Wednesday, December 31, 2008

fun with cooking

I just realized that I don't have a copy of my final biscuit roll recipe written down, so here it is.

Biscuit Roll Recipe
modified from Seattle Times food blog recipe, 11/20/2008

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water
5 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter
2 cups buttermilk

1) In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Set aside.
2) In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or using Kitchenaid mixer until mixtureresembles very coarse cornmeal.
3) Add buttermilk to yeast mixture, stir briefly, and add to flour mixture. Stir until mixture is just moistened. The dough, will be very soft. (You may covered and refrigerate it overnight at this point.) Let the dough rest and rise, covered, for at least a half hour, or up to several hours, punching it down asneed be during the longer rise.
4) Lightly grease muffin tins. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. (If refrigerated, remove dough from refrigerator and let rise an hour. Then punch down the dough and knead it briefly, about 2 minutes, on a lightly floured surface.) Pinch off quarter-sized pieces, roll them into rounds between the palms of your hands and put 3 small balls into each muffin tin. Alternatively, put one golf-ball size roll of dough into each muffin tin for more biscuity appearance. Let rise for 30 minutes and bake about 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden.

I have found that less rising time will give more dense biscuity rolls, and more rising time will give fluffier dinner rolls. Both are tasty, of course! Yesterday I also found that in my oven I can bake them at 330 degrees for a longer time and get a fully-baked roll that is very light in color, which I personally prefer.

Yesterday I made a batch of gluten-free chocolate chip cookies for Chris, which I made by doctoring a gluten-free cookie mix with a heaping teaspoon of ground coffee and another teaspoon of vanilla. They came out really well, according to him, so those were both excellent additions - he says the coffee flavor is really subtle but works to bring out the chocolate flavor even more. I also made a batch of regular chocolate chip cookies, and I think I finally have that nailed down to a science - use a preheated baking stone, keep my oven at 330 degrees, and bake for 16 minutes per batch. All of the cookies came out just right, not too dark or crispy, with enough rise to be a bit chewy, and with the slight sheen on the top from the butter. I also learned that they cool better if I peel them off the stone immediately, rather than waiting a few minutes as I had done previously.

Yay for successful baking!

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