Twice Cooked?

In the UK, we use the word ‘biscuit’ to mean something small (usually), crispy (often) that is made from flour, sugar and fat and has been baked in the oven.  The name however means ‘twice cooked’ and derives from the days when the mixture was cooked first as a log; then removed from the oven, sliced and baked again.  This is how biscotti (twice cooked) are baked even now, but the name has stuck even when the method has changed.  In the US, biscuit means something that is very similar to our plain scone.  Biscuits are served with all meals, particularly breakfast, and are often a part of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  As I mentioned last week, the biscuits baked by Jimmy’s mum, Agnes, were the nicest I have ever tasted.  She says this is because she makes them with buttermilk, which was literally the milk leftover when making butter.  Buttermilk is acidic and acts as a raising agent.

I am up to my oxters in preparation for my final Spanish lesson tonight.  I have written my speech but need to make sure that I can say it clearly and show that I know how to use a subjunctive.  So today’s post is short but very sweet.  Agnes has sent me her recipe and I am giving it to you in her words.  Cups are imperial cups.

Agnes’ Biscuits – Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Stir butter into dry ingredients until coarse crumbs form.  Add milk all at once.  Stir until dough follows fork around bowl.  Knead ½ minute.  Roll into 3/8 inch rounds.  Brush with melted butter.  Bake at 450 degrees for about twelve minutes.
  • I usually don’t use salt if the butter is salted. 
  • Enjoy!

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