Category Archives: Breads & Biscuits

Bringing London home

At the being of May, we went to London for a week. Frankly I’m surprised that with all my Anglophile tendencied, it took me this long to get there.

It was lovely. London was louder and bigger than I expected. Something between New York and Time. Not quite Continental Europe, but close. We got out of the city for a day and saw the cliffs of Dover and Canterbury. It was nice to get some fresh air.

Since we were only in London a week, we didn’t see everything. I suppose a trip back must be in my future. In the meantime, here are some scones which Mr. F says are as good as the one we had at afternoon tea!

English Scones

Adapted from Recipes for the Nation’s Favorite Food

330 g flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

40 g sugar

5 tbsp butter

175 ml milk

75 g currants or raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 425F.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cube butter and add to bowl. Place bowl in fridge to chill for at least 15 min. It is very important for your ingredients to remain cold so your scones end up with a flaky texture.

Rub butter cubes into flour mixture, giving it the texture of fine breadcrumbs. Add currants or raisins, if using. If making in advance, stop here.

Gradually add milk and knead gently until mixture forms a smooth dough.

On a floured surface, roll out dough about 1 inch thick. Using a 3 inch cut, press firmly into dough without twisting. Otherwise, you will end up with scones that rise unevenly. Place scones in baking sheet.

Gently knead remaining dough and cut out scones until all dough is used up. Brush tops with milk or eggwash for a shiny finish.

Bake for 12-15 min until golden and risen. Allow to cool slightly before serving but are best consumed on the day they are made.

I like them best with raspberry jam but strawberry is very traditional.

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Filed under Breads & Biscuits, Breakfast, British

King Arthur Corn Muffins

14068239_10207514329359951_5212672636548917875_nI have an intense love for the corn muffins at Famous Dave’s BBQ. These are not those corn muffins.

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Filed under American, Breads & Biscuits, Breakfast

An Excellent Start to the Weekend

11078216_10204540933386910_7670197716594205915_oSometimes your weekend needsĀ  little nudge into awesomeness. Just like sometimes I need a little nudge to publish something (sorry about that). This is an excellent nudge and I knew I couldn’t not share it with you. Sausage and gravy is one of my favorite things to order at old country diners. You know the kind, preferably with a cow painted on everything.

Apparently Bobby Flay’s wife loves it too. Lucky lady. Thus far, if I want biscuits and gravy, I have to make them. But maybe that will change. For now I remain the biscuit champion in our little world!

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Filed under American, Breads & Biscuits, Meat & Fish

Heavenly Rosemary Focaccia

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This month’s book: Object of Beauty by Steve Martin

There are so many things that I put off doing or trying. I’m always saying I’ll get around to finishing that oil painting in the back of my closet. Or I’ll read that book I’ve checked out hundreds of times but never got through. Or I will use the pile of cookbooks I have.

I’ve got to admit, I do a lot of my recipe selections on the Internet rather than through cookbooks. First of all, most cookbooks are expensive and I have limited shelf space. Secondly, you have to go to a bunch of different ones to find a recipe that inspires you.

True, on occasion, I will find a cookbook that I want to cook my way through. But more often than not, I end up using the same 5-6 recipes and not trying the others.

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Filed under Breads & Biscuits, Italian

Portuguese Sweet Bread

This month’s book: Alena by Rachel Pastan
PortugueseBread
I have a confession readers. I am scared of yeast. Or at least, I am scared of making things with yeast. They never seem to come out right. I made a challah bread from Smitten Kitchen which came out more like matzo. Croissant like crostini. sticky buns which tasted fine but were dense as bricks. Nigella Lawson’s amazing chocolate whirlygig buns are flat and misshapen.

But I am starting to get better. Part of the problem is my drafty house. Initially, I would keep breads in the laundry room in rise. The hot water heater is there and the room is normally quite toasty. However, I have found that the double oven is really the best place for me. I place the bread, covered with a greased sheet of wazed paper and a towel, in the top oven. I add a tray of boiling water underneath.

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Cinnamon Swirl Bread

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Sometimes it is nice to appreciate the simple deliciousness that is cinnamon. It always makes me feel warmer somehow.

Perhaps that is why I have already posted recipes on cinnamon buns. I’ve chased the perfect cinnamon raisin bread for years. I love cinnamon shortbread. But this recipe really takes the cake. Or bread, I guess.

I think it is also known as friendship bread (not to be confused with Amish friendship bread). This may be because anyone who tries this bread will want to be your friend so they can have the recipe. Or because it makes two loaves and grown-ups share things.

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Filed under American, Breads & Biscuits, Breakfast

Twisting Biscuits

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Normally, hot bread is my choice of accompaniment for a hearty stew or creamy soup. When I can’t get to the store, I turn to biscuits or quick breads. I have no tradition with biscuits so I will serve them with anything. I’ve even been known to serve popovers with stews as well. I like that they can come together in a few minutes and can make even canned soup or leftover stew exciting again.

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