  just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Don’t be too energetic, the butter must remain in pieces so that you will produce a flaky pastry, not a bread dough or cookie.
  4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  5. Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out onto it; dust very lightly with flour.
  6. Gently roll out the dough to 41 cm or 16 inches along one side and fold it into thirds similar to how one would fold a letter.
  7. Turn dough clockwise 1/4 turn. Roll out again into a narrow rectangle and fold into thirds again.
  8. Roll dough one more time into a 51 cm or 20 inch square and fold into thirds again to make a narrow rectangle, then fold up the ends to make a square. Cover with plastic wrap and put into the freezer for another 30 minutes. Note, it is very important to keep the dough cold so the butter doesn’t begin melting, if you find it’s warming up, put back into the freezer for a few minutes to cool down.
  9. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  10. Roll the dough out to a 1 cm or 1/2 inch thickness and using a desired cookie cutter (mine was a triangle that was about 20 cm or 4 inches wide).
  11. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle merlot sea salt on top.
  12. Place triangles onto a cookie sheet and bake 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden.
ButterBiscuit_1305

I decorated the biscuit with Merlot Sea Salt

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ButtermilkCheddarScones_0906

Rich and flaky, just as it should be.

You may have noticed that I’m not around much lately and I do apologize. In fact, I missed posting on Monday! Can you believe it? In the 7 years I’ve been blogging and have had a schedule to post, this was my first unintentional miss. What have I been doing? Well, some of the time I’m at the cottage but that’s mainly weekends, mostly I’m in the city scouring the internet, networking and such to find something new to do. It’s not that easy selling yourself when you’ve been doing what you’ve been doing for so long, it’s more instinct and natural reaction and to put that into words and make yourself sound amazing is more difficult than I thought. I can sell you someone else, or something else, I can always find the words to make it look and sound amazing, but to have to weave the words about one’s self is another story. So I’ve been putting off creating a new post because I thought my words had had it and that my stories had dried up, but au contraire, there are stories galore and the words are now flowing, I just need to find the time to write them down.

Would you care for one or two?

Would you care for one or two?

We are expecting our good friends Paul and T up from Illinois for a weekend to frolic at the cottage. Our weather has been fall-like but yesterday was unseasonably hot (not warm but hot) and in another unlikely change the weekend is expected to return to the autumn temperatures and we’re expected to pull on our boots and sweaters and enjoy the chill. Bah humbug. I’m not ready for boots. My pedicured toes are holding out for the sandals and flip flops! So for this menu plan for the weekend is based on comfort food with a lot of soups, chowders and a roast chicken which will turn into another delightful meal. Most of the meals have been recycled blog posts so I won’t be sharing them again, but I have made a few things in the last week or so that are new to the blog, so I thought I would share them with you, starting with these delicious scones.

These cheese biscuits were created to pair with a split pea soup with ham that will be served for our very first lunch. I treated myself to a slow cooker that lives at the cottage so this baby is getting assembled in the morning and will slow cook until lunch time. I’ll reheat the biscuits and if it’s sunny, we’ll eat with sweaters and long pants on the porch (but no boots), otherwise we’ll turn up the heat and eat at the dining room table wearing flip flops! Either way, I’m sure we’ll be laughing and enjoying each other company.

The recipe is adapted from Jean Pare’s, Company’s Coming Cookbook

Melty butter is the icing on the scone!

Melty butter is the icing on the scone!

Flakey Buttermilk Cheese Scones

Makes 12 8 cm or 3 in biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, 1 2 tbsp for top

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Cut in the cold butter and the cheese until it resembles a coarse meal.
  4. Add the buttermilk and stir just to combine.
  5. If it’s really warm in your kitchen, it’s best to refrigerate the dough. Roll into 1 cm thickness (half inch) and use your favourite cutter to cut even shapes.
  6. Place each round onto a silpat® or non-stick surface and brush tops with buttermilk.
  7. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden.
  8. Serve warm.

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Happy birthday to my brother!
and Happy April Fool’s Day to the rest of you!
This is a joke I played on my friend Kim a couple of years ago. A hundred parking tickets.

We had our nephew Brian and his GF over for dinner some time ago, and I cooked a roast pork tenderloin dish that I hadn’t made in a very long time (sadly, I didn’t take any photos and now I know better than to post a recipe without photos ;-), so I’ll have to make it again in the near future). The pork was dressed in a flavourful Apple Cider and Dijon Mustard gravy for which I had to buy fresh Apple Cider. In my area, fresh Apple Cider is sold in 500 mL or larger and because I only needed a couple of cups of the stuff, I bought the 500 mL. So now I had about 4 cups left over. Now we could have drank it, because it was fresh and delicious, but I prefer to eat my fruit rather than drink it so I was left with the dilemma of what to do with all the cider.

I searched high and low and came across some lovely options but not practical; we don’t eat that much cake so a coffee cake was out of the question, we don’t usually eat that many quick breads, so that was out of the question, and the muffin recipes I found had too much oil in them and therefore quite unhealthy. What to do?

It was in my trusty Jean Paré’s, Company’s Coming, Muffins & More cookbook I found the solution: Tea Biscuits! Now I modified the recipe to include the Apple Cider which I reduced by less than 1/4 of its original volume and these scones did not disappoint; they were soft, buttery and had a very distinct apple cider flavour. This would be a lovely scone to serve during Autumn while you watch the leaves gently fall from the trees with a warm fire burning in the hearth a cup of tea and a couple of scones. Soon enough!

IMG_4200_BLOG

A little tangy from the concentrated flavour of the cider.

Apple Cider Tea Biscuits

Makes about 10 good size tea biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup unsalted cold butter, cut into small bits
  • 1/4 cup sultana raisins
  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 2-3 tbsp milk or yogurt for brushing the tops.

Directions:

  1. Reduce the apple cider to about 1 cup of concentrated liquid by slowly boiling it off (takes about 40-50 minutes).
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 450°F (232°C).
  3. In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cream of tartar and spices until well mixed.
  4. Slowly drop in the cold butter while pulsing and blend until is it a coarse mix.
  5. Transfer this mix into another bowl, add the raisins and mix well to coat the raisins with the floury mixture.
  6. Add the cider all at once to the flour, and mix well with a wooden spoon mix until it is a soft ball of dough. (Note this is a slightly softer ball of dough than a tea biscuit usually is).
  7. Transfer to a floured board and knead a couple of times (not enough to melt the butter with the heat of your hands).
  8. Roll out the dough to about 2 cm (~3/4″) thick and cut with a triangular cookie cutter. Repeat until the dough is completely used.
  9. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and brush tops with the yogurt or milk (for a beautiful shine) and bake 10-12 minutes until golden. You’ll need to watch the bottoms because the natural colour of these biscuits are more golden and you will only be able to tell how far along they are by looking at the bottoms.
  10. Cool slightly on a wire rack and serve with unsalted butter and preserves.
  11. Enjoy.
IMG_4198_BLOG

Please take one, or even two.
Would you care for tea or coffee with that?

IMG_4199_BLOG

Melt in you mouth scones, served warm with unsalted butter.

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