8″ of snow and counting since last night. On days like this I want the smell of something baking in the oven. For the past year I’ve been teaching myself to bake from scratch. Some things I’ve conquered so far:
- Angel food cake
- All manner of quick breads (pumpkin and banana bread, blueberry muffins, oat bran muffins, corn bread, etc.)
- Yeast bread and rolls
- and today biscuits!!
I’m intimidated by things I have to knead with my hands. I don’t like to get messy. I use the food processor (OK– this is cheating a little) for the bulk of the kneading on the yeast bread, and biscuit dough seemed like it was going to be just sticky-awful. Vanessa has been begging for homemade biscuits for years. The dilineation of kitchen responsibilities in our household is that she is mostly the cook, and I am mostly the baker.
On a snow day there are no excuses to avoid messy time-consuming culinary endeavors, so I just finished up making the Pie Queen’s Shortcake Biscuits, cut in hearts for Valentine’s Day (and b/c I couldn’t find a round biscuit cutter but have an abundance of cookie cutters in every other shape). I made them w/out the blueberry topping b/c Vanessa’s planning to make a cherry compote to top them with later, and they’re not so sweet that they wouldn’t also make excellent biscuits ‘n gravy biscuits.
The kneading was nothing to worry about. The other thing that always makes me wary of pastries is the cutting in of the fat to a crumb consistency, but whilst looking for recipes this morning I ran across a great suggestion of using a hand grater to do this rather than a pastry cutter (I own no such implement) or two butter knives. That worked like a charm and is making me far less wary of another baking nemesis– the homemade pie crust. Maybe on the next snow day.