Monday, January 6, 2014


I own a billion cook books. A few of them are just bread books. My go-to ultimate awesome bread book is Peter Reinhart's Crust and Crumb. It covers a lot of types, lists all recipes in volume measurement, weight measurement and percentage by weight. I love thoroughness. The best pizza and bagel I have ever eaten were made by me, from this book. Both took absurd amounts of time and effort and it was totally worth it. He has other books and they probably all rule, perhaps even more than the one I own but I cannot say for sure.

I was vegan forever. Actually 11 or 12 years, but thats most of my adult life so basically forever. That best ever pizza I mentioned above, it didnt even have cheese on it and I grilled it. Anyways, I will eventually get around to writing up my post vegan manifesto but for now Id like to describe how I finally got around to making some really buttery biscuits. SO buttery. With chocolate gravy. Thats a thing in Appalachia. I think we made that recipe. Im not putting out the effort to retype it because Im not sure. It was good though. I think it sounds gross/ ridiculous and I wouldn't do it often but it truly is tasty.

I tried the blitz biscuit recipe in Reinhardt's book. And as i suggested above, butter baking is still new to me, ridiculous as that may sound. I just double checked before I typed it and its true, although it seems impossible to me but maybe Im just not that good with butter yet, the recipe calls for 3 sticks of butter!x10000 For less than 2 dozen biscuits. Dang yo! I tried the recipe as written and ended up with super flaky biscuits, to the point of layers bursting apart from one another, shallow frying themselves in 1/2 inch of butter that leaked out of them. Still good. I remade them using only 2 sticks of butter, which still seems absurd. That is how much Paula Deen uses for this much flour, which makes it seem crazy and dangerous to use more.
reject biscuits
oven butter leak out shallow fry

The batch I made with only 2 sticks of butter was really good. I cheated and used milk mixed with lemon juice rather than buy buttermilk. Here is the altered recipe:

chocolate gravy
walter crumpkin helping make gravy

3 1/2 C flour (16oz)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

1 C butter (8oz)
1 1/2 C milk w/ 1 tbl lemon juice or vinegar (12 oz)

Sift dry ingredients. Incorporate butter with a pastry cutter or gentle fingers. Don't melt the butter. The colder everything stays, the better the biscuit.  Stir in the soured milk.Dust the counter with flour and roll out the dough ball until 3/4 inch thick.Fold it into thirds like a letter, turn it and do it again. This is building flaky layers.Wrap it in plastic wrap, chill it and do it all over again.Make square biscuits so you don't have to re roll dough and make crappier leftover biscuits. 
Tray them up and chill the trays.Preheat the oven to 425.
Bake chilled pans at least 15 mins up to 25, depending how accurate your oven is, how awesome your biscuit skillz are, and how good you are at determining light brown and golden biscuits. These are NOT cookies, you gain nothing by under baking!!
Cool 5 minutes and then devour until you feel sick, roughly 15 minutes.

chocolate gravy and biscuits
biscuits and chocolate gravy w/ smoked sea salt

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