Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I found a wonderful book at the library recently. It's called Back To The Table~The Reunion of Food and Family by Art Smith and is filled with lots of delicious recipes.
The first recipe I tried was Fluffy Yeast Rolls and everyone loved them.
Fluffy Yeast Biscuits
Makes about 2 dozen biscuits
You can refrigerate the dough overnight so you can have a big plate of biscuits ready for breakfast in no time.
Two 1/4-ounce packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm (105 to 115F) water
4 cups self-rising flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, chilled, cut into thin slices
1/4 cup shortening, chilled, cut up (I used butter)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, as needed
Sprinkle yeast over the warm water in a small bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast.
Sift the flour, sugar, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the butter and shortening. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter and shortening into the flour until the mixture looks crumbly with a few pea-sized pieces of fat.
Make a well in the center, and add the yeast mixture. Stir in enough of the buttermilk to make a moist, shaggy dough. Knead in the bowl a few times, just until the dough comes together.
Transfer the dough to a medium bowl (no need to oil the bowl). Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature until the dough doubles in volume, about 45 minutes. (The dough can be made up to 1 day ahead, covered tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerated.)
Position racks in the center and top third of the oven and preheat to 400F.
Pat down the dough. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Pat or roll out the dough until 1/2-inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter, cut out the biscuits and place them 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Gather up the scraps, knead together, and roll and cut out more biscuits until all of the dough is used.
Bake, switching the positions of the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until the biscuits are golden brown, about 20 minutes*. Serve hot.
*Keep a close eye on your biscuits while baking. Mine were finished and very golden at 10 minutes.
The biscuits were perfect for our Labor Day dinner, along with corn on the cob and Mrs. H's Oven Baked Country Ribs.
The book is also filled with beautiful pictures and quotes.
Let us give thanks for nature's abundance at this table this evening and for the work of loving hands.
The table is a familiar, uncomplicated, and friendly place where we can celebrate family, friends, food, and life's many blessings.
The table has always served as a symbol of congregation, the place where we celebrate our loved ones through the generations-old tradition of sharing a meal.
Daily we must unite with the human family around the world by counting our blessings over the table. These opening remarks start the celebration of the meal and of life, and express our love.