Keep an open mind. That’s my advice to young chefs. The day you think you know everything and have become the king of the culinary world is the day your kingdom shrinks. I’ve always felt this way. You can learn from anyone, any publication. Which brings me to my latest complaint, the economy.
No, did you really think I was going to there? My latest complaint is that my wife and I rarely (ok never) get invited to a dinner party. Oh sure, you assume I’m always “busy” in the restaurants, but c’mon, I’m 22 some years in the business and I’ve earned some Saturdays off so it no excuse.
Wait, maybe it’s because you simply don’t want me in your house. Hmmm, okay I’m going to let that thought go because I’m turning 50 soon and I have enough issues here, and I really want to talk about Yeast Biscuits. That brings me to the points I have just touched on in that, 1) you can learn from anyone, and 2) I was once invited to a home for dinner, at which, I tasted the best yeast biscuits.
His name (which I will protect because of the risk of multi-million dollar lawsuits, which frankly, scare me) is Jorge. Now George, I mean Jorge, lived on top of a mountain, and he kept some live snakes. So George, I mean Jorge, has my whole family up (and I mean up) for dinner. This is in the 90’s, back when my kids looked up at me, and not down like they do now, and he was in the middle of building his house….by himself. Now that alone, was enough to impress me. Any man that can build his own house, is well, a man.
So George, I mean Jorge, whipped out these incredible yeast biscuits. I was floored. They were better than anything I had made before and even though dinner was served sometime way beyond my kids (little) bedtime (meaning half of them screaming tired and not loving the biscuits as I was) (George, I mean Jorge, didn’t have kids) I pressed George, I mean Jorge, for the “how to do’s”
He wouldn’t tell me.
But he did unleash the snakes. Yeah, two copperheads and a rattler whose core was the diameter of my forearm began to dance around. Couple that with four youngin’s tired and screaming all in a 400 square foot plot of space, and we now had a party.
Still, I was thinking about the yeast biscuits more than anti-venom. Later, I would come upon a recipe for yeast biscuits which I would like share. It’s simple and it will impress your family and friends.
1 T dried yeast
¼ cup water
Mix together, let set a couple minutes
2 ½ cups flour
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
½ t baking soda
2T brown sugar
Put this all in a bowl. Simple Simple.
5 oz butter (that’s 10 T according to package) cut into chunks
Now add the butter and work it with your fingers until it forms a thick sand texture.
1 cup buttermilk
Then knead (like you would bread) for just 30 seconds.
Place it in a bowl and let it sit for an hour.
During this hour, think about your kids hanging out with poisonous snakes in a space more or less the size of where you watch TV. Let it go and now flour a board and
roll or pat your dough out to about 1 inch thick.
Find a cutter you enjoy using, I like this one.
Then cut your heavenly morsels and place them on baking sheet. Let them rise another 30 minutes. In all this between time you can be working on the rest of dinner. Bake them at 375 for 12 or so minutes. Take them out of the oven, place in your favorite country looking bowl, swagger over to the dinner table, put them down, pound your chest three or four times and shout, “Who’s da man?”
Now if I could just build my own house.