Thursday, November 11, 2010

Buttermilk Home Biscuits with Herbs of Provence and Cran-Raisins

So, it's been many months since I started to bake using digital scales to measure ingredients for accuracy.  But yesterday morning, I was really dying in a hurry for my biscuits - "my biscuits" that I used to make just right out of flour bag sometimes... but not so drastically, but just to be able to measure out and mix and bake.  I recalled the a couple of months ago, I did that and it's like I was lost without the digital scale and so did "my biscuits".  That's not a good thing.  My grandson loves biscuits and I was hungry for it.  I brave myself and started with the following ingredients.  Mixed well and baked at 425'F.  YES!  Wonderful.  I didn't forget.  On top of it, this version turned out with Crispy shell and tender crumb inside.  It's a free-form biscuits.  Once the dough kneading is complete, shape it anyway you want and bake it.  Enjoy my buttermilk home biscuits with herbs of Provence and Cran-Raisins.
Yield: 10 - 12 mini biscuits
Tools:  large wide mixing bowl, whisk, measuring cups and spoon; 2 inch biscuit dough cutter
1 Cup Flour in a large wide mixing bowl + extra flour on the side for rolling - about 1/2 C
1-1/4 tsp baking powder
2 quick shakes of salt - likely a pinch to 1/8 tsp because my salt shakers have about 20 holes
1/2 stick of cold butter cut into 1/4 cube chunks.
1/3 - 1/2 C buttermilk
1/2 C Raisin and Cranberries
1/2 tsp Herbs of Provence
Preheat electric oven to 425'F  - mine is a counter-top convection electric oven (I don't really think my convection is functioning though)

Whisk flour, baking powder,salt, and herbs of Provence together.
Add butter cubes into the flour mixture. 
Using your fingers, coat the butter with flour and flatten butter cubes into quarter coin size.
Add 1/3 C of buttermilk and mix with hand. 
Don't be in a hurry to do the following mixing.  Just take time to let the dry flour soak the buttermilk as you mix.  Gently toss to mound the dry flour from the bottom to the top of the moist thick batter mixture.  Repeat.
The mixture should feel shaggy but on the wet side.   If not add a bit more buttermilk.
Clean the sticky mixture off the the side of the bowl and lay on top the mound.
Remove as much sticky batter off your hand.
Add Cranberries and Raisins.  Chop them up or whole - any way you like.  I like to chop up my raisin and especially dried cranberries because they are large.
Then, flour your hand (or hands) and knead the dough - turn the flour mixture from the bottom to the top, then push down with your palm of your hand.  (Flour your hand and top of the dough as often as necessary.)  Then, gather the dough from the right side and turn to the top and push down . Repeat... about 10 times. 
Dip your hand into the flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking onto the bowl.
Let the dough rest for a minute.  
You can turn the dough out to the work surface or just do it in the bowl - using the palm of your hand, press the dough into disc shape - 1" high or your desirable height.
Cut out with dough cutter.  I used the smallest 2 inch dough cutter.
Place on top of a small baking pan - place each right next to each other for soft side crust, but leave about 1/4" space between each for expansion.
You can also place it on top of parchment paper or silpat. 
Bake in electric toaster oven at 425'F for 20 - 25 min.


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