16 October 2011

yogurt spelt biscuits

Oh hi there, my dear friends over at my little corner of the Internet. Long time no see, eh? Apologies. Turns out there was a big meeting of geology nerds in town last week. I had been excited for this week since I moved here in August of 2007. I never realized how deeply involved I would get with organizing things for the meeting as I did. It was an awesome conference, and I rallied myself socially for FIVE days in a row! I then helped out with a post-conference workshop in my lab. All in all, the week was educational, intense, and nerdtastic. At times, I felt like a real scientist, which is weird, because I generally feel like too much of a noob to really be a part of the scientific community. All part of growing up, maybe?

I was also totally exhausted afterwards. I usually get all stressed out if I invite a dozen people over to our apartment, and as it turns out inviting all the geoscientists to my beloved city was just as proportionally stressy. There was also no time for cooking and/or blogging. As you may know, after about two days of travelling or whatever, I get pretty antsy if I'm not cooking. This past weekend has been spent reacquainting myself with my kitchen and participating in a little social detox. I've probably talked more to my dog and cat than any human in the past two days (husband included -- he was at the lab all day Saturday). I made a curry, pancakes, and spent way too much time trying out bulgur wheat for breakfast.

I also made biscuits, and photographed them for you! So let's get back to our regularly scheduled blog post, shall we? Turns out we go through yogurt in this household at a pretty unreasonable pace. For once, we've accidentally overbought it (unprecedented!), and I wanted to try and use up the embarrassingly large quantity of plain yogurt taking up space in my fridge. This is another creation from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson. They are surprisingly soft for a biscuit, and I love the flavor of the spelt. I would say they are almost salty too, so consider the salt added here as an upper limit. I would also like to let you know that bench scrapers are totally the bomb. The Oxo one is a favorite of America's Test Kitchen, and I agree that the engraved ruler on the side of it is totally critical. I don't know about you, but if someone tells me my biscuit dough should be 3/4" tall, I will be totally vigilant about it. And while I've got your attention, I want you to know that weighing your flour is the way to go. There are so many slick little kitchen scales out there (In other words, all the new ones that look like iPads. Oh man! Can there be an app for this??), so why not be super accurate about it?

Yogurt Spelt Biscuits
makes 12 biscuits

5 oz. spelt flour
5.5 oz unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. kosher salt
1 T. baking powder
1/2 c. unsalted butter, cold and cut into little cubes
11 oz(~1 1/3 c.) Greek yogurt

Preheat the oven to 450 F with a rack in the middle of the oven. Place an ungreased baking sheet in the oven to preheat as well.

Combine the flours, salt, and baking powder in a food processor. Sprinkle the butter across the top of the dry ingredients and pulse about 20 times, or until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles on a sandy beach. [The words of HS, not me! Such romantic food processing!] Add the yogurt and pulse a few times, or until the yogurt is just incorporated. Gather the dough into a ball and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead five times and press into an inch-thick square. Cut in half and stack one on the other. Repeat two more times -- flattening, stacking, and cutting. [This encourages a layered biscuit that's easy to pull apart] Add more all-purpose flour to prevent sticking when needed. Press or roll out the dough into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle, but no thicker; if the dough is too tall, the biscuits will tilt and tip over while baking. Cut the dough into twelve equal biscuits.

Transfer the biscuits to the preheated caking sheet, leaving 1/2 inch between biscuits. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the bottoms are deeply golden and the biscuits are cooked through.

Don't know what to do with your biscuits? I decided to wilt some kale and toss it in with some delicious scrambled eggs. Breakfast for dinner, yay!

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