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Biscuit fixin's (Hawaiian honey!)

I’ve said it over and over again on this blog: I like to bake for people. When I find out that someone likes something in particular, that is what I will try to bake for them. Earlier this year, the person I was dating was fond of biscuits. Other than a Daring Bakers’ challenge last year (both a fail and a win), biscuits and scones were mostly unfamiliar territory, despite having grown up with a baking habit in Texas.

I took this experience as an excuse to become Jessica, Goddess of Biscuits. This meant mixed success, but the good thing about biscuits is that even the not-so-great batches are still edible. Well, at least mine were. And you know what? I was finally making some respectable biscuits.

Part of my success could be attributed to the King Arthur Flour workshop I attended several months ago. The subjects: biscuits and pie crust, both shaky ground for many. There were lots of helpful tips, but I think I learned the most just by being in the same room as someone actually making these things as they talked through the process. It’s like watching a cooking show just can’t compete with breathing the same air as the chef.

It was moving.

I thought I’d bake some biscuits today to share some of the tips that I found most valuable. Oh, I was so sure that I was going to ace this, but was also determined to since I’m doing this silly POST ALL THE DAYS thing right now. Thing is, it’s been quite a while since I’ve made biscuits (spoiler: we broke up), so I’ve been out of practice.

The recipe I’ve been using all this time was the same one from the KAF workshop: Cheddar, Bacon, and Scallion Scones. Yeah, biscuits/scones, whatevs. I never actually made them as-is since I was vegetarian and he didn’t like cheese (I know, who doesn’t like cheese?), so they were almost always Scallion Scones. Nix the add-ins and you have a great basic biscuit/scone recipe.

The plan for today’s recipe was to just add 1/4 cup honey, et voila! Honey Scones. Everything was going fine: I used my scale to weigh the flour, incorporated the butter just as I remembered, and took pictures along the way. But then came the part where milk is added and in came the self-doubt. You don’t want to add too much, but you also want to add just enough, NO PRESSURE. I’m still not entirely sure which way I went (they look dry, but felt too wet?), but I just went ahead and baked them, hoping for the best.

meh, part 1

About ten minutes in, the smoke detectors started going off. No, my biscuits weren’t burning (ha), it’s just that the oven was at 400F, and the super sensitive smoke detectors hate that. In this situation, all I can do is fan the one in the hall with a broom, but then three seconds after I stop, it starts shrieking again, setting off all the others. I AM NEVER BAKING ANYTHING at or above 400F EVER AGAIN. This always includes pizza. :(

Anyway, I’ll cut to the chase: they turned out okay. They’re not horrible, but they’re also nowhere near the best of my ability. (They’re totally delicious, though: I ate three shortly out of the oven.) I’m just blathering about the experience because it wouldn’t make sense for me to tell you how to make biscuits today. If I did, I would just serve as an example of why Martha dissed bloggers.

I can do better.

meh, part 2


p.s. I’m sorry/not sorry for the punny blog post titles.