Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Camp Biscuits

In keeping with my new found preoccupation with recording my recipes for posterity, I have included a recipe for Camp Biscuits. Great with stew or beans. You can, if you wish add a cup of sugar and have a sweeter tasting biscuit.

Set aside 2 cups all-purpose flour in a large mixing bowl. Prepare 6 tablespoons cold butter, 3/4 cup milk, 1 tablespoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Then using a pair of knives, a spoon, or your hands, cut the butter into the flour. Basically, cut the butter and mix with flour to coat and separate the pieces. Continue until you get pea sized pieces of butter. It is important that the butter be cold for this process and not begin to melt. If it starts to get a little mushy, you can slip it into the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm back up a bit before continuing.

Pour the milk in and mix gently with a spatula. We're not looking for a kneading action her, just a gently mix. (Kneading will produce gluten which will make the biscuit bread like instead of light and flaky.) Using your hands, form the dough into a ball once the milk has been evenly distributed through the dough. You might need to use a kneading action to get it into a managable shape and to remove some dough fromt eh sides of your container, but try not to knead too much.

Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment paper or clean surface and roll out into a large sheet about 1/4 in. in thickness. Use a cup or biscuit cutter to cut rounds out of the dough. Do not twist the cup or cutter (unless you have already cut all the way through). Twisting will result in uneven or failed rising. Usually it's a good idea to press the top of the biscuit down a little or else you will get biscuits with rounded tops.

Now, biscuit placement is key to getting good rise out of the biscuits. Place the biscuit dough circles into two 9" cake rounds or onto a half sheet pan. Have the biscuits just touching. This should give enough air between the biscuits to allow even heating, but not so much space that the biscuits spread out when they rise. Bake in a 425°F oven until golden (about 15 minutes).

Oh .... what the heck ... may as well throw in the crockpot stew too ...

2 pounds cut stew beef
5 chopped carrots
2 large diced onions
3 stalks diced celery
3 large diced potatoes
2 cans tomatoes
3 tablespoons flour
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Take your beef and place it in your Crockpot and cover it with cold water. Place in your onion, tomatoes and flour into the mix add in salt and pepper and bay leaves, then cook for 8 hours on low. About an hour before you serve, add in your celery, carrots, and potatoes and turn the temperature up to high for the final hour. Oh ... and don't forget to take the bay leafs out!