Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cream Biscuits and a Walk in the Park

Sunday morning. The smell of coffee brewing a batch of fresh biscuits in the oven. The family stirs slowly and the dogs race to the door for their morning ritual. We're getting ready for a long overdue hike at Brazos Bend State Park.

Whipping up a batch of biscuits may not sound like a relaxing morning to you but it's not as bad as you think. These are cream biscuits. No, they're not low fat nor low calorie nor are they low carb. They're high flavor and will get you high praises with a minimal amount of work. And they're soooo much better than those canned biscuits from the store. Blech!

One trick to these biscuits is to get them into the oven as soon as you cut them. Don't let them just set on the counter. Cook 'em!

And notice how they even make their own little cut line across the middle.
Cream Biscuits

2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. (You can find parchment paper in the same location of the grocery store where foil is located)

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups of the cream and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough forms, about 30 seconds. Transfer the dough to the countertop, leaving all dry, floury bits behind in the bowl. In 1 tablespoon increments, add up to 1/4 cup cream to the dry bits in the bowl, mixing with a wooden spoon after each addition, until moistened. (It took me less than a tablespoon) Add these moistened bits to the rest of the dough and knead by hand just until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Pat the dough into a 3/4" thick circle and use a biscuit cutter or a drinking glass rim to cut the biscuits. It should yield about 8. Place the biscuits on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Once the hot biscuits are out of the oven, top them with a little butter or some jelly. Yum!

I went to the farmer's market in Alvin, TX called Froberg's. They have fruits and veggies at a much better price than what I'd find at the grocery store. They also have homemade jerky and smoked sausage and pies. I was so excited to see an East Texas favorite there: Mayhaw Jelly! Seriously, nothing is better on a biscuit than mayhaw jelly.

Mayhaw trees have little berries that you'll find floating in the backwaters and swamps of East Texas (and maybe other parts of the southern US) in the spring. It's a family tradition for some to go out in their boats and scoop up the floating berries with nets to bring home to grandmas who turn the bitter berries into a heavenly elixir. Some have also been known to make wine out of them. Now that's a good grandma!

Unfortunately, mayhaw jelly is rarely seen outside of the roadside stands of East Texas. From what I understand, the trees are being cultivated to grow in other places other than the swamp banks. I'm afraid that just might ruin a perfectly good tradition though. This stuff is so good that I might just have to host a giveaway soon.

After breakfast we filled up our water bottles and headed out to the trails even though it was hot. I just missed the great outdoors too much to spend another weekend cooped up in the air conditioning.

We hiked and stopped at a nice bench and shared some grapes and Chex mix and beef jerky. Trail food. Refreshed we continued out Sunday walk but only for 2 miles. It was just too hot. But it sure was good to get outside again. By the time we got back to the car and cranked up the AC to "Arctic Blast", the thermometer was threatening to climb to 100. Later it did get in the very high 90s. Come on, fall!!

2 comments:

  1. If I could I would eat sausage & biscuits with southern gravy for breakfast every day :)

    Those biscuits sound delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your cooking is sounding so good - never heard of Mayhew jelly but anything on those biscuits would be icing on the cake (ok, that was a bad analogy).

    P.S. I busted a gut over your comment today - you are so funny!!!

    ReplyDelete

I love comments. Tell me what's on your mind. :)