Monday, January 21, 2013

How Pasta Causes Biscuits

I have a few recipes that I keep supplies for on hand all the time. This Baked Ziti is one of them. Of course, you have to make a few substitutions for this - I use dried basil, and I was using powdered milk as a sad stand in for the cream. (I also use the pre-diced canned tomatoes. But that's because I'm lazy.) Since moving to Portland, I've been able to make a better version because Trader Joe's carries shelf stable heavy cream. But my baked ziti only uses half the box! The first few times, I just stuck the other half in the fridge for a week and hoped inspiration would strike. It finally did! Last night, I suddenly remembered there was such a thing as cream biscuits.

And here is a scaling down of the recipe I used and some notes, so that I don't have to do that math in the morning again. 

1 scant cup of flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup of heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

I recommend decanting the cream from the box first - it's hard to get it all out of the tetrapak. It's almost lumpy, but that seems to be a feature. Though it adds to the removal from box difficulty.

Stir together the dry ingredients, then stir in the cream until the dough comes together. If you need more liquid to get everything to hold, more cream is great if you have it, but in my case, I used a little water - added to the cream holding measuring cup in hopes of getting any bits of cream that clung to it involved. Knead for 20-30 seconds, getting the dough fairly uniform.

I rolled out and cookie cuttered this time, but I think rough balls would probably work great too. I made four - three actually rolled and cut, and then shoved all the last scraps into the form of the cookie cutter.

Bake for 15 minutes.

They are a different wonderful from the buttery flaky biscuits I also like (but still pretty flaky!) and it's amazing how much faster and less messy they are to make. And the cream doesn't go to waste!

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