Monday, October 04, 2010

Of Biscuits, Bread and Sundries

So I've been promising to post some recipes from friends. Be forewarned for all of you Weston A. Price lovers (including myself!)...these are NOT soaked versions of these recipes! (for more information on the importance of soaking your grains, or to find out what the heck I'm talking about because I sound crazy, please click HERE). I am currently developing the soaked versions of all of these, so please stay tuned! It may take a bit of time because I don't wanna compromise the texture or flavour. I'm a freak like that. I know. So, the following are recipes for: Cheddar Chive biscuits (which we have with stew, soup, etc.), Buttermilk Biscuits, and No-Knead Rustic Bread. Have fun, email me or FB me with questions, or whatever you like;) And no, there aren't any pictures for this today. Sorry 'bout that. Currently working on finding my camera cable. (we seem to have hobbits who like shiny and stringy things around here.)

Cheddar Chive Biscuits 
Oven @ 400F

2 c. spelt flour (or mix of 1c. unbleached white and 1c spelt flour. I like to use spelt for its better nutritional value, and can be found in bulk at Winco, Fred Meyer, and Bob's Red Mill, but if ya wanna use wheat flour, you can!)
1 Tb. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
5 Tb. butter, chilled and cut up into small pieces
2 Tb. freshly chopped chives (optional)
3 oz. (1 cup) shredded medium or sharp cheddar (we prefer raw cheese, but use what you have!)
3/4 c. whole milk/raw milk
1 Tb. melted butter (for brushing tops, again optional. we are okay with real butter around here.)

1. preheat oven to 400F
2. combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
3. add in the butter pieces and cut in with a pastry cutter or fork until the bits are as small as rice grains.
4. gently toss in cheese and chives
5. add milk and fold in gently with a mixing spoon just until ingredients are moistened and dough is soft and crumbly. DO NOT OVERMIX. If you do, you loose the "flakiness" and layers and it ends up being elastic and the texture is all gross. no lie.
6. dust work surface lightly with flour and dump dough out onto the surface, flour your hands, and gently pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle, fold in half, pat out again, and fold in half one more time then pat it out into the 1/2 inch thick rectangle-ish shape again. This gives you extra layers and keeps it all together!
7. use a biscuit cutter and cut out biscuits. DO NOT TWIST! Otherwise you seal up the edges and they don't get all puffed up and amazing. they'll just be ordinary little skimps of things.
8. place on baking stone or cookie sheet, and brush tops with the extra melted butter (if you want. and i know you want to.) bake for 12-15 minutes. when they're slightly golden on top, take them out and devour like your life depends on it. watch out. your spouse may gobble them up at an alarming rate! they're that good.

Buttermilk Biscuits
Oven @ 450F

2 c. flour (i use a mix of spelt and white or just spelt)
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cream of tartar (you can substitute 2 tsp. baking powder if you don't have this)
1/8 t. sea salt
3 T. butter, cut into pieces (we don't use shortening. nasty GMO unhealthy stuff for ya)
1 c. buttermilk (real buttermilk is best, but you can use just milk or if you have vinegar fill up your 1 cup measurer with milk until JUST before it's completely full and then add about a Tbsp. of vinegar)

preheat oven to 450F
1. Cut dry ingredients and shortening together to make fine crumbs.
2. Add Buttermilk, stirring with fork JUST until ingredients are moistened.
3. roll/pat out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/2 inch thickness and cut with biscuit cutter.
4. bake on stone/cookie sheet @450F for about 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
makes about a dozen biscuits

No-Knead Rustic Bread
Makes about 4 1lb. round loaves
Oven @450F

3 c. lukewarm water
1 1/2 T. yeast
1 1/2 T. kosher salt or sea salt
6 1/2 c. flour (can be all spelt, all wheat, or a mix of spelt/white and wheat/white)
cornmeal for sprinkling
extra bit of flour for dusting your hands

1. Mix together and keep damp. (if you find that mixing it gets difficult with a spoon, mix with your hands until all mixed and keep your hands wet! run them under water occasionally to make sure this happens!)
2. refrigerate dough in a container you can keep a lid on, but that can still be slightly open to "breathe". (it has yeast, which means it will ferment, which creates gas, which means you don't want dough exploding all over your fridge. seriously.)
3. take out your dough (tear off a good chunk of the dough mass you made, and refrigerate the rest of the dough.) 40 minutes or so before you wanna bake it. turn on your oven to 450F
4. get out your baking stone/cookie sheet and sprinkle a bit of cornmeal onto it.
5. form a round ball with your dough, pinching the bottom together when you do. drop it onto the cornmeal-ed cookie sheet and let it sit by the stove for about 35/45 minutes.
6. sprinkle with a bit of flour, and get out a serrated-edged knife and slash the top about a 1/4 inch in 2 or 3 times (to give it that "rustic look" and to help with extra even rising in the oven.
7. bake for about 30 minutes.
8. when you run out of pre-made dough you can just scrape up the bits on the sides of the bowl you've used to refridgerate/store your dough and just add that into your next batch! this dough will take on a sort of "sourdough" quality! it's excellent! the longer your dough sits in the fridge "souring"...the more developed the flavour.
**for a bigger batch/8 loaves or so (you can use this as pizza dough, breadsticks, cheesy sticks or pizza twists or whatever!) remember this ratio: 6-3-3-13 rule. This means 6 c. water, 3 Tbsp. yeast, 3 Tbsp. kosher salt, 13 c. flour. 
this will never fail ya! have fun!


  1. Ack, I fixed the Rustic Bread for Robin's birthday last night. A.mazing. He couldn't get over it, I couldn't get over it, there's still more dough in the refrigerator! Thank you, thank you, thank you

  2. yay! so glad you and robin liked the recipe! it's freaky deaky easy! love it. and i love that i don't have to do ANYTHING to it and it just keeps on improving it's taste and texture when it's in the fridge for a few days! ahh! wooT!