Buttermilk Angel Biscuits

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hey, there! While I am away snuggling this brand new babe and trying to navigate parenthood (aka keep him alive) I’ve asked a few friendly bloggers to share a recipe with you. Next up is one of my favorite storytellers with just enough snarky attitude to make me comfortable, Erika of Southern Soufflé

Buttermilk Angel Biscuits by Erika Council

First, let me say how much I adore Cindy.. aka my “sista in snark” and I’m honored that she would allow me to guest post on her wonderful space.

Of course I had to bring biscuits to this guest posting party.

Light fluffy buttermilk angel biscuits to celebrate the angels that are baby boys..

Angel Biscuits are a cross between yeast rolls and grandma’s buttermilk biscuits and (in the south) are sometimes called Bride Biscuits.

Buttermilk Angel Biscuits by Erika Council

Growing up, there was a saying. “The chicken bathes while the biscuits rise” This meant your chicken only needed to sit in that buttermilk for as long as the angel biscuits needed to rise.

But, this was normally on a Sunday and Sunday morning Granny would make those biscuits and set about preparing her fried chicken then we would head to church. On a good day.. a  good Southern Baptist Methodist AME Zion day, church would end as the sun was going down. So I’d be dammed if them biscuits hadn’t risen to hell and back by the time we got home.  So our Sunday Buttermilk fried chicken and biscuits were always heavenly.

Buttermilk Angel Biscuits by Erika Council

Angel Biscuits were also what we took celebrate a new life, so I thought I’d keep the tradition going and make some in honor of Cindy and Sean’s little angel.

With the help of my angel who has become a very curious 3 year old green bean hater, that some days finds issues with wearing pants and is not cool with potty training.  So yes, he will be a grown man wearing pull-ups because I am losing that battle, and my husband thinks it’s all funny so I’ll blame him.

Boys are one of the sweetest most precious of miracles. (Don’t tell my teenage daughter I said that because right now she hates everything) They bring non-stop action and the warmest of hugs and snuggles.

IMG_9852

And bugs and dirt and other things they find in the garage or outside.

“Here Mommy.. Look.. See”

My son has developed my love for biscuits. He stands at my legs and peeks over the table every time I make them. Which of course makes him the first in line to get one fresh out of the oven.

These are little more time consuming then your simple “self rising flour” cream biscuits that I normally favor.  However, the flaky buttery centers are well worth “waiting out the rise” .

Buttermilk Angel Biscuits by Erika Council

Much love and all the hugs and kisses to Cindy…

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Buttermilk Angel Biscuits

Ingredients:

1 package active dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp)

¼ cup granulated sugar

3 tbsp. warm water (105- 110 degrees)

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

½ cup of shortening

½ cup butter

1 cup buttermilk

Directions:

Dissovle yeast, sugar and water in a small bowl and set aside.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

Cut in the shortening and butter by breaking into pieces and scattering over the flour mixture. Work in by rubbing fingers together in a snapping motion (or use a pastry cutter) until mixture looks like crumbled feta cheese.

Make a well in the center of the bowl. Now add the yeast mixture to the 1 cup of buttermilk. Then stir in the yeast/buttermilk mixture just enough that the dough leaves the side of the bowl and ingredients are incorporated.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, add flour to your hands and proceed to knead the dough about 10 -15 times. Sprinkle with more flour if the dough becomes too sticky.

Pat the dough out to ½ inch thickness (using your hands), cut the biscuits out using floured biscuit cutters (mine are 2 inch cutters). Place each biscuit onto ungreased baking sheet about 1 inch apart cover with tea towel and allow to rise for about 30 minutes (or until doubled in size).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Brush the tops with melted butter and serve while hot. [/recipe]

 

National Doughnut Day

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Whether you prefer doughnut over donut doesn’t really matter (I used both!), because these fried, baked, glazed, filled, sprinkled, and all around glorious treats are amazing no matter what you call them. In honor of National Doughnut Day–which is tomorrow, btw–I’m sharing some favorites from the archives.

So, let’s get our  sweet, sweet carb on!

Strawberry_Buttermilk_Donuts

Strawberry Buttermilk Mini Donuts 

Nutella_Filled_Donuts

Nutella-Filled Donuts (recipe HERE)

Double_Chocolate_Donuts

Double Chocolate Doughnuts

Pumpkin Brown Butter Malt Doughnuts

Pumpkin Brown Butter Malt Donuts

Raspberry_Donut_Cakes

Raspberry Donut Cakes

Ricotta_Donuts

Ricotta Fritters

Carrot_Cake_Donuts

Carrot Cake Doughnuts (recipe on Betty Crocker)

Blueberry_Lemon_Donuts

Blueberry Doughnuts with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

Rainbow_Donuts

Rainbow Doughnuts

Apple Walnut Pull-Apart Bread

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I love working with yeast.

It seems a lot of you have a little bit of yeast-fear…and I totally get it. The idea of wasted ingredients and failed baking endeavors is always a bummer. Nothing gets under my bakers-skin like a failed mess of a recipe that either ends up being thrown angrily into the trash whilst swearing, or, ends up languishing in the refrigerator for weeks until I begrudgingly toss it into the trash–though with less anger, yet more resentment. It’s no fun.

I mean, I know yeast can be scary–sometimes it dead before you even begin, sometimes you just don’t know what’s going to happen. Will it rise, deflate and fall flat, come out dense and heavy and flavorless?

The thing is, working with yeast–as scary as it may seem–is incredibly rewarding. It’s where science and domesticity converge to create something amazing. For me, there is nothing like working with a smooth, elastic ball of dough…and not to get too weird, but I absolutely LOVE the way it feels in my hands (thats’s why you don’t see any bread-machine recipes here…not that there is anything wrong with a bread machine, promise!).

I just have to feel the dough–plus, it’s the best way, over time, to figure out exactly what you are looking for. At this point, I know exactly how sticky I want an unrisen dough to feel–and that, friends, feels like a major accomplishment. So, if my “I-wanna-touch-all-the-bread-dough-in-the-lands” didn’t freak you out, and maybe you want to do a little more yeasted baking, I have a few tips I’ve learned along the way.

Is it ALIVE?! Your yeast can die on you. If it’s been lounging in the pantry for who-knows-how-long, it could be inactive. Meaning, all your efforts are completely wasted ’cause those little dudes are D-E-A-D. You can avoid all that heartache by sprinkling a pinch of yeast into a cup of warm water–if it doesn’t start to foam, ever, it’s done-zo.

Bulk up–buying yeast in bulk is super economical  If you like to bake yeasted goodies, it’s definitely the way to go. I buy yeast in bulk–like, Costco style. I keep it in a screw-cap jar in the refirgerator where it will last for daaaaaays. Like, well over a year. You can also freeze yeast and possibly even extend its life further.

Feed your yeast. If your recipe calls for some sugar–granulated, honey, etc.–add some to the liquid while you proof. It will feed the yeast and get it started a bit faster. Add your salt to the dry mix, don’t add it to the yeast as it will inhibit it from doing it’s thing and it may just die on you.

Perfect isn’t everything. Maybe you’re looking for the perfect artisan-whatever-bread. It’s probably not going to happen the first time. I worked as a baker, mostly cookies and cakes, but the bread baker was a pro. He’d been doing it for almost as long as I’ve been alive and would still phone his consultants and take classes. It’s a learning process and the more you do it the better you’ll get. Really though, few things beat warm, homemade bread–even if it is imperfect.

Anyway, what I am trying to say is, if you are a bit of a yeast-a-phobe–don’t be too scared. It’s only bread, don’t let it defeat you because it is SO worth the effort–even if only every once in a while. Plus, everyone you share your baking-spoils with will think you’re like a baking champion or something…which is totally worth mowing through the self-doubt and yeast-fear.

Apple Walnut Pull-Apart Bread

Adapted from this recipe. 

Yields , 9x5inch loaf

I added some whole wheat flour to this version, though it can certainly be made with just all-purpose. This bread is the very best the day it is made, still warm and slightly gooey. Make it when there are people around for sharing, as you might find yourself in a bread-coma, otherwise. The apples and walnuts make for a messy filling, if they fall out from between the layers, just tuck any stray bits in between the folds of dough after you have placed them into the pan. I streamlined the original steps in the recipe to make it a bit easier to pull together. 

Dough:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (or 1 envelope)

1/3 cup whole milk

4 Tablespoons (2 oz.) butter, unsalted

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs, room temp, beaten lightly

Filling:

1 large apple, peeled and diced small (I used a Honeycrisp)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

pinch of salt

4 Tablespoons (2 oz.) unsalted butter, melted

Icing:

3 Tablespoons butter, browned

1 cup powdered sugar

milk to thin

To make the dough, heat milk with butter in a small saucepan just until butter has melted. Add the water and sugar, set aside to cool for a minute–you want it to be just warm, not hot or the yeast will die. Once it has cooled (to about 120*F), stir in the yeast and set aside until foamy–about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flours and salt. Stir the beaten egg and vanilla into the yeast mixture and using the dough hook, or your strength and a sturdy spoon or bowl scraper, mix the wet into the dry until a dough forms. Knead–either with the mixer or by hand–until you get a fairly sticky and tacky, but well mixed dough.

Grease a large bowl (the one you mixed in is perfect), place the dough inside and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm spot for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

While the dough rises, melt the butter for the filling, pour into a small dish and set aside. Brown the butter for the icing in a skillet–heat butter over medium until the solids turn deep brown and smell like nuts and toffee. Pour browned butter into a bowl and set aside. Add the diced apples to the skillet and sauté with a pinch of salt, until softened slightly–3-5 minutes. Set the apples aside to cool. In a small bowl mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the filling, set aside.

Deflate the dough (at this point you can recover and place in the refrigerator overnight and continue the next day).

On a lightly floured work surface roll out the dough into roughly a 12 X 20 inch rectangle (erring on the side of smaller is okay here as the finished dough will rises considerably, filling in any gaps). Using a pastry brush spread all of the melted butter over the dough. Cut the dough North to South in strips (12X4 in pieces). Spread 1/5 of the cinnamon-sugar mixture onto a rectangle of dough followed by the apples and walnuts, stack another rectangle on top and repeat. You can reshape and maniupulate the dough as needed to make a nice stack.

Preheat the oven to 350F and place rack in the center. Lightly grease a 9X5 loaf pan.

Slice the stack through the five layers into 6 equal sections, about 2X4 inches. Fit the layered strip into the loaf pan, cut side down…as if it were a loaf of pre-sliced bread. Cover the pan in plastic and allow to rise another 45-50 minutes until nearly doubled in size. If you poke the dough and the indentation stays it is ready to bake.

Bake until the top is golden and brown and the insides are done (you can test this with a thermometer, it should read between 189-190*F). Check it after 30 minutes or so…this loaf took about 45 minutes to bake–if it starts to brown too much before the interior is done, tent the top with foil and continue baking.

Make the icing by stirring together the browned butter and powdered sugar, adding milk to thin to desired consistency.

Turn the baked bread out onto a cooling rack while it is still warm and glaze.