Monday, September 24, 2012
stacked garlic biscuits
This is an unplanned post so it will be a short one, with just enough pictures to drive home the insane texture of these biscuits. It's been a while since I baked a loaf of bread and I'd forgotten to get any, for breakfast the night before, again. Faced with four hungry boys at breakfast, I turned once more to my flour jar because all were too bleary eyed and stiff to make an early bread run.
I decided to throw in the garlic salt that had been slowly calcifying on the spice rack before it was too far gone, in place of regular salt, and the baking powder tin was empty, so I used baking soda and cream of tartar instead.
My only hope for these was that they would be out of the oven quick and into my boys' bellies in time for none to be tardy to work or school, but, when I was folding the dough into thirds, inspiration struck, as it often does, in a fog of desperation. I wondered what would happen if I cut the rectangle across in half and stacked one half on top of the other. That would give the dough six layers, instead of three, with just one folding.
So, cut and stack I did, then patted everything down and cut them into my usual 12 squares, yes, with scissors. Once they went in the oven I got down to cleaning up, with a keen eye on the clock, before setting the breakfast table. When they came out, I was a little taken aback at all the striations along the sides of each biscuit, but was too harried to think much more of it. But, when teeth met biscuit and the layers splintered and practically shattered (because I had split the biscuits apart and toasted them crisp like English muffins), I knew I had to post this, even if it meant just a handful of no-frills photos. Fold when making biscuits, always, always fold, then if you have time, cut and stack and pat down before cutting out your biscuits.
These are even better than my flaky yoghurt biscuits, probably because of the butter, which is what I used as it was all I had and because there's no getting around the fact that butter tastes better than just about anything else. Nothing more to add except that these are all a biscuit bimbo (like me) needs for breakfast, for lunch, dinner, any time. You're welcome and enjoy! I'm going back to my biscuits, eggs and (stone cold) coffee now. The things I do for you ;)
Stacked Garlic Biscuits
Prep 15 mins Cook 20 mins Makes 12
300 g (3 cups) plain or all purpose flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt (mine is more garlic than salt so if yours is heavy on salt, reduce to 1 tsp)
75 g (1/2 cup) cold firm butter
180 - 200 ml (about a cup) cold milk - don't use buttermilk or yoghurt, the cream of tartar has a tangy taste by itself
Preheat oven at 240 C (460 F) and line a baking tray with parchment or baking paper.
Combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, sugar and garlic salt and stir well with a whisk.
Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or blender or rub in with your finger tips until mixture is like large, coarse crumbs with bits of butter still visible here and there.
Pour in milk all at once and stir mixture together with a spatula only until the flour is moistened and mixture starts to come together. DO NOT KNEAD, never, NEVER KNEAD!
Turn the rough dough out onto a lightly floured board or work top and flatten slightly. Fold mixure into thirds (see how here) and pat into a thick rectangle. Cut across into two squares and stack one on the other.
Pat down and out into a 2. 5 cm (1 in) thick rectangle then snip with scissors into 12 squares. Transfer biscuits to tray, putting them close together, and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 200 C (410 F) and bake another 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on a rack. Serve warm with butter and maple syrup (yes, it actually goes with the garlic tang) or with bacon and eggs, heck, it tastes great just on its own too. Coffee, don't forget the coffee!