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Sunday
Sep302012

Mile-High Biscuits

mile-high biscuits

Wyatt wandered upstairs this morning and, noticing my distraction, said, "I guess I'll make myself a piece of peanut butter toast." "No, don't! I'm making biscuits"! He slapped his thigh--"yes!-- and ran downstairs to tell Loretta. Ah. Sunday mornings.

I have a list of 14 daily habits that I aspire to. (Those of you who are my friends in the offline world are NOT surprised. And you might even be rolling your eyes right now.) One of them is, "Do one kind thing for a friend or stranger." This morning I decided that my one kind thing would be to make biscuits for my children.

In my perfectionistic past, this would not have counted. No way. It would have to be delivering a handmade gift, buying lunch for a homeless person, or letting someone cry on my shoulder. Those are all worthy things, of course, but so is being in the moment with my children. I'm their mother, yes, but they're also my friends. I listened to this podcast recently and was blown away. Especially by this idea of parenting, first and foremost, as a relationship. Relationships mean time spent. It means both parties get their feelings hurt sometimes or let each other down. And it means doing kind things for one another, which is so often forgotten in relationships that mean the most to us.

Wyatt plus biscuits equals love

Of course I would have made my children breakfast. I do every day. But I don't always do it in the spirit of relationship. I've been mediating on this quote lately from Thich Nhat Hanh:

If you are peaceful, if you are happy, whatever you do will be an offering for the people around you.

Making the bed in the morning (that's another of the daily habits I aspire to), sweeping under the table for the umpteenth time, listening without judgement to my clients, friends, or strangers. All of that can be an offering if it's coming from my own peace and happiness. 

I've given my biscuit recipe before, but it was a slightly different technique. I've moved onto this because it's less handling of the dough so therefore even lighter and higher! Impossible! I have made these so many times that, not counting the cooking time, they're almost as easy as making eggs and toast. Once you've made them a few times, you'll say the same. And you will become famous in your own household.

Mile-High Biscuits

2 c. flour
1 Tb. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 Tb. (one cube) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
3/4 c. cold milk

Preheat oven to 450.

Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Drop butter in and cut in with your fingertips until mixture has pea-sized lumps of cold butter all through it. Pour the cold milk evenly over and mix quickly with a wooden spoon, forming a ball. Let dough rest for one minute. It should come together quite easily in a ball. Add a dab more flour if it's too sticky or a tiny splash more milk if it's too dry.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Quickly pat into a disc, then fold the disc over on itself once. Pat again into a disc about 3/4" thick and 8" in diameter. With a sharp knife, cut disc into 8 equal wedges. Place wedges in a pie plate or small cookie sheet about 1/2" apart and bake until golden on top but not burned on the bottom, 10-14 minutes, checking frequently after 10 minutes.

Reader Comments (6)

How did you know I needed (craved) biscuits this morning. I'm heading into the ktichen now, will top with warm, runny fried egg and canadian bacon with homemade huckleberry jam just purchsed at Glacier National Park! My daughter is off to college, and the best thing I will do for her when she returns is to make those traditonal, simple dishes that she loves! My gift.
October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
I enjoy your little corner of the web because you intertwine food and family so beautifully. Sustaining ourselves with food is not optional, nor is it always memorable, but it is always made better when we choose to really live in those moments of sharing food with our loved ones. You are continually reminding me of that. Thank you.
October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTina
i've been reading your blog for a couple of years now, but have yet to comment. today, i feel compelled to tell you that you are a wonderful mother, and have a beautiful family. you do things for them from the heart, and i so admire that. thank you for sharing bits and pieces of your life with us - you truly are a blessing :)
October 11, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertania
Hi Sarah -- just wanted to let you know that we made these biscuits for our very first brunch in our new Palo Alto apartment. My parents were there with us helping us set up. It was such a great way to christen the new place and they were delicious! Very simple and extremely satisfying -- just what we needed after an exhausting week of moving.
November 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanae Moore
Sarah, your biscuit recipe has become the only recipe my house uses - thank you for it! I printed the recipe you posted previously (with the photos on how to fold the dough), and that's what I use except that I cut the dough into squares instead of using a cutter. I whipped up a batch of these on Thanksgiving, and my new family was amazed at a) how quickly these could be made, and b) how perfectly soft and flavored they were. Hurrah! I love these biscuits and I love your words of wisdom. Happy New Year!
December 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatherine
First time biscuit maker, now famous in my household. Thanks Sarah!!!
April 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJen Bergman

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