Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie

I've definitely been lacking in my blogging duties lately, but I've got a backlog of things to post now so keep an eye on the blog to see all of the latest "goings on" in my kitchen!

My first post after the absence is another one from Dorie Greenspan's Baking from My Home To Yours, once again it's a phenomenal cookbook. The recipe for this week was Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits. I must say that I was pretty excited about this week's choice because I happen to think that I am a connoisseur of fine biscuits.

In the end, I was quite pleased with the taste of biscuits, but mine just did not rise well at all. They ended up fairly flat, they were still tender on the inside, but they didn't have the look that I was going for. I feel fairly certain that I made a mistake somewhere in the process. My best guess is that I overworked the dough. The next time I make biscuits I think I will go with the method of grating frozen butter into the flour mixture to avoid overworking the dough. So I would definitely recommend the recipe, but anybody should watch how much they work the dough.

Here's the recipe...enjoy!

Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits
(Makes about 12 biscuits)

2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup cake flour)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar

5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces

1/2 cup cold sour cream

1/4 cold whole milk

1/3 cup finely chopped pecans, preferably toasted

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Get out a sharp 2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a bow. Stir in the brown sugar, making certain there are no lumps. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips (my favorite method) or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You'll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces the size of everything in between-- and that's just right.

Stir the sour cream and milk together and pour over the dry ingredients. Grab a fork and gently toss and turn the ingredients together until you've got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick gentle kneading-- 3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together. Toss in the pecans and knead 2 to 3 times to incorporate them.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour, pat the dough out with your hands or toll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high. Don't worry if the dough isn't completely even-- a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy. Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of the first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working with them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits can be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting-- just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.) (I actually froze most of my biscuits and have already cooked some of them and they turned out wonderful; I would definitely recommend freezing some of them!!)

Bake the biscuits for 14-18 minutes, or until they are tall, puffed and golden brown. Transfer them to a serving basket.


slush said...

They look fantastic. Great job! As for blogger, I think a lot of people have had trouble with it and end up moving to Wordpress. I have been using wordpress since July 07 and have never had a problem.

Engineer Baker said...

They look quite tasty, and what better way to break a blogging break than TWD?

Beth G. said...

They look great!! Beautiful job :O)

Dolores said...

Mine turned out pretty good this time, but historically I've had some real issues incorporating butter into flour and coming up with anything resembling "light" or "flaky". Next time, I'm going to try the grated butter trick. Thanks for sharing!

eatme_delicious said...

Mmmm they look good! Especially with that butter on top.

Tara said...

yours look to be about twice as high as mine! great job! i think i overworked the dough as well and grating the butter sounds like a good plan for next time.

Jhianna said...

I'm right there with ya and I think mine was overworking too. But yours look better than mine, so there's that!