Buttermilk Biscuits

Servings: 12 biscuits
Preheat: 425
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Source: BON APPÉTIT October 2000

“My boyfriend and I were vacationing in Boulder, Colorado, when we discovered Dot’s Diner, a cozy place that serves wonderful breakfasts,” writes Kimberly McClain of Harris, Iowa. “The biscuit that came with my meal was baked to perfection. I would drive all the way to Colorado just to go to Dot’s again.”
This classic recipe produces biscuits with a lovely light texture.

Ingredients: 

3 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup buttermilk

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Using fingertips, rub 3/4 cup chilled butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir until evenly moistened. Gently knead no more than 10 times. Pat out to 1/2″ thickness. Using 1/4 cup dough (juice glass) for each biscuit, drop biscuits onto baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until biscuits are golden brown on top, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm.

Rethinking Cornbread

Servings: 8
Preheat: 400
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Source: Erika Bruce from Cook’s Illustrated, January &February 2005, pages 10-11.

Before preparing the baking dish, measure out the frozen corn and let it stand at room temperature until needed. When corn is in season, fresh corn can be substituted for frozen corn. This recipe was developed with Quaker Yellow Cornmeal. A stone-ground, whole-grained cornmeal will work but will yield a drier, less tender cornbread. We prefer a Pyrex glass baking dish because it yields a nice golden brown crust, but a metal pan will work.

Ingredients: 

8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly.
1 ½ cups (7 ½ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (5 ½ ounces) Quaker Yellow Cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
¼ cup (1 ¾ ounces) packed light brown sugar
¾ cup (3 ½ ounces) frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs

Directions: 

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400°F. Spray an 8” square baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Whisk the flour, the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl until combined. Set bowl aside.

In a food processor or blender, process buttermilk, corn, and sugar until combined, about 5 seconds. Add eggs and process until well combined. Corn lumps will remain about 5 seconds longer.

Use a rubber spatula. Make well in center of dry ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into well. Begin folding dry ingredients into wet, giving mixture only a few turns to barely combine. Add melted butter and continue folding until dry ingredients are just moistened. Pour batter into a prepared baking dish and smooth surface with rubber spatula.

Bake until cornbread is a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert the wire rack. Turn right side up and let cool another 10 minutes. Serve warm.

The Best Sticky Bun Recipe

Servings: 8
Preheat: 350
Prep Time: 3 hours prep. Place sticky buns in refrigerator overnight and bake in the AM
Source: The Food Lab: Better Cooking Through Science

Delicious

Filling: only mix sugar and cinnamon. Melt butter and spread on dough

Note on preparing in the PM and baking in the AM
Note from the author on baking in the AM: Being a night owl and a late riser, I like to prepare the buns and let them rise overnight in the fridge so all I have to do is bake them off in the morning. To do so, place the buns in the refrigerator immediately after covering them in step 6 and allow to rise for at least 6 hours, and up to 12. The next day, remove the buns from the fridge while the oven preheats, then proceed as directed.

Ingredients: 

Makes 12 sticky buns

For the Dough
3 large eggs
⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
¾ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons kosher or 1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
20 ounces (4 cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

For the Pecan-Caramel Sauce
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons buttermilk
4 ounces (about 1 cup) toasted pecans coarsely chopped
Pinch of kosher salt

For the Filling
⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions: 

1. Make the dough: Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until homogeneous. Add the brown sugar, buttermilk, salt, yeast, and melted butter and whisk until homogeneous (the mixture may clump up a bit—this is OK). Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until a cohesive ball of dough forms.

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2 minutes, or until completely homogeneous, smooth, and silky. Return to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise at room temperature until roughly doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

3. Make the pecan-caramel sauce: Cook the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is bubbling, about 2 minutes. Add the buttermilk, pecans, and salt and stir to combine, then pour the mixture evenly over the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish.

4. Make the filling: Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.

5. Roll out the dough: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and lightly flour it. Shape into a rough rectangle with your hands and then, using a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle about 16 inches long and 12 inches wide, with a short end toward you. Brush with the melted butter, leaving a 1-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar mixture and spread it with your hands until the buttered portion is evenly coated. Roll the dough up jelly-roll-style into a tight cylinder, using a bench scraper as necessary to assist you. Pinch the seam shut and turn the dough so that it’s seam side down. Use your hands to even out its shape.

6. Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into 12 even slices: The easiest way to do this is to cut it in half, cut each half in half, and then cut each section into thirds. Nestle the 12 rolls with the swirl pattern facing up in the prepared baking dish, making sure the slices from the ends of the log go cut side down. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until roughly doubled in volume, about 2 hours (for overnight instructions, see Note above). The rolls should be well puffed and pressed tightly against each other.

7. While the dough is rising, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake until the buns are golden brown and well puffed, about 30 minutes, rotating the dish once. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then invert the buns onto a serving platter; scrape out any excess goo from the pan and spoon over the buns.

Raspberry Bars

Servings: 4 doz
Preheat: 350°
Source: Fine Cooking No. 23 Best of Fine Cooking
Bring a batch of these bars to an office party and everyone will ask you for the recipe. Even better, it takes only a few minutes to assemble.

Ingredients
13 oz. (1½ cups plus 2 Tbs.) unsalted butter, at room temperature; more for the pan
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 lb. (3½ cups) all-purpose flour
7½ oz. hazelnuts, toasted and chopped (1 2/3 cups)
2 cups raspberry preserves

Directions
Heat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9X13-inch baking pan. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour and mix just enough to incorporate. Add the hazelnuts and mix until just blended.

Press about two-thirds of the mixture into the prepared pan. Spread with the raspberry preserves and then crumble the remaining dough on top. Bake until the top is lightly browned, about 1 hour. Put the pan on a rack to cool. Cut the bars into even 1½ -inch squares.

Muffins, Various

Servings: —

Ingredients

Directions
Cranberry Muffins

In a ceramic or glass bowl combine 1 ¼ cups chopped cranberries and ½ cup sugar and let the mixture stand for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl cream 1/3 cup unsalted batter, softened, beat in 1/3 cup sugar, and beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy. Add 1 large egg, beaten lightly, and beat the mixture until it is combined. Stir in the cranberry mixture, 2/3 cup milk, and the finely grated rind of 1 orange. Into a bowl sift together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt, add the mixture to the cranberry mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined. (The batter should be lumpy.) Spoon the mixture into 14 buttered 1/3-cup muffin tins, filling them two-thirds full. and bake the muffins in a preheated hot oven (400° F.) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden. Makes 14 muffins.

Cinnamon Apple Muffins

In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup each of sugar and ground walnuts and ½ teaspoon cinnamon.
In a large bowl combine ½ stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, ½ cup sugar, and 1 large egg, beaten lightly, and stir in ½ cup milk. Into a bowl sift together l½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder, and ½ teaspoon each of cinnamon and salt, add the mixture to the butter mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined. (The batter should be lumpy.) Fold in 1 cup peeled and coarsely grated apple and spoon the mixture into 12 buttered 1/3-cup muffin tins, filling them two-thirds full. Sprinkle the muffins with the sugar and walnut mixture and bake them in a preheated mod,.rately hot oven (375° F) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are browned lightly. Makes 12 muffins.

Banana Walnut Muffins

In a large bowl combine 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening, melted and cooled, ½ cup sugar, 1 large egg, beaten lightly, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and vanilla. Into a bowl sift together 1½ cups all purpose flour and 1 teaspoon each of baking soda and double-acting baking powder, add the mixture to the shortening mixture, and stir the batter until it is just combined. (The batter shouldi be lumpy.) Fold in 1 cup mashed ripe banana and ½ cup chopped walnuts and spoon the mixture into 12 buttered 1/3-cup muffin tins, filling them two-thirds full. Bake the muffins in a preheated moderate oven (350°F.) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are golden. Makes 12 muffins.

Blueberry Muffins

In a large bowl. Cream ¾ stick plus I tablespoon (7 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened, beat in 2/3 cup sugar, and beat the mixture until it is light and fluffy. Add 1 large egg, beaten lightly, and beat the mixture until it is combined into a bowl sift together 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, 4 teaspoons double-acting baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt, add the mixture to the butter mixture alternately with a total of 1 cup milk, and stir the batter until it is just combined. (The batter should be lumpy.) Fold in 1 cup blueberries, picked over, spoon the batter into 12 buttered ¼ -cup muffin tins, filling them two-thirds full, and bake the muffins in a preheated hot oven (400° F.) for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Makes 12 muffins.