Biscuits for breakfast

The in-laws have departed, and contrary to my expectations, the house feels empty and rather bleak without them. I guess that's family for you. So I decided to make biscuits. A fresh warm biscuit with grape jelly was my standard post-call breakfast in the first year of residency, and as far as I'm concerned, thats comfort with a capital C.

This biscuit recipe is from the Veganomicon's Cassoulet with biscuits, and it makes the best biscuits ever.

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour plus a few tbsp extra
1/4 cup butter/Earth balance, chilled in the fridge
3/4 cup buttermilk (For a vegan version, add 1 tsp apple cider vinegar to 3/4 cup soymilk)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
If using milk + vinegar, mix them together at this point and let stand for 5 minutes.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Cut the butter into small cubes and crumble in the flour with your fingers. The idea is not to cream the butter but to leave little pieces in. A food processor does a magnificent job as well.
Add the buttermilk/milk-vinegar mixture and bring together to make a loose dough. (Minimal handling is the key.)
Now flour your hands with the extra flour and generously dust the dough. Pat the dough down into 1/2 inch thick sheet and using a cookie cutter, cut out round biscuits. Or you can pinch off golf-ball sized pieces of the dough and shape them into biscuits.
Place the biscuits on a greased sheet and into the oven. Bake for fifteen minutes or until the tops are browned.
Serve with gravy, or butter and jelly.

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About purplesque

Psychiatrist, cook, bookworm, photographer. Not necessarily in that order.
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28 Responses to Biscuits for breakfast

  1. sylph says:

    That looks good; a bit simpler than the way I make them. And I sometimes add lemon juice to milk for cake recipes, but I think the cider would be better for biscuits.

  2. Fanny says:

    Now, this is a brilliant example of how we are two countries divided by language or however it is the quote goes: being British, I would call your biscuits scones and you would call our biscuits cookies. Whatever they are , they look lovely.

  3. Oh, I totally agree those biscuits are the best so far! I'm really glad that you can have some down time for yourself finally. I hope you will have some time to relax a little bit now that you don't have so much cooking to do for a big family every day.

  4. Emjay says:

    Wonderful looking "scones" – I like mine with cream and jam LOL… when I first came here I would see signs advertising "Biscuits & Gravy" and think what an awful combination! I now know that they are really savoury scones. I still have sage growing in a herb pot – maybe I will grab some and do potatoes for dinner tonight.

  5. A-kay says:

    Those biscuits look awesome; have never tried making one at home, your picture is giving me ideas. Love it!

  6. Purplesque says:

    Oh, yes, I love quick breads. If pear puree is anything like apple puree, it should help make a more moist, soft bread. (I often replace half the fat in my cake/muffin recipes with applesauce.) Let me know how it turns pears often end up like yours. πŸ™‚

  7. Purplesque says:

    Thank you. I grew up in India, learning the Queen's English. After coming to the US, it took me a while to realize that biscuits were now 'cookies' and scones were 'biscuits'. Even now, I pronounce words like 'plant' and 'can't' the British way, which results in some confusing conversations.

  8. Purplesque says:

    Yes, God. Now that the house no longer feels empty, I'm enjoying the privacy and being able to make non-Indian food for meals.

  9. jaklumen says:

    Pardon, but I always found it amusing to talk about Southern (U.S.) food around Britons I know. Apparently, Southern fried chicken (usually a la KFC) is acceptable, but once I start mentioning country gravy with sausage and chicken fried steak and such, they generally all start expressing disgust. Your comment reminded me of that, hehe.

  10. jaklumen says:

    And I sometimes add lemon juice to milk for cake recipes, but I think the cider would be better for biscuits.Cimmy and I are fans of "America's Test Kitchen", and Christopher Kimball did say recently that adding lemon juice to milk was an acceptable substitute to buttermilk. I'm assuming only the acidity is the really important thing, and I can indeed imagine that the cider would impart a better flavor.

  11. Purplesque says:

    Ha ha..I know what you mean. I used to imagine dipping sweet hard biscuits in salty gravy…yikes!Sage and rosemary are meant to be paired with potatoes, aren't they?

  12. Purplesque says:

    Ha ha..we're alike, then. I try not to surf food blogs on no-cooking days because they always give me ideas. Biscuits are remarkably easy to make, though, so why not? πŸ™‚

  13. Waterbaby says:

    that sounds just delightful. and, well, homey. i adore biscuits with a little butter (real butter, none of that fake s**t!) and depending on the time of day and accompanying foods grape, blueberry or blackberry jam. thanks for posting this mouthwatering simple delight.

  14. Emjay says:

    Is chicken fried steak one thing? Something processed and then compressed into a shape?

  15. jaklumen says: name likely comes from the seasoned flour breading that is often used for Southern-style fried chicken.

  16. Aubrey says:

    Bootiful biscuits.
    I like that buttermilk is added, because I happen to love buttermilk anyway. (But no restaurant serves any! What's with that?)
    A glass of ice-cold buttermilk and one of those hot biscuits – too heavenly!

  17. Purplesque says:

    I think buttermilk is one of those homely delicacies that hasn't caught the food industry's eye. Any Indian dhaba (roadside diner) worth its name serves fresh buttermilk in tall glasses. It goes delightfully well with Indian food.

  18. Purplesque says:

    Thank you. You just made my mouth water again. πŸ™‚

  19. Emjay says:

    Well I have to say that, from that link, nothing sounds quite as appetising as "chuckwagon" ….. LOL.

  20. jaklumen says:

    I must I've been listening to Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Buttermilk Biscuits" a lot lately after reading this post.

  21. Waterbaby says:

    @jaklumen – lemon-tinged milk is a substitute and a poor one for buttermilk. personally, i'd use it judiciously, taking into account (a) the food being prepared and (b) the kind of milk to which the lemon is being added. Example, nonfat/lowfat milk is useless in that capacity, even with the lemon, it lacks the butterfat that introduces richness, texture and character. If subbing, at the very least use whole milk or half-and-half. Additionally, I would (and have) used the "substitute" buttermilk in cake recipes, where the reduced quality has less impact. Would I use it in buttermilk biscuits? *No way.* Do yourself and others a favor by going to the market and getting the real thing, otherwise don't bother, make drop biscuits instead!

  22. jaklumen says:

    You grossly misunderstood my comment."Christopher Kimball did say recently that adding lemon juice to milk was an acceptable substitute to buttermilk." is what I said. Note carefully that I *never* said that I would use it for biscuits, personally, myself. I was merely commenting on Purplesque's substitution– if I understand correctly, lemon with soy milk is what the vegetarian/vegan option is. Therefore, the substitution made sense, and that is what I was implying, not that I would choose it myself.You must have missed the post concerning vegetarian pozole. You see, remaining omnivorous by choice, I still make pozole in a fairly traditional way with a pork shoulder. However, I am familiar with textured vegetable protein (TVP) and so I suggested it, and that is ultimately what Purplesque used. It seemed a workable solution to me, although it is not what I use.Moreover, I am not the one in my family that makes biscuits. That remains a delight that Cimmorene takes to herself. She loves buttermilk, although buttermilk itself isn't even made in the traditional way anymore, with machines and centrifuges blending things together, where before, they would be gobules of butter. I've had farm-made buttermilk, too, and most of the store-bought stuff can't come close.You assume too much when you haven't even read my blog that I know of, and seem to have no idea of how I cook, personally. Moreover, I do not take kindly to your slightly condescending tone. I don't even much like Christopher Kimball's how to make a dish "the right way", for the more that I learn cooking by rote than by note, the more I learn that everyone makes things in a slight variation from what everyone else does. Granted, some things must be made similar for the dish to retain its characteristic properties, but even that isn't sacred. Like many cooks, I substitute, guess, and otherwise change a recipe as I need to based on time and what I have on hand or what I can afford to buy.Before you protest and say that's not what you intended, I maintain that is how you came across. It's not helpful to me, nor is it appreciated.

  23. sylph says:

    You are such a fabulously rude person I don't know why people read your comments, but since I did this time, and it was referring to my original statement about using lemon juice with milk in cake, though not in buttermilk biscuits, mainly because I make another recipe of rolled biscuits that I grew up eating, I'm responding to let you know you shouldn't assume you know how people cook or that if they use lemon juice they only have 1% milk or whatever, or don't understand the properties of the acids and fats they're working with. Back off the pretentious gripe; it serves no one good.

  24. sylph says:

    I don't know that person or that show, though the title seems intriguing. I'm gonna assume most of my cookbooks predate his birth, though. πŸ˜‰ I only have a couple dozen from recent decades, and only two of those are for the basic baking and cooking.

  25. jaklumen says:

    We watch a lot of PBS in my home, and so we just started watching that show. They do a lot of dishes that are supposedly common to U.S. cuisine or U.S. tastes– Midwestern and Northeast, at the very least.Valerae has mentioned Kimball once or twice, something about his bow tie being sexy or something like that. I can't remember for sure if she's in your Neighborhood or not.I don't doubt that your cookbooks might indeed be older than him. We did get a few of their cookbooks and the style seems a bit new-fangled in the emphasis on fresh herbs and such even though many of the dishes would be considered comfort foods. Really, I find myself coming back to our 2nd ed. of The Joy of Cooking over and over again. It's more or less my main cooking reference.

  26. sylph says:

    It's funny how you get all these books but usually find yourself sticking to one or two. I'll look out for that show; I like that sort of thing, but got tired of the "celebrity" ones.

  27. Waterbaby says:

    @jaklumen – Note carefully that I *never* said that I would use it for biscuits, personally, myself.Neither did I say you did.

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