So far, this year is cold. My mother makes coffee for me before she goes to work or babysits my niece. This is the last week I'll be at my childhood home. And while it has been a year of change, it's been a year of stagnation. I couldn't grow in this house I grew up in. I spent dinners in the living room, my father with the TV too loud and my mother baby-talking one of her cats. It never felt like the days went by, but the sun would blink lazily in the summer and I spent the better part of autumn away from them. They asked too many questions and never the right ones and I am happy to move to my own place again within a week.
I guess it is part of being 25, picking up pieces of who you grew to be, knowing how threadbare I left things before moving away.
I changed in many ways and I am exactly the same in others. I still ask for pumpkin pie on my birthdays. I still wake up at 6 to see my mother off to work, where we talk about how little I care for my brother's life and how she never fully understood her older brother, Bill, herself. My parents gave me my great-grandmother's silver as a housewarming present and I thanked them by making breakfast when they both had the morning off this week. Inspired by a Bon Appetit recipe, we ate these biscuits with pumpkin butter my mother found in the fridge behind leftovers.
Cultured Butter Biscuits
This recipe is super easy and produces an amazingly flaky biscuit. I love Bon App's recipe and the video included really helps with the technique described below!
- 3 1/2 cup AP flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 TB white sugar
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup cultured butter, cold and cut into chunks (I, of course, use Vermont Creamery)
- 1 cup buttermilk, cold
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup clover honey
- Pinch of black pepper
- Preheat oven to 450*F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together all dry ingredients until well-mixed
- Next, add your cultured butter and, using your hands, rub the fats into the flour mixture
- Create a well with a wooden spoon and, while slowly stirring, add your buttermilk
- Knead in bowl and then pat into a rectangle on a floured work surface
- Roll out to about an inch in thickness, then cut into quartered squares
- Stack these quarters, press down and roll out again into another inch-thick rectangle (this will help to create layers of butter that would otherwise be missed by simply rolling out the first time)
- Cut into 12 biscuits
- Place these biscuits on your prepared sheet and freeze for ten minutes
- While biscuits are freezing, melt your unsalted butter and mix in your honey
- Remove biscuits from freezer, brush on butter mixture and top with a sprinkle of black pepper, and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown