Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spelt Buttermilk Biscuits

This one was a fun experiment because it came out really good! The warm ones were the best. They got a little denser when they were cold, but the recipe could be halved if you have a smaller family. In spite of the dark color that comes from spelt flour, these were light and fluffy and just as nice as when I made them with white all purpose flour. I have made them with other combinations of grain flour and they were really dense, not fluffy like these. Of course when I say fluffy they are not going to be like canned biscuits or ultra processed white biscuits, but they were pretty good. My son liked them better than the ones made with white flour which happies me since he is such a picky eater.

The recipe is adapted form Fannie Farmer Cookbook's Buttermilk Biscuits.

Spelt Buttermilk Biscuits

Preheat oven to 425*

4 cups Spelt flour (if fresh ground, use four heaping cups of flour)

1 t Salt

4 t BP

1 T Honey

1 t Baking Soda

1 c Shortening (I use Spectrum palm shortening)

1 - 1 1/3 c Buttermilk

Mix dry ingredients, honey and shortening until crumbly. (I used a mixer but could be done by hand) Add buttermilk until a wet dough ball forms. Drop by spoon fulls onto baking sheet. Makes 9 large biscuits (about English muffin size) or 12-20 smaller biscuits. Bake for 15-25 minutes depending on size. Eat warm!

Catching Up, Bread, Rolls, Biscuits and Cookies

Well you would think that all we ever do is eat bread around here since that is all I have posted recently. It just happens to be the area that I am working hardest on at the moment. I have lots of ideas and things I want to discuss but am going to wait and do a quick catch up post tonight.

I know I have shown lots of pictures of the Beet/Wheat/Spelt bread on here but I got a different brand of beets at a local grocery store and look at the color of this dough! As my daughter J says, "It's Bee-utiful!" I am trying to convert my recipe to make a big batch in the mixer for 5-6 loaves. Spelt does not behave quite like wheat, so I have had some challenges. Today I adjusted the liquids as spelt does not need as much liquid as wheat and my loaves have risen but then get lumpy/bumpy when baked. It was disappointing to have another lousy batch today but I believe I have figured out the other problem... Spelt should not be mixed as much as wheat. Another mistake may have been using two rises + rising after made into a loaf. This is what works in the next recipe I will talk about. But perhaps it is not a good choice for the Beet/Wheat/Spelt bread. Back to the drawing board. My kids actually like this bread and requested it.

Here's a chuckle though... I have never liked beets and apparently there are not enough people liking beets to warrant selling them organically by the can. I have looked everywhere for them and even Whole Foods only sells conventional beets, not organic. What's up with that? Has anyone else ever seen organic beets by the can? Eventually when I can have a garden I will grow my own and can them.

After the bread mess today, it was kind of depressing to see these pictures of this BEAUTIFUL bread! This is NOT white bread. This is white whole wheat bread made from a Challah type recipe that I found in Bread For Life, volume I by Beth Holland. You can see it made four loaves + rolls. The rolls we used for Sloppy Joe's the next day!

This bread tastes as good as it looks...the dented one is because I dropped it on the stove knobs when getting it out of the pan. This bread recipe is proof that you can make 100% whole wheat bread with awesome texture and NOT use any dough enhancers or vital wheat gluten or instant yeast. It was light and fluffy with a fine crumb, but not squishy like the white fake stuff whose name starts with a W!

And the dinner rolls were light and fluffy and better than any in a restaurant or store that I have had. I believe even most picky eaters would at least try. For family reading, they remind me of Marilyn's a little bit, but a little bit lighter because of the white wheat instead of red.

And these are the delight of my husband! I altered the Urban Legend Cookie Recipe to use fresh ground hard white wheat flour, Sucanat/honey for the brown sugar and Turbinado for the white. They look a little dark because of the unrefined sugars but they are not overdone. They don't taste like your usual Toll House Chocolate Chip cookie, but once your brain gets beyond that, they are awesome. The recipe is huge and makes about 10 dozen small cookies, about 6 dozen large. I put the dough in freezer ziploc bags about 1"+ thick so that it thaws quickly. You can scoop them all out in portions, but to me that is extra work, so I put it in amounts that will roughly equal 12-24 cookies, which is enough for one time with this family of five. Your mileage may vary. I definitely recommend trying this one!