Tag Archives: recipes

biscuits

A table, containing a glass jar full of multi-colored roses, and a plate of biscuits.I love biscuits. Here is my recipe for biscuits. It’s based on the All Purpose Biscuit recipe from the New York Times.

Biscuits are good sweet or savory. This particular biscuits are soft and have a bit of a crumble to them.

They’re good for any meal — breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, dessert…

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (one stick) butter (or other solid fat)
  • 2 cups flour (alt: 1 1/2 c flour, 1/2 c corn flour)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons sweetener (I use honey)
  • 1 cup milk-like-substance (optional 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, if you want to curdle it)

Process

  • Preheat over to 425 F and butter a baking sheet or cast iron pan.
  • Optional: Mix the apple cider vinegar and the milk, so it curdles.
  • Cut butter into small pieces, or use a cheese grater.
  • Add butter, flour, baking powder, and salt
  • Use your hands or a pastry knife or whatever you want to to mix the butter and the dry ingredients.
  • Add the sweetener and milk.
  • Mix some more, but don’t over mix. I’m not sure how to define what over mix is.
  • Scoop onto your baking sheet (I use a 1/3 or 1/2 cup to measure out the dough)
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the tops are just getting golden and the bottom is also golden.
  • Eat, enjoy, yum.

I recommend, once you’re comfortable, experimenting with adding other things: herbs, spices, cheese, jalapeños, jalapeños and cheese, or whatever else sounds good to you.

v** honey cake

V* usually means “vegan” in my world, but this also has a foot note: If you consider honey non-vegan, then this cake is not vegan. It includes a lot of honey. It’s based on the Moosewood Six-minute Chocolate Cake recipe.

A double layer cake, featuring peaches and blackberries!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup honey
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water, juice, or almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

A photo of cake ingredients, including (left to right) almond milk, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, oil, honey, and flour.

Procedure

  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl
  • Mix the honey, vegetable oil, and almond milk (or whatevs) in a bowl
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  • Mix thoroughly.
  • Add vinegar, and watch it bubble.
  • Bake at 375 F for 20-30 minutes.

That’s it! I like to make this when I’m in a rush to make some dessert, because it takes 5-10 minutes to prepare.

 

pancakes

My father and Fanny Farmer taught me how to make pancakes. Fanny Farmer provided a basic recipe, and Peter de Blanc filled in the details and the important things she missed — the texture of the batter, how you know when it’s time to flip them, the repeatedly emphasized importance of butter.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons sweetener (optional, see note below)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg (slightly beaten)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter (melted)

Why is the sweetener optional? I think if you sweeten the pancake recipe, it’s enough that you don’t want to cover it in maple syrup, jam, etc, etc. So, I usually go without sugar or honey or putting the maple right in, unless I’m making these to eat on the go. ALSO! If you don’t use sugar, you can make them savory.

A glass bowl containing flour, salt, and baking powder.

Make the batter

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and sweetener if you’re using sugar).
  2. Add most of the wet ingredients (egg, milk, and sweetener if you’re using honey or maple syrup).
  3. Mix together.
  4. Melt the butter in your pan, so the pan gets full of butter. Yum.
  5. While stirring your batter, add in the melted butter slowly.

Cooking the pancakes

A pancake cooking, the top has small bubbles in it.
Bubbles slowly forming

Okay, this is the hardest part for me because it requires lots of patience, which I don’t have enough of.

A  few tips:

  • Shamelessly use lots of butter to keep your pancakes from sticking. It will also help them taste delicious.
  • After  you put the pancakes in the pan, they need to cook at a medium temperature for a fairly long time. You want them to be full of little holes and mostly solid before you flip them over. (See photos.)
  • I recommend listening to music and taking dancing breaks.

How to cook pancakes:

A pancake that has not been flipped yet cooking.
Almost ready to flip!
  1. Over a medium heat, use your nice, hot, buttery pan.
  2. Use a quarter cup of batter for each pancake. Based on the size of your pan, you should make three – four pancakes per batch.
  3. Let cook for a while. As mentioned above, they should be mostly cooked on the top as well. There ought to be a ring of crispy pancake around the outside (see pictures), but if there’s not it’s still okay!
  4. Flip the pancakes!
  5. Let cook a little bit longer, until the bottom has that pretty golden brown color to match the top.

And that’s it. Eat your pancakes however you’d like. The day I wrote this recipe I heated some maple syrup with vanilla, bourbon, and cinnamon. Yummmmm.

A delicious golden brown pancake, ready to be enjoyed.

P.S. I tagged this post “free software” so it would show up in Planet Debian because I was asked to include a baking post there. This isn’t quite baking, but it’s still pretty good.

crumpets

I decided to make crumpets. Some friends were talking about them and, despite never having seen a crumpet in-person before, I became overwhelmed by the desire to make some. I made a batch that seemed pretty good, so I decided to make another using sourdough. (Note: I did not naturally leaven the dough. I used yeast.)

I based my attempt on this recipe. It worked out okay.

To make crumpets you need crumpet rings. For some reason we have one.

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Mix the warm milk, sugar, and yeast. Let it hang out with itself until it gets all bubbly. Yum. Do this in one container.
  2. Mix the flour and salt. Do this in a big enough bowl.
  3. Add the milk/sugar/yeast mixture to the flour and mix it up. It will get nice and doughy.
  4. Add the sourdough to the doughy mixture.
  5. Set the dough aside somewhere not as cold as most of my apartment and let it rise to twice it’s size. This takes me about an hour.
  6. After the dough has risen, mix the water and the baking soda and then add it to the dough.
  7. Let your batter like dough sit around for another half hour. It will look something like this:

    A glass bowl full of crumpet batter.
    Your batter should be getting some nice bubbles in it.
  8. COOK THE CRUMPETS! This is how I cooked them. It was probably not the best way to do it. The internet suggests using a griddle; I have two cast iron pans. Since I only have one crumpet ring, using a single (small) cast iron worked fine.
    • Put some butter or oil into the pan. Also spread some butter or oil around the inside of the crumpet ring.
    • Put the crumpet ring into the pan.
    • Add some batter inside the crumpet ring. I used 1/3 cup batter for each crumpet. They were probably way too thick.
    • Cook for a while on one side and then turn it once the first side is a pretty golden color. The internet tells me not to flip crumpets, but I needed to because they were (probably) too thick.
  9. EAT THE CRUMPETS. They’re most delicious fresh.

A stack of crumpets on a white and blue ceramic plate, in a room with blue walls.

Chocolate chunk (low-ish carb) cookies

I’ve been getting into making up (baking) recipes, mostly to see if they work. I want to make a delicious, low-ish carb cookie, and this is my result:

  • 1 stick butter (softened)
  • 1 cup (fake) sugar (I use swerve)
    • You could do this without a sugar replacement, or with honey. I think you could also use coconut flakes to bring in some sweetness.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • Some amount of chocolate things (I used cacao nibs)

Now, onto how you make them:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Cream the butter and the sugar. This means take a fork (or your hands) and smash the butter and sugar together until it’s a generally consistent mess
  • Add the eggs and vanilla and do the same thing you did above. Eggy, buttery, sugary mess. Yum.
  • Add all the dry ingredients (almond meal, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon) at once, then mix that it. You might want to switch from a fork or your hands to a spoon at this point. But you might not! Go crazy!
  • Add the chocolate things to whatever amount you like.
    • You could add other things here too: freeze dried fruit, dried coconut, sprinkles, nuts, or whatever your little heart desires as long as it’s dry enough.
  • Butter your cookie sheet.
  • Put your cookies on the cookie sheet. I used a rounded tablespoon, so probably about 2 tbsps per cookie.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

This is where I say the thing: these are the best gluten free cookies I’ve had. These are the greatest so called low-carb(ish) cookies I’ve had. I can’t get over how delicious these cookies are.

 

kouign-amann

I made kouign-amann. It feels more honest to say I attempted to make kouign-amann or even I made something a lot like kouign-amann or, perhaps most accurately, I really messed up making kouign-amann. However, I also think it’s unfair to myself (and anyone making it for the first time) to downplay the challenge of turning a bunch of butter, flour, water, sugar, and yeast into a pile of sweet, melt-in-your-mouth flakes of delicious pastryness.

I used the Bon Appetit recipe. I read it through a few times and wrote it down (to keep my laptop out of the danger zone). I don’t like how they presented the recipe / ingredients list–though I do like how it is divided into sections.

It takes -forever-. I anti-recommend this recipe if for no other reason than it takes forever. The dough is also, in my experience, super dry. It was basically a total disaster.

A photo of kouign-amann, a light colden color.
A little underdone, but not bad…

To start off, the kouign-amann was underdone. This was the smallest of the problems.

When working on laminating the dough–when trying to turn it into something with nice, flaky layers–it turned into a mess.

When making kouign-amann–or most laminated things–you make a big rectangle of butter. This is quite fulfilling because you get to bash a one-pound pile of butter into a one-pound block of butter.

Kouing-amann, cut in half, showing an underdone inside.
Nope, dry and just barely not raw.

You then wrap this in dough, like your covering a textbook or wrapping a present. Most descriptions talk about this as though you’re folding an envelope around a big letter made of butter.

You then roll this butter-dough mix and fold it over on itself a bunch of times. This should create those aforementioned layers. If you’re me, on this particular day, when you roll out the dough, you mess it up. Rather than layers, I ended up with an amalgamation of butter and dough, which functions more like a bunch of break apart pieces.

In summary, it definitely didn’t work.

I decided to try Martha’s recipe next. This, it turns out, was only a slightly better idea than the Bon Apetit one, in as much as it took about six hours, rather than overnight.

A well cooked kouign-amann, on the slightly too dark side of done.
At least this one is a nice color.

The dough was dry again. When trying to make the BA recipe, I ended up overworking the dough, in hopes that it would eventually come together into the right texture (like my favorite cinnamon roll recipe does). Instead, it just ended up overworked and chewy. I tried to head this off with Martha’s recipe, by NOT overworking the dough. However, it didn’t hold together very well, and I ended up kind of sticking it together with pressure and little bits of water when rolling it out.

It was -really- dry. I talked with a former pastry chef afterwards for advice, who told me that the air was too humid, and I needed to add more water to the dough.

Sigh.

I had the same problem I did last time, and ended up with butter mottled dough rather than delicious, flaky layers. I also think it didn’t rise enough (did the dryness cause this?).

In summary, kouign-amann takes one and two were a total disaster. Stay tuned for take three.

Two halfs of two different kouign-amann, side by side. The one on the left is fluffier, but underdone.
BA on the left, Martha on the right.

Banana muffins

A photo of a hand holding a muffin.

These muffins are kosher for Passover, because it’s Pesach and bakers gotta bake. These contain no flour (or grains)–and therefore no gluten. They also contain no sugar or dairy. They are, however, about 30% egg by volume.

I think these are good! Not just Passover good or gluten and sugar free good, but good good! They’d also probably be good with maple syrup, honey, chocolate chips, banana chips, dried fruit, or 1 tsp baking powder.

Ingredients

  • 2 overripe bananas
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups nut flour (e.g. almond flour. I used 1.5 cups almond flour and .5 cups hazelnut flour)
  • 1/2 cup oil

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350
  • Mash the bananas into a pulp. You can use anything from a blender to your hands.
  • Combine bananas, oil, and eggs. Mix!
  • Add the nut flour and mix it some more
  • Since these are muffins, I put them in a muffin tin. I usually oil a muffin tin and sprinkle flour in it. Since this contained no flour, I instead used paper liners.
  • I put filled the liners 2/3 of the way. I think it was around 1/4 cup.
  • Put in the oven and bake for 40-55 minutes.
  • Let cool on a wire rack (or plate, which is what I usually use).

Strawberry bourbon tart

I made a strawberry bourbon tart and you can too.

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 costco sized strawberry container (my guess is two pounds)

For the crust

  • 200g corn flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • Optional: 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 75g earth balance and 75g coconut oil (or 150g butter)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

For bonus points

Make the filling

  • Make bourbon simple syrup. Take the sugar and the bourbon together in a small pot. Over medium heat, let cook until the sugar has dissolved and it’s become appropriately syrupy.
  • Make the strawberry jam. Okay, I used fresh strawberries, but cooking with whole strawberries is super wet, so I made jam instead. Take the strawberries. If you feel fancy, hull them. If you don’t, just pick off the green bit and cut them in half. TBH you could probably use frozen strawberries and no one would know. Regardless, throw these in another pot and let them cook down until they’re more like jam and less like fresh strawberries. You can also speed this up by using thickener.
  • Are you using thickener? If  you want to use thickener, mix some corn starch or similar with a bit of water and add that.
  • Combine the things. Once the strawberries are jammified, mix the simple syrup and the strawberries and set aside.

Make the crust

  • Preheat the over to 350. While you’re at it, prep whatever container you’re going to cook this in. I bake almost everything in a spring form pan. You might have an actual pie dish.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients. I think this is usually pretty self-explanatory.
  • Add in the fat. You can use a food processor or a stand mixer or a pastry cutter. I just use my hands. This is most easily done (regardless of your preference for mixing), by cutting the fat into smaller pieces.
  • Add the maple. Usually you add water until it all holds together. I used maple syrup. I recommend this.

Rolling out a crust is miserable. It makes a huge mess, takes up a lot of space. You have to clean everything before -and- after. There’s no way to make this not miserable for either your current or future self.

Sorry.

  • Roll out your pie crust. You can do this on wax paper, which helps it be less messy -and- helps you transfer it into the baking dish.
  • Sprinkle some corn flour on the surface which you will be using to roll out the crust.
  • Put the dough onto the surface and flatten it a bit with your hands.
  • Sprinkle more corn flour on top
  • Use your rolling pin (for this particular pie, I used a Campari bottle) to roll out the crust until it’s approximately large enough for your baking dish.
  • “Transfer” the crust to the baking dish. “Transfer” is in scare quotes because this is where I always break the crust into a thousand pieces and then use the magic of dough to roughly squish them back together in the pan. It adds character.
  • Bake the crust (sans filling) for 10-15 minutes.

Assemble your pie

YOU’RE ALMOST THERE!

  • Once the crust is done, take it out, pour in the filling, and cook for fifteen minutes.

Bonus Points

For bonus points, you can top your pie. You may have noticed that this pie is both vegan and gluten free. You can roll with that and top it with coconut milk fat (yum). You can also use whipped cream or a soft meringue (link above). It’s also delicious with yogurt, ice cream, or plain.

Enjoy!