Archive | March, 2012

Loveless Buttermilk Biscuits

22 Mar

Don’t you hate when you get biscuits on the brain?

I’ve had biscuits on the brain.

This gal traveled to the south not so long ago. With a pretty special travel buddy to boot.

This gal may or may not have had a taste of southern cooking and swooned.

This gal may or may not have eaten fried chicken, barbecued pork, cornbread hoecakes, fried okra, blackberry cobbler, banana pudding, and BUTTERMILK BISCUITS in one sitting. Those biscuits were the best I’ve ever had….sorry mom, sorry Beth….they truly were.

Those savoury, flakey, soft, warm, tangy, melt in your mouth buttermilk biscuits at the Loveless Cafe in Nashville have been on my mind ever since I had my last taste of them at Nashville airport (we may or may not have taken some to go…)

They’ve been on my mind every time I see the jam sitting in my fridge all sweet and delicious with nowhere to go.

I think about them when I’m eating eggs for breakfast.

They appear in my head when I am eating sweet potato soup and use a lame piece of bread to soak up what’s left.

I bought the Loveless Cafe’s cookbook. Their recipe for buttermilk biscuits was easy as pie…..well….as biscuits in this case. I’ll be the first to admit they did not look or taste like the ones I ate on that fine sunny day in Nashville, but gosh darn it, they were pretty darned tootin’ good. They were flakey and soft and crisp on the outsides, tangy and perfectly flavoured, and that’s a win in my books.

So here you have it….

Near perfection buttermilk biscuits, compliments of the Loveless Cafe.

Buttermilk Biscuits

compliments of the Loveless Cafe Cookbook.

3 1/2 cups all purpose, unbleached flour

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted cold butter, cut into cubes

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Combine all the dry ingredients plus the butter together in a food processor. Pulse until the butter is cut into small pieces no larger than the size of peas.

Pour in the buttermilk and pulse just enough to make a smooth dough.

Pat into a 1/2 inch thick slab, cut out the biscuits to whatever size you prefer, I used a 2 inch round cutter. Rework the scraps only once to make more biscuits.

Bake at 425F for 12 to 14 minutes until they are golden brown.

Eat while piping hot. That’s what I did.

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Plain Glazed Cake Donuts

13 Mar


I’m not good at lying.

I don’t do well at poker.

I can barely keep a straight face when I’m telling the truth; trickery is still a skill I must master.

What I can do, is make donuts that haven’t been deep fried. I can glaze them.

Decorate them with sprinkles.

I can feed them to those who seem deserving of such a marvelous wonder.

And I can get away without having to tell anyone they’re baked.

Now that, is a pretty good skill to have under your belt. None of this poker face nonsense. Donut deception: that’s where it’s at.

I think that the donut pan I bought is the greatest and worst thing that has ever happened to me.

Go forth, make donuts.

(Or donut muffins if you don’t have a special pan. They make delicious muffin shaped wonders as well!)

Baked Donuts

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/4 cup pastry flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into about 8 cubes

1/4 cup whole milk, scalded (I used almond milk)

1/4 cup plain yogurt (I ate all my yogurt and went with ricotta. Worked just fine)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten

Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt and sugar.  Add the cold butter cubes and use your fingers to break the butter up into the dry ingredients.  Work the butter  until you have a coarse meal and the butter is broken down very well into the flour.  Set aside.

In a small pan, heat the milk until almost boiling and remove from the flame.  Whisk together yogurt, egg and vanilla extract.  Add the warm milk and whisk to incorporate.  Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients.  Stir together with a spatula until just incorporated.  Be careful not to overmix as it may make the donuts dense. True story.

Pour into muffin tins or a donut pan. I got 10 donuts out of this recipe.

Bake at 350F until they spring back to the touch which is around 8-10 minutes.

Glaze

1/4 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups icing sugar

Combine milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat over low heat until warm. Sift icing sugar into milk mixture. Whisk slowly, until well combined. Remove the glaze from the heat and set over a bowl of warm water. Dip donuts into the glaze, 1 at a time, and set on a draining rack. Let the icing set before serving. It can get pretty messy otherwise. Just saying.