Let’s start today’s blog post with a confession: This personal bake off challenge has been exhausting and STRESS-FUL, BUT it also has filled me with so much joy (Marie Kondo, anyone?). I get excited at the prospect of all the techniques that I will learn, the new recipes that I will have in my repertoire, and also all the things I get to taste (as if I don't eat enough things...)
I am trying to focus on all the positives of this bake off and not worry about all the behind the scenes things-- keeping up with posts, content, and the bake themselves…. But I am trying to get it down in a routine so I bring you better-than-awesome things :) With better proofreading and edits, so please excuse typos in the previous posts.
It warms my little baker’s heart when my friends reach out to help me out with this blog endeavor (here’s looking at you, #lindybakes (yes, you have been mentioned twice, super famous)). Also, I can’t wait to connect with more of you! Emails and comments are welcome, just make sure you continue to #spreadjoy...all the while baking and eating. Yummy!
Okay, I feel better after that little confession! Whew. But I do hope that this inspires you too! Whether it's to dust off that cookie sheet or start watching the show or even doing some writing of your own… I would love to hear about your own personal bake-off-of -sorts.
But the task at hand is biscuit week. If you remember from my last post - I actually didn’t exactly keep to the brief. I made some shortbread (delicious, if I do say so myself) but they weren’t savory. I promised that I would make sure that I got those savory biscuits made. Since I have a growing obsession with Paul Hollywood’s “How to Bake,” I decided to do another recipe out of the book. I mean, the shortbread turned out pretty well, so I figured “why not.” Therefore, I decided to go ahead with Gruyere Biscuits. After all, cheese is my best friend.
I baked these little delights for a little longer than it called for in the recipe (10 minutes). I kept an eye on them and watched for the gentle brown color to appear around the edges. Now, I did notice as they were in the oven, there was a fair amount of spreading - but only SOME of the biscuits. I suspect that this was not from refrigerating again after rolling and cutting. There should be a LITTLE spreading but I wanted to make those nice, crisp edges that Mr. Hollywood and Ms. Berry are looking for.
Sprinkled with salt and fresh cracked pepper after taking them out of the oven...and they smelled SO GOOD! I love how my house smells when baking.
But, wait! There's more. (BONUS)
I decided to give myself a bonus challenge since these little biscuits don’t take a lot of time and to challenge my skills in the flavor department. My own personal twist on the English biscuit - I decided to make an “American” version- and since I recently moved to Texas (#atx)- I figured a BBQ flavor would be appropriate. And that’s how it was born…
My very own: ENGLISH AMERICAN BBQ BISCUITS.
I used the same base recipe for the Gruyere biscuits, but omitted the gruyere. I added a mixture of spices: Garlic Powder, New Mexico Chili, Cayenne, Mustard Seed, Paprika, Onion Powder, and BBQ Seasoning to the flour and sifted into a bowl. I added cubed butter per the recipe and worked through with my hands… but in order to bring together the dough I added a few splashes of milk - I debated about using mascarpone cheese in order to bind the dough and another flavor element… but decided that on my first trial that I would stick with the added spices only.
So with the splashes of milk in the bowl, I then brought the dough together and put in the fridge to rest.
I have to say, I am pretty proud of myself and my English American BBQ Biscuits. I actually feel like that I could have gone stronger/bolder with the flavors of the “BBQ”- of course the #homechef part of me didn’t measure out the spices. I mixed and tasted. Next time, I might add a couple of drops of liquid smoke and make sure that there is a little extra pop of heat in there. A little extra garlic and onion as well. Mascarpone cheese might not be a bad addition - for a little acidity.
Like Samin Nosrat says, “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat.” Of course if you have any tips or if you come up with a mixture of your own, let me know in the comments. The Superbowl is right around the corner (Go #sportsball) so maybe English American BBQ biscuits can sit right next to the seven layer dip. (In case you are wondering my sportsball is Soccer and eating).
As you can see from the pics - the 2 different kinds of the biscuits held their shapes differently, even though I used the same cutter. The different shapes and some of the extra spreading in the fridge got me to thinking that I need to try refrigerating the dough after rolling/cutting AND I think I will add a couple of minutes of light kneading to incorporate the butter a little bit more.
You may be thinking that I am crazy, but hear me out! I know that biscuits need to be “short” but I saw that there were big blobs of butter in the dough as I rolled it out. These little guys are small and I think having smaller butter blobs will definitely help with the spreading (I don’t want all the butter to seep out!) and a little bit of the uneven coloring that I noticed. I definitely won't want to take out ALL the butter blobs...because it did have a delightful flaky texture...but not necessarily that nice snap… So I guess I got an excuse to bake a few more batches to perfect it!
Up next is the technical, which consists of Florentines. One of Mary Berry recipes. My first time using Golden Syrup and making my own candied peel. Stay tuned. Until then, check out some life inspirations on my home page.
Happy Baking. Happy Eating. Happy Repeating.