Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fluffy Angel Yeast Biscuits

Fluffy homemade angel yeast biscuits are to die for!

I make all kinds of biscuits.  Drop biscuits. Cheddar biscuits.  Buttermilk biscuits.  Sweet biscuits.  Savory biscuits. 

Wow!  I sound like Bubba sharing his shrimp recipes with Forrest Gump.

They are all delish!  But, I am sorry, there is NO substitute for fluffy angel yeast bisuits.  These are the ones that rise so light and airy they could float away.

And they melt in your mouth!

They really aren't hard to make.  So don't be intimidated by a yeast recipe.  Everyone equates "yeast" with difficult and time-consuming...but it really isn't so.  The work is easy- just allow some time in between for rising.  Come on, there are always bills to pay or laundry to get done...or better yet, that book that needs to be read.  So, no fretting on yeast recipes.  Maybe I should post my pizza crust recipe next! 

But back to the best biscuits...  (Aww, such lovely alliteration.)

You can add butter, honey, or jam if you want.  I did post a lovely recipe for Jumbleberry Jam .

Or you can pop them in your mouth right out of the oven.  Either way, please enjoy!

Fluffy Angel Yeast Biscuits

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees)
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup warm buttermilk (110 to 115 degrees F)
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cold butter
1 egg (for egg wash)

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. The water should be between 100-115 degrees F, but don't overthink it.  If it feels warm, you're good.

Add sugar and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in buttermilk; set aside. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in yeast mixture; mix well.

Turn onto a floured surface; gently knead for 1 minute. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Not long at all!

Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll to 3/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 2-1/2-in. round biscuit cutter. Place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. Prick tops with a fork. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. This is what makes them so light and airy.

Crack egg in a small bowl and add a tablespoon of water.  Stir until blended and brush over the top of each biscuit to create that beautiful golden brown color when baking.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to cool on a wire rack. Serve warm.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Jumbleberry Jam

Jumbleberry Jam and homemade yeast biscuits.

Are you wanting a delicious way to use up all those summer berries?  You definitely have to try this Jumbleberry Jam recipe. 

Love the name and absoutely love the taste...

I know you can figure out the name, if you just think about it.  You throw in any kind of berry you have on hand and they land in a big jumble in the pot.

Rustic, old fashioned, and the kids can help, with supervision of course.

Come back tomorrow, and I will give you the secret to the fluffy angel yeast biscuits. My mouth is watering just thinking of them.

Jumbleberry Jam
2 cups quartered and hulled strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blackberries (if the seeds bother you, substitute with another berry)
1 cup small diced green apples (Granny Smith is a good choice- high in natural pectin)
3 cups sugar
juice and rind of half lemon

Making jam can seem intimidating; trying to get the right ratio of sugar to fruit, whether to add pectin or to be a purist and use fruits that are naturally high in pectin.  But once you get the hang of it, it's not hard at all, and it is quite rewarding to spread your own warm yummy jam over just toasted bread.

Before you start, put a small saucer in the freezer.

This recipe includes small diced green apples which are naturally high in pectin but you can add a package of pectin as a substiture to the apples if you wish.  Personally, I like the consistency and taste of the apples, which cook down and get soft.

In a large saucepan over medium heat bring all the berries, sugar, and lemon to a slow simmer until the sugar begins to melt.  Increase the heat and bring the mixture to boil.  Keep the mixture at a rapid boil for 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Be careful to not let the jam burn. Reduce heat if needed.

You can test the setting point of the jam by spooning a small amount on your chilled saucer. If the surface wrinkles it is ready to put into the jar.  If it is not thick enough, lower the temperature to a gentle simmer and continue to cook, while stirring constantly until it thickens, then turn off the heat.

Spoon the jam into clean glass jars and refrigerate or freeze. Makes 2-3 jars, depending on size.