Monday, July 7, 2014

Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Biscuits

I recently had brunch at Lovin' Oven in Frenchtown, NJ. On my plate was the most delicious grilled sweet potato biscuit.  It got me thinking yesterday that a homemade biscuit would be well worth the investment of time.  And I was right. It makes me happy when I know, and can pronounce, every ingredient that I'm ingesting. Plus, I love the feel of working dough in my hands. 

Last night I sliced one right out of the oven and used it as a bun for my Boca burger. I had a few left over so this morning I heated one and dressed it up with a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey. It was a delicious way to start my day.  I found the recipe at A Dash of Soul.

Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Biscuits
(yields 8)

  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 T. sugar
  • ¼ t. baking soda
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 6 T. cold butter
  • 1 c. cooked sweet potato flesh
  • 1 c. buttermilk (or plain milk combined with a couple teaspoons of vinegar)
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Pulse together the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda in a food processor.
  3. Cut the butter into cubes then add it to the food processor, pulsing until the butter is in pea sized pieces.
  4. Remove the mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  5. Puree the buttermilk and sweet potato in the food processor until completely smooth.
  6. Stir in the buttermilk/sweet potato mixture into the dry ingredients in the bowl, mixing only a few times JUST until it starts to become a dough.
  7. Liberally flour your hands and a cutting board and gently pat the dough out flat.
  8. Fold the dough over on itself and pat flat 4 or 5 times (this will help give you flaky layers but you don’t want to use a rolling pin or be too rough flattening the dough).
  9. Pat the dough out to about 1½” thickness. Use a biscuit cutter to cut 8 biscuits from the dough.
  10. Grease a baking sheet and arrange the biscuits so that they are all slightly touching each other.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the biscuits are a nice golden brown on the top and bottom.
  12. Serve warm!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Oatmeal Pancakes

There are some morning meals that define the destiny of your day. This stack of oatmeal pancakes was just such a thing. From the first bite, I knew I would be content for the rest of the day. I found this recipe in Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Who would think that something as simple as an oatmeal pancake could bring such comfort? I think the tanginess of the buttermilk, the texture of the oats, the subtle sweetness of the maple and vanilla, and the lightness of the pancake made it one spectacular dish. And since this was a laid back holiday weekend, I had plenty of time to savor it all. I opted to toss in some fresh blueberries for an extra treat. Normally, I don't keep buttermilk in the house but I just so happened to have it on hand for another recipe. After having these oatmeal pancakes, buttermilk is going on my shopping list every week.

Oatmeal Pancakes
(makes fourteen 4 inch pancakes)

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons brown sugar or maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Stir the oats and buttermilk together and let stand for 20 minutes. Beat the eggs with the vanilla, sugar and oil, then stir in to the soaked oats. Combine the dry ingredients and add them to the oat mixture as well. For each pancake, drop 1/4 cup batter onto a heated griddle or skillet, with a little melted butter, and cook over medium heat until the tops are covered with holes. Turn the cakes over and cook the second side. Because of the moisture in this batter, the cakes need to be cooked slowly but turn them only once.