Editor's Note: Gloria Yoder, who usually writes this column, took Thanksgiving week off to spend time with family. Her husband Daniel's family was visiting from Ohio so it promised to be an enjoyable, but busy, week in the Yoder household. Gloria will return next week with all the household happenings. This week Rosanna Bauman fills in. Bauman is a German Baptist Brethren farmer and writer who lives outside Garnett, Kansas. The Brethren church shares similarities to the Amish, dressing Plainly and living simply, but are more progressive when it comes to technology.
Perhaps my first introduction to good biscuits came at my friend’s house when I was in elementary school. I never knew baking powder biscuits could rival yeast rolls. On more than one occasion I recall eating her mother’s amazing pan biscuits. I still have a memory of those biscuits gracing the center of the sun-lit oak table. Never had I seen biscuits baked in a square dish, their puffy tops resembling a golden quilt. When we pulled a steaming biscuit away from its close-knit family, the biscuit was both moist and crumbly. And then we placed a butter pat to melt between the halves … It was butter at its best. If this recitation isn’t making you reach for your mixing bowl, you have probably had your taste buds damaged by too many canned biscuits.
Sadly, my friend moved to the West Coast before I was mature enough to ask for the recipe. Therefore, I came up with my own quite satisfactory version by baking the biscuits in a pool of butter. Here in Kansas, we consider ourselves Midwesterners, not Southerners, so yeast rolls often trump biscuits for table space on Sunday or holiday dinners. But when we have visitors over and need to serve something special really fast, I check my butter supply, then whip up the Triple Butter Biscuits without a second thought. These biscuits never fail to impress. Folks who think they don’t like biscuits will sing a different tune after biting into one of these fluffy squares. Crispy, butter -browned edges perfectly complement the melting pools of butter you spread on the inside. Honey should only be applied after the first two biscuits have been slowly savored in all their buttered glory. I make no secret about my enthusiasm for good biscuits!
TRIPLE BUTTER BISCUITS
3 cups of flour (one cup of whole wheat may be used)
½ t. salt
¾ t. cream of tartar
1 T. sugar (I don’t always include the sugar)
4 t. baking powder
1 cup butter
1 cup milk
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
While oven is pre-heating, place 1/4 cup butter in a 7 inch-by-11 inch baking dish or a 10-inch round skillet and place in oven to melt. (A well-seasoned cast-iron skillet really shines at creating the crispy edges, or use a glass baking dish for the prettiest job of browning.)
While the pan is in the oven, blend flour, salt, cream of tartar, sugar, baking powder, and then cut in the remaining butter.
Lightly beat one egg in 1 cup of milk before stirring it in the flour mixture.
Remove the buttered pan from oven.
Butter should be melted and just slightly browned.
Do not knead the biscuits, but instead use a large cookie/ ice cream scoop to immediately scoop out balls of dough into the buttered pan.
Biscuits should be nestled together somewhat tightly.
Quickly place back into the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the tops are lightly brown.
Gloria is an Amish mom, housewife and writer in rural Illinois. Readers with culinary or cultural questions can write her at: PO Box 157, Middletown, OH 45042. The Amish Cook has been publishing weekly since 1991. To learn more about the column visit www.amish365.com/about.