I copied down 3 or 4 recipes that I want to try, and the only one I've made so far is this biscuit recipe, which went nicely with supper last night. I snapped it up at first because I saw the word "chives." This is our first year having fresh chives available to us in the back yard, and I'm having fun learning about all the dishes they can be used in.
The above picture is from the Taste of Home website, and I used it because the biscuits really turned out looking like that. That's what I love about ToH - I've only ever had one of their recipes flop on me! (Those of you who are regular readers know that such a status is indeed worth something!)
Of course, I didn't leave the recipe "as is." I tweaked it to use unbleached flour, and butter instead of shortening (ick!), but other than that the recipe remained the same.
...Except, of course, that it did not make 12-15 biscuits. I rolled the dough more like 1/2" thick instead of 3/4" thick, and got eleven biscuits. Oh well. These are so good.
It took me about 10 minutes to chop the chives, and I still finished these well in time for supper. Sitting out there on the wooden edge of the garden bed, black kitchen scissors in hand, chopping chives, I was very happy. The white 1/4 measuring cup was balanced in my lap, and I held the scissors so that the little snips of chives fell right into the cup. The pungent odor of the chives mixed with the more subtle scent of the rosemary next to my knees. My fingers got slightly sticky from where the chives mashed a little between my fingers, and I held my hand up to my nose for a whiff. Wonderful.
The evening sun was hot on my head and arms, making tiny beads of sweat run down my skin, but all I kept thinking was "who else could do what I'm doing - putting ingredients straight from the ground into the measuring cup?" I know other people grow their own food, but right then I felt like a princess with a monopoly on pleasure. God had made me supremely happy by the simple - yet complex - gift of a clump of green chives.
Here's the biscuit recipe.
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (King Arthur flour gives best results!)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 butter
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup minced chives
Directions:In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With a fork, stir in sour cream, milk and chives until the mixture forms a ball.
On a lightly floured surface, knead five to six times. Roll to 3/4-in. thickness; cut with a 2-in. biscuit cutter. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: 12-15 biscuits.
~ Save about 1/8 cup of the flour called for in the recipe, and use that when you knead the dough, instead of adding more flour. Otherwise your dough might get too dry.
~ When kneading, try to make "layers" as you fold the dough, and don't roll the dough out so roughly that you pack those layers all the way together. Let them be lightly stacked - you'll have flaky layers in your biscuits that way.
~ Cook these on a pre-heated baking stone! A real help in achieving that perfect crisp outer crust.
~When you place your biscuits on the stone, turn them upside down, so that the part of the biscuit that touched the table when you cut it out now forms the top of the biscuit. I read somewhere that this practice will make your biscuits rise more, and this was the first time I'd tried it. It certainly does! Very nice tip.