December 4, 2013

Biscuits, biscuits, biscuits!

This recipe has evolved from one in an ad in MaryJanesFarm magazine. The original is splattered and wrinkled, likely gone forever. Luckily we had the foresight to write it down.
 Our version is completely clean. 

The Basic Biscuit Recipe
2 cups flour*
1 Tbsp. unbleached cane sugar -we use Zulka brand
1/2 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
2 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
2/3 cup almond milk + 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar**
8 Tbsp. oil*

Combine milk & vinegar, then mix all ingredients together to make a sticky dough. Turn out onto well-floured surface and sprinkle flour on top of dough, too. Knead and turn until no longer sticky. Roll out to about 1/2" - 3/4" thickness and cut with a (regular size) canning jar lid.
To cook over a wood-burning stove:
Line the bottom of a frying pan with a circle of parchment paper. Place four biscuits in pan and cover with lid. Bake on top of pot-bellied stove over hot fire (not coals) for around 20 minutes, until risen and slightly golden on bottom.
Or, To bake in the oven, preheat oven to 375F and bake 20 minutes or so, or until golden on parchment-lined cookie sheets.

* Various flours and oils can be used. If using a solid oil, like palm or coconut, use 10 tablespoons, and cut in with a fork or pastry cutter.

The vinegar in the milk can be replaced with vanilla extract for a cookie-like taste. 

Pure red palm oil makes the richest biscuits.

** Coconut milk - the full-fat kind, not the refridgerated type - makes even richer biscuits, and tastes especially good in BisCakes.

barley flour makes crumbly, cakey biscuits,

oat makes very soft, tender biscuits.

rye flour is closest to regular all-purpose flour

and of course, all-purpose flour (unbleached) can be used as well.

To make a BisCake:
Use 3 cups of flour (oat does especially well here),
4 teaspoons baking powder,
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar,
1 full cup milk,
add vanilla to taste.
Be generous with the shortening (pure red palm oil); mounded tablespoons are fine.
Grease a 9" deep-dish pie plate and flour it with whatever flour is being used.
Once dough is ready, dump the whole thing into the pie dish and push to edges.  
Bake at 400F until golden at edges, as shown. Let cool on a rack 5 minutes at least before cutting into wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature. These are excellent for brunch along with honey

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