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This week, I'm embarking upon a three-week series on yeast-free bread recipes. Popular wisdom holds that you are either a baker or a cook. Very few people are both; Amanda is one of these few, but I am not. It's not that I'm totally incompetent as a baker, but it's certainly not my forte, and when forced to roll out dough or rely on yeast, I start to sweat a little.
Strangely, my adventures in cooking began with bread -- specifically a couple of quick bread recipes from the Joy of Cooking (more on that later). And throughout my life as a cook, I've gravitated to bread recipes, like those first forays, that do not involve yeast or rising of any kind.
Today, I'm sharing one such recipe for what are quite simply the best biscuits I have ever had. According to Marion Cunningham, author of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, this recipe was taught to her at one of James Beard’s summer cooking classes in Seaside, Oregon. Instead of buttermilk or regular milk, they call for heavy cream, which keeps them from being even remotely dry. And more great news for non-bakers like me: the recipe is completely forgiving. You knead the dough before shaping it, but the resulting biscuits are as tender as could be. Maybe it's all that cream...
Adapted from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook (13th Edition) by Marion Cunningham
Makes 12 biscuits
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Melted butter
1. Heat the oven to 425°F. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a mixing bowl, stirring with a fork to blend.
2. Slowly add the cream to the dry ingredients, stirring constantly, until the dough holds together. Knead gently on a lightly floured surface for about 1 minute. Pat it into 1/2-inch thick round and use a sharp knife to it cut into 8 wedges.
3. Arrange the wedges 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet and brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve warm with plenty of butter and/or honey.
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