Category Archives: Bread

Buttermilk Biscuits with Havarti and Dill

Buttermilk Biscuits with Havarti and Dill

Who doesn’t love a nice biscuit?  A good biscuit, one that is buttery, tender inside, and crisp outside makes a great addition to any meal (or snack).  Even better are biscuits made with buttermilk.  There is just something about the subtle twang of buttermilk and the tenderness that it brings to baked goods that make it indispensable in our kitchen.    

The Dry Ingredients and The Cheese

Fresh buttermilk is great to have around, but if you find it goes bad before you can use it, you can also buy good quality dried buttermilk.  The taste is pretty good and all you need to do is mix with the appropriate amount of water.  But I digress… these are your classic drop biscuits with the delicious addition of Havarti and dill.  The cheese and herbs bring lots of flavor to your biscuit and also keep everything nice and moist.  However, don’t feel you have to use this particular combination of cheese and herbage.  Use whatever is in your fridge, the combinations are endless.  For example, cheddar and chives would be tasty, or how about Gruyère and tarragon.  Any cheese you can grate will work well so use your imagination and make lots of different batches. 

Biscuits Ready for Baking

Buttermilk Biscuits with Harvarti and Dill 

Adapted from Gourmet Today 

Ingredients: 

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 

3/4 cup cornmeal, preferably stone-ground (not coarsely ground) 

4 tsp baking powder 

1 tsp baking soda 

1 tsp salt 

4 tbls (1/2 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces 

6 oz (about 1 1/2 cups) shredded Havarti cheese 

1 tsp dried dill 

1 1/3 cups well-shaken buttermilk 

To Make: 

Put a rack into the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 450F.  Butter a large baking sheet. 

Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and dried dill in a bowl.  Use a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingertips to cut the butter into the flour mixture until the whole thing resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in cheese.  Add the buttermilk and stir until well combined. 

Drop dough in equal mounds about 2 inches apart on baking sheet.  Our dough mounds were about 3 inches in diameter and we made 9 biscuits.  Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.  If you make your biscuits smaller, make sure to keep an eye on the cooking time as they may bake faster.  Transfer to a rack and cool for about 10 minutes. 

To Serve: 

Serve warm with butter.  Yum.

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Boston Brown Bread

Boston Brown Bread

Boston brown bread is one of those dishes that to me, a non-native New Englander, has always been a little bit strange.  The idea of steaming a loaf of bread rather than baking it is just weird.  To be fair, most of the Boston brown bread I have been served came from a can.  That really never seemed very appetizing to me.  My husband, a dyed-in-the-wool Bostonian, holds a very different opinion about brown bread and he kept urging me to give it a chance.

Ready to bake, er... steam

I gave in one night when we were having pork chops and baked beans for dinner.  How could I say no to brown bread with a meal like that?  Turns out, my prejudices were unfounded.  Made fresh, Boston brown bread is a delicious mix of whole grain flours with some dark molasses for a hint of sweetness and has a surprisingly light and springy texture.  Between the two of us (plus Thing 1) we manged to eat nearly the whole loaf during dinner.

The cooking setup

This recipe makes a small loaf (a little smaller than an average loaf pan) which is good because it has to be cooked on the stove top and, yes, steamed in a small amount of boiling water.  That means you need to have a pot large enough to fit a loaf pan inside.  Luckily, if you use the size loaf pan called for in the recipe, it will fit in a standard 5-quart Dutch oven.  This loaf is the perfect side for a Sunday winter dinner in New England (or anywhere else you don’t mind having the stove on for a couple of hours).

Fresh from a 2 hour steam bath

Boston Brown Bread

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book, 12th Edition

Ingredients:

1/2 cup stone ground cornmeal

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup rye flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (see note)

1/3 cup molasses (we prefer strong flavored molasses such as black strap)

2 tbls brown sugar

1 tbls cooking oil

To Make:

Grease 7 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 2 inch loaf pan well, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl whisk the cornmeal, whole wheat flour, rye flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to combine.

In another bowl stir together the buttermilk, molasses, brown sugar, and oil.  Gradually add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined.  Don’t over mix or the bread will be tough.  Pour batter into the prepared pan.  Grease a piece of foil and place it, greased side down, over the loaf pan.  Press the foil around the edges to seal.

Place loaf pan on a rack in a Dutch oven or any other pot which is large enough to hold the loaf pan.  Pour hot water into the Dutch oven around loaf pan until the water comes up about 1 inch high on the loaf pan.  Bring the water to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 2 to 2 1/4 hours or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center of the bread comes out clean.  Add additional boiling water to the Dutch oven as needed to keep the water level the same.

Remove the loaf pan from the Dutch oven and let stand 10 minutes.  Remove bread from pan. 

To Serve:

Slice the bread and serve warm, slathered with butter or cream cheese if desired.

Note:  Making Sour Milk – If you don’t have buttermilk on hand when preparing baked goods, substitute sour milk in the same amount.  For each cup of sour milk needed, place 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar in a glass measuring cup.  Add enough milk to make 1 cup total liquid; stir.  Let mixture stand for 5 minutes before using.

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Filed under Baked goods, Bread, Recipes