Published March-09-06
 
 
Eddy's Recipes from
It's Not Just Chicken Soup.
Kosher cooking by Eddy Robey M.A.
 
  Issue: 7.03
 
Biscuits, Shortcakes and Scones
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Today you get a triple header. These are really all variations on the same theme. All may be made quickly, and freeze well, when individually wrapped. Like all Quick Breads, however, they go stale very rapidly, if not frozen. Never refrigerate baked goods in an attempt to keep them fresh, they will actually become inedible at a faster pace. At refrigerator temperatures, the Water and Starch molecules begin to separate, which causes staleness.

These recipes call for Self-Rising Flour, which is right next to the All-Purpose sort, on the grocery shelf. This is Flour which has been presifted with Salt and Baking Powder. I recommend using it whenever possible, both for ease of preparation, and because it will give a better rise. One of the primary causes of baking failure is stale Baking Powder. Once you open a tin, it is only at maximum strength for about 90 days. Since most cooks are reluctant to discard a tin which is still 3/4 full, they use it, and are bitterly disappointed with the result. A bag of Flour can be used within that 90 day period, so you will avoid the problem, as long as you store it in an air-tight container. All of these variations should be baked in a greased pan at 375 degrees until golden brown.

Basic Biscuit Recipe

2 cups Self-Rising Flour
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter or Margarine
1/2-2/3 cup Milk, Non-Dairy Creamer, or Buttermilk (add a pinch of baking Soda to Buttermilk)

Method

Cut the Butter into the Self-Rising Flour. If you have a food processor, do this by pulsing, if not do it by using 2 knives and cutting the Butter into progressively smaller bits until the mixture looks like Cornmeal. (Special Note: the mixture can be prepared in bulk to this point, and stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to a month. Use as you would Biscuit Mix, to make anywhere from 2 to a dozen at a time) Moisten with the Milk until a Dough forms. Handle the Dough as little as possible, because over mixing will toughen it. At this point, you may drop the Dough onto a greased pan by tablespoons and bake. Alternately, it can be rolled one inch thick on a lightly Floured board, and cut to shape.

Shortcakes

Mix 1/3 cup Sugar with the Flour, and use 2/3 cup Butter or Margarine. Proceed as for basic Biscuits. Pat the Dough 1 1/2 inches thick, and cut into 3 inch circles. Bake. When cool: split, fill with the cut and sweetened Fruit of your choice, and top with Whipped Cream, or Non-Dairy Whipped Topping.

Scones

Mix 1/2 cup Sugar with the Flour, Use Whipping Cream for the Liquid in the recipe. If you like, you may mix 2/3 cup finely chopped and re-hydrated dried Fruit (Raisins, Cranberries, Apricots, etc.), or 1 tablespoon grated Citrus Peel into the Dough. Pat into a large circle, then cut the circle into 8 wedges. Bake. You may also sprinkle the tops of the Scones with Sugar before baking.



Copyright 2002 Eddy Robey
Excerpts from It's Not Just Chicken Soup.
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