The Dumpling Diary

Dis cooking so you cooking too.

Splendor in the Oven June 2, 2010

Filed under: Breads,Breakfast,Desserts — Meg @ 2:22 pm

Well, well, well.  I’m back, and it’s only been two days.  I’ve been baking a fair amount (at home) in the past few days, concocting new recipes and experimenting, so I think it’s only proper that I post the results for y’all. During this scorching weather, I have decided to rival mother nature with a heatsource of my own: Oven. The victorious feast is comprised of two wonderful, delectable oven-baked treats.
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1. Biscuits
2. Cornmeal Cake.

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COMMENCE!
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Old Timey Cheddar Biscuits
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Ingredients
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1 Tbsp butter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup lard or butter
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 cup shredded, aged cheddar
1 egg, beaten
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Method
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Preheat oven to 500 degrees. I’m not even kidding. Do it.
Now, get a nice big cast iron skillet, and put the butter in it. Throw that into the oven, just let it hang out for a while. I’ll let you know.
In a large-ish mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and about 2/3 of the cheddar cheese (2/3 cup, dingbats).
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Alternatively, if you have a mixer, put all of this in the bowl and using a paddle beater, mix in with that. Next, using either a pastry blender/cutter, or two knives (or your hands, I don’t care), cut in the lard or butter until it resembles small peas. You can use the paddle beater on a mixer for this too, on medium-low speed. It works very, very well.
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Next, stir in the buttermilk. Use a fork to do this, only just until the mixture just comes together and can be formed into a relatively sticky mass. Do NOT over-mix it, or I’ll find you, and make you start all over again. HAH. If you find you need to add a splash more milk, if the mixture is a little bit dry, go ahead, but don’t use too much. It should still be slightly crumbly, but very pliable.
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On a floured work surface, turn the dough out, and fold the dough, kneading  it for about 8 or 10 strokes, and no more – I’m going to be very adamant about this. Then, use your hands to gently (GENTLY) pat it down to about 3/4 ” thickness. Use a biscuit cutter or a clean drinking glass to cut out the biscuits. Don’t re-roll the dough with the scraps. Just throw pretend they’re little organically-shaped, malformed biscuits, but you love them unconditionally anyhow. We’ve all been there.
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Using the tines of a fork, prick the tops of the biscuits a few times, then take your skillet out of the oven, swirl the butter around a bit, and place the biscuits (crazy, non-geometrically shaped ones too) in it. Brush the beaten egg (now known as EGG WARSH) over the tops of the biscuits. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, and bake for about 11 minutes. They will be puffy, golden, cheesy, and all-around hallelujah-worthy. Not to brag, or anything…
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Raspberry-Lemon Cornmeal Cake
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Ingredients
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1 1/2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup fresh raspberries (frozen would work just as well, I imagine)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (you can just use 2 Tbsp lemon juice and top it up with milk, if you so choose)
1/3 cup melted butter
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp cream. Any kind you want, half & half, heavy, who cares. The richer, the better.
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Method
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Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease an 8″ or 9″ cast iron skillet with butter or whatever you have!
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In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Once that is sufficiently mixed, stir in lemon zest and raspberries.
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In a smaller bowl (I’m so lazy, I mix it in a 2 cup measure), beat the eggs until they’re rather homogeneous. Whites/yolks are all one. Then, stir in buttermilk and melted butter, and beat it all up to combine it. Stir that mess into the dry mixture, but once again (oh, how monotonous life is), DO NOT over-mix it. Just let it do it’s thang! Stir until there isn’t any powdery business going on. Everything is just moistened. Let it sit for about five minutes (or don’t, I get hungry and often choose to omit that step), then pour it into the greased skillet.
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Pour the cream over, and throw ‘er in the oven for about 35 minutes. The top will will golden, starting to brown ever-so-slightly, and it will be nice and crackly. Let it cool, and cut into wedges. I like to top mine with vanilla yogurt (Balkan would be amazing in this case), and perhaps a nice little pretentious-looking lemon curl.
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Now, please admire another photo, one that includes this kooky little fruit bowl.

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MEGOHM, OVER AND OUT.

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One Response to “Splendor in the Oven”

  1. All I must say, is these biscuits look DELISH!! Yum-yum 🙂


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