For a baking enthusiast, I have had a pretty bad track record with biscuits. They seem simple enough, and lord knows I love a fatty carbohydrate.
Biscuits usually don’t like me. Sometimes they’d turn out ok, but a little flat. Other times, they were closer to hardtack. Pleh, pleh, not good at all.
Albany John’s dad makes some killer biscuits. There was also a kid I dated in high school – his dad also made amazing biscuits. I have never been able to get near these biscuits, and I have to admit – my biscuits usually came out of a can, popped, and then put in the oven. Even then, the bottoms always burned and sent an acrid smell through the house.
So you’d think I’d have given up by now.
Nope, biscuits are still attempted. Albany John prompted the most recent attempt, with a simple ‘Hey, I’d like some biscuits when I get back,’ as he walked out the door.
It was a simple enough request, and he’d said it so casually. I had to give it another shot, so I googled around and found a blog: Small Time Cooks with awesome pictures.
I stuck some butter in the freezer and read over the recipe.
Wait, hold up. Butter? In the freezer?
Yep, butter in the freezer. Cooks Illustrated gave it as a tip a while back for making fluffy biscuits. It’s easy to shred in your grater. Ok, that sounds weird too, but trust me. The shredding thing keeps your butter colder, and keeps them tiny – so you don’t have to work the dough as much and don’t release as much gluten. I used to have to mix the crap out of my dough, but this really works well and helps with the flaky layers.
I halved the recipe, put the barely assembled mix on the counter and folded it a few times until it all stuck together. Then I took my Slyboro Farms (empty) wine bottle and rolled out the dough to get it thin. I’ve been meaning to buy a new rolling pin, but in a pinch, there’s usually something cylindrical in the kitchen. This also probably tells you I haven’t been baking bread all that often either!
I crossed my fingers and stuck the biscuits in the oven. In my excitement (and poor reading comp skeelz) I didn’t melt butter to put on top of them. But I don’t think it matters – they came out $13 minutes later perfectly browned and puffed up.
LAYERS!!! Layers of flaky biscuits and I made them! Hahahahahah!
Albany John had just walked in the door when I popped a piece in his mouth. OMG, yes, he loved it.
But it didn’t end there. Oh, no, that’s where normal people would stop.
We cooked up some trout in a pan. I really like my fish prepared minimally, which often annoys Albany John. He keeps trying to convince me lemon pepper would be good on fish. We just stuck a pan on high heat, added a touch of olive oil and put the fillet in skin side down until the sides on the thicker part started to become more solid and less opaque. Once the fish sides turn opaque, flip it and it is almost done.
Albany John made an awesome spinach salad. I think he used fresh spinach, hazelnuts, dried cranberries, raw turnip and mustard with some kind of olive oil-vinegar dressing.
I put goat cheese and honey on the biscuits. I’m pretty sure I had about 6 of them they were so good.