Tag Archives: baking

Nathalie Dupree’s Food Processor Biscuits

Standard

I have loved and learned from Nathalie Dupree for over 30 years.  She is the Grande Dame of Southern Cooking and quite literally a Grand Dame in the organization Les Dames de Escoffier. . Fortunately she holds court in my new home town, Charleston, South Carolina and I am lucky to be in her presence more often now. I lived in Beaufort and Atlanta in the ’80’s and that is when she first came on my culinary radar. She continues to prolifically produce  work on truly great southern cooking, but it is not the southern cooking your mind conjures up when you hear the term. She is classically trained and most of her early work was more in the “gourmet” realm, though using mostly southern ingredients. She has inspired cooks young and old to do what they do better. She has given us a vast work, including her most recently released tome of great proportion, Mastering the Art of Southern Cookingcollaborating with Cynthia Graubart.  Their book Southern Biscuits is full of perfect recipes and techniques for making biscuits. Believe it or not, there are several different kinds of biscuits! When my step son was visiting last week he saw the book on my cookbook stand and asked, “There is a whole book just on making biscuits?” Yes, Kevin there is. One of my favorite recipes from the book is extremely simple and successful for almost any cook. The one thing you must remember when making biscuits is, “BE GENTLE.” Overworking this tender dough makes tough biscuits. Keeping that in mind, when you use a food processor, just just the minimum amount of maneuvering  the pulse button is your friend. You barely want to mix this recipe, using the buttermilk as the glue that holds the flour together. It is simply the easiest recipe for making biscuits as long as you are gentle, they will be light and fluffy and melt in your mouth.

The three simple ingredients are Buttermilk, Self Rising Southern Flour and Butter (or shortening/lard) It is that uncomplicated.

*Note: If you do not live in the South, or in Wegman’s territory up North, you may have a difficult time sourcing southern flour (made from Winter Wheat), though you can find White Lily on Amazon. Other brands of Southern Flour are :  Red Band, Martha White or Southern Biscuit Flour. Nathalie suggests using a mix of cake flour and all purpose flour to make a flour that is more like Southern Flour. Keep in mind it is the protein in the flour that makes a crispy chewy crust, not what you want with a biscuit. Start with 1/2 all purpose flour to 1/2 cake flour.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour (I keep mine in the freezer so it is nice and cold), divided
  • 1/4 cup (half a stick) of butter (or any combination of butter, shortening or lard) cut into 1/4″ dice
  • 1/4  cup (half a stick) of butter (or any combination of butter, shortening or lard) cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1 cup of buttermilk divided

    Method:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. I bake in a convection oven on the convection bake selection.

Select your pan; for softer biscuits place in a greased 8-9″ cake pan or skillet. For crispy exterior, place on a greased baking sheet about 2″ apart.

  • In the bowl of a food processor, pulse 2 1/4 cups of flour with the knife blade 4-5 times. Set aside the remaining 1/4 cup of flour.
  • Scatter the chilled butter pieces around the bowl of the processor.

  • Pulse 2-3 times quickly, no piece should be larger than a pea
  • Add 3/4 cup of buttermilk, reserving the remaining 1/4 cup
  • Pulse briefly to incorporate the liquid, resulting in a shaggy dough, then remove the lid and feel the dough, it needs to be wet but not sticky. If needed add more flour or buttermilk to achieve this result, but do not over process.

  • Pour the dough out onto a chilled floured surface and allow to rest for a minute
  • Gently flour the dough and roll into a ball with floured hands, then, roll over again into a disc. GENTLY

  • Using a rolling pin flatten the disc to about 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick
  • Using a floured cutter or glass, cut into biscuits
  • You can roll out the scraps for a final biscuit, but I usually toss because this one will be tougher
  • Place in your baking pan
  • Bake for 6 minutes on the middle shelf, then turn the pan so that it is evenly browning. If the bottom looks like it is browning too fast, you can add a baking sheet under it
  • Bake for another 4-6 minutes, until the tops of the biscuits are a light golden color
  • Remove from the oven and brush a little softened butter on them.

 Enjoy with honey, butter, jam or gravy!

Advertisements

Orange/Mac Nut Cinnamon Rolls with Buttered Rum Icing

Standard

This is the recipe my Great Grandma Wolf made and served me when I would spend the night at her house in Glendora, California. I have taken liberties by adding the mac nuts and the rum. When I was a little girl my Great Grandma Wolf would give me buttered rum Lifesavers to keep me quiet in church, so the flavor is homage to her.  These freeze well and can be re-heated. You can also make and proof the dough the night before and then refrigerate the dough. If you do this, it will take about 2 hours for the rolls to rise in their second fermentation.


Cook Time: 20 minutesPrep Time: 2-3 hours (depending on rising time)

Ingredients:

·         1-1/2 packages (about 3-1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast

·         1/4 cup warm water

·         1/2 cup shortening, lard or butter (I usually use home rendered lard)

·         1/3 cup raw sugar

·         1-1/2 teaspoon salt

·         1 cup milk scalded

·         2 Tablespoons fresh lemon or orange zest

·         1 egg

·         4 to 5 cups sifted flour

·         1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts

·         Softened butter (about 1/3 a cup, maybe a little more)

·         brown sugar (or I used a combination of male sugar and vanilla sugar)

·         1/4 cup Vietnamese Cinnamon

  Frosting

·         1 cups powdered sugar

·         ½ cup mascarpone cheese

·         1 teaspoon Tahitian Vanilla 

·         5 Tablespoons good quality rum

Method:

Add the warm water to the yeast and soak 10 minutes.

Scald milk; pour over the shortening. Add sugar, zest and salt and cool to tepid. Add the dissolved yeast and beaten egg. Add 4 cups flour adding one at a time beating after each addition.

Dough should be soft yet firm enough to handle. Knead on floured board until elastic and smooth. Avoid too much flour. Turn dough into well oiled bowl. Let rise for 1-1/2 hours.

Softly press dough down and shape into a rectangle. Roll dough out into a rectangle about 18 inches wide and 8 inches tall. Cover with the soft butter. Layer with a generous layer of sugar (brown or a combo of vanilla sugar and maple sugar.) Sprinkle on cinnamon and evenly distribute the nuts. Roll up jellyroll fashion.

Using a piece of thread or dental floss cut off slices about 1-1/2 inches thick. Place slices in a full side sheet pan lined with a silpat pad (or you can spray the pan with PAM.) Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until rolls fill the pan generously. This should take about an hour.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 20 – 30 minutes. Do not over bake rolls. Make sure the center rolls are cooked all the way through by testing with an instant read thermometer. It should read about 200 degrees. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before frosting.

For the Frosting:
Using a mixer with whisk attachment whip the mascarpone, then add the powdered sugar and rum. Whip till fluffy. Spread over warm rolls as soon as they are placed on a plate to let the frosting melt and run into the rolls.

Soda Bread and Irish Cheddar Bread Pudding

Standard

Image

Soda Bread and Irish Cheddar Bread Pudding

This bread pudding is a sort of a “two fer”, as it also includes a recipe for really great Irish Soda Bread. Soda Bread does not use yeast, it somewhat resembles a very large biscuit. It is easy to make and you will only use about half of the loaf for this recipe. Try toasting the leftovers with butter and jam.

It is March and we did an Irish Fine Dining Dinner for St. Patrick’s Day. I was not the host, so I only did three dishes, the first of which I am sharing with you today.

Ingredients:

For the Soda Bread:

2 Cups all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons for dusting

1 teaspoon baking soda (be sure it is fresh)

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

2 Tablespoons fresh dill chopped

1 tablespoon Caraway seeds

1 Cup of buttermilk (shake before pouring)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Pudding:

4 large fresh eggs

2 cups whole milk

½ cup of heavy cream

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 cups grated Irish Cheddar Cheese

¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Paprika

6 6 ounce ramekins or a 2 quart baking dish

Method

FOR THE SODA BREAD:

Preheat oven to 350°

In a food processor add the flour, baking soda and salt. Pulse a few times. Add the caraway, pepper and dill, pulse a few more times. Add the buttermilk and butter. Pulse again till it just begins to form a ball.

Place on a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth ball and flatten into a 6 inch flattened round. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.

With a very sharp knife, cut an X in the top of the dough about ½ inch deep. This assures even cooking.

Use a small sieve to dust the top with additional flour.

Bake on middle shelf (I also use a baking stone for even heat) for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and a hollow sound is made when tapped.

Cool on a rack. This can be done one day ahead.

FOR THE PUDDINGS:

Preheat oven to 350°

Spray the ramekins with olive oil

Cut ½ of the bread into cubes and place them in the ramekins about half way up. Reserve remaining cubes.

Make the custard by whisking the eggs, milk, cream, salt & pepper. Stir in the cheeses. Pour into a pitcher.

Place the ramekins in a hotel pan or 9 X 13 baking dish, cover the bread with custard, making sure some cheese goes in. Then add additional cubes to the top of the ramekin 3/4 of the way from the top. Pour all of the mixture into the ramekins, filling them to the top. Sprinkle with a little paprika. Add about 2 inches of water to the hotel pan and bake 35-40 minutes. They are finished when a knife is inserted and comes out clean.

Remove from the water and place on a towel or rack and allow to rest for 15 minutes or more.

Aloha Rolls

Standard

These slightly sweet rolls are quick and easy to make. They freeze well and the dough can be saved in the refrigerator for up to a week so you can make them fresh for each meal. If you want a more traditional Hawaiian Sweet Bread Roll add another egg or two.

Ingredients:
2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast or about 1 tablespoon 1 cup lukewarm water (105 to 115 F)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
3/4 cup raw sugar or honey
1 1/2 cups warm water (more if needed)
6 1/2-7 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Butter

Method:

  • Dissolve the yeast in a large mixing bowl with 1 cup of lukewarm water and let it stand for about 5 minutes
  • Add the oil, egg, sugar or honey, salt and the rest of the water and mix it with a whisk, let stand again for a few minutes
  • Add the flour and mix on medium with a dough hook until the dough forms a ball. It should be a moist dough, but not very sticky. Add a little more flour if needed. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes then knead  for 5 minutes
  • Put a small circle of olive oil in the bottom of a large bowl and put the ball of dough smooth side down into the bowl, then flip it over and cover with plastic wrap. And allow to rise for 90 minutes or until doubled
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and get a large sheet pan spray with cooking spray or line with partchment paper or silicone mat
  • Punch down the dough and pinch off pieces of the dough and roll into golf ball size for dinner rolls or “slider” buns, or tennis ball sizes for sandwich rolls. Arrange the dough on the pan about 1-2 inches apart then cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with olive oil or Pam. Allow to rise for 20 minutes. The rolls will not quite double in bulk on the second rising
  • Bake rolls for 18 to 30 (shorter time for small rolls) mintues or until golden brown. When they come out of the oven brush lightly with olive oil or take a stick of butter and rub on the tops. You can also add seeds to the tops immediately after buttering. These can also be made into hot dog buns by making 4″ X 1 1/2 inch torpedo shapes and allowing to rise in the same manner. They make AWESOME hamburger buns too!