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Biscuits and more

Treat your taste buds to a culinary delight with homemade biscuits, tortillas, dumplings and noodles

November 24, 2017
By TRACI SMITH - GRIT magazine , Farm News

By TRACI SMITH

GRIT Magazine

Whether you're dreaming of a delicious breakfast, lunch, or supper - or even an afternoon snack - we have just the thing. Easy to prepare, and oh-so-good fresh from the oven, biscuits go great with butter and jelly, honey, or topped with country gravy. When your stomach starts rumbling midday, satisfy your hunger with a flour tortilla topped with ham and cheese, or head south of the border with Mexican toppings. For supper, mix up a batch of dumplings or noodles to go along with soup or broth; your family will love it.

Article Photos

Slather homemade biscuits with butter and jam for a quick snack.

GRIT Magazine put together an exciting cookbook that features an old-fashioned key ingredient: lard. All of the recipes in this article are from Lard: The Lost Art of Cooking With Your Grandmother's Secret Ingredient.

In addition to the basics - lard, flour, and some sort of leavening agent - biscuits can be prepared with a variety of ingredients, such as herbs, cheeses, yogurt, buttermilk, or sour milk. No matter what ingredients your recipe calls for, using lard as the shortening will ensure a rich, flaky biscuit.

If you've never had homemade tortillas, you don't know what you're missing. Made with five simple ingredients, tortillas are a versatile base for any meal. Use them for wraps, burritos, soft tacos, or tostadas. The options are endless.

Do you remember the dumplings and noodles from your childhood? Now you can treat your family to homemade recipes like those that Mom and Grandma made. Dumplings made with biscuit mix and noodles purchased in the freezer section of the grocery store just can't compare to those made from scratch.

We hope you enjoy these wonderful recipes we've collected through the years from our loyal readers.

Cheese roll biscuits

Yields 2 dozen.

These little rolls are much more than biscuits. Bread flour gives them a chewy texture and crisp crust, and the addition of cheese and buttermilk introduces extra protein and makes for a satisfying side dish or snack. Make them with Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese for a brunch or potluck.

1/4 cup lard, cold and coarsely chopped, plus more for greasing pan

2 1/2 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup grated cheese of your choice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease baking sheet with lard; set aside.

In large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Using pastry blender, cut in lard until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk, and mix lightly with fork.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, and knead lightly. With floured rolling pin, roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle cheese evenly over dough.

Roll dough up, jellyroll style, and then cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Place, cut-side down, 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Grandma's homemade biscuits

Yields 1 dozen.

These biscuits are as authentic as they come, from a time when lard from the family's hog and milk from the backyard cow were common fare. The dough can be rolled and cut with a biscuit cutter, or dropped from a spoon. Make these for a big family supper, because they are best when eaten fresh from the oven.

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon lard, cold and coarsely chopped, plus more for greasing pan

2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, divided

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon salted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease baking sheet with lard; set aside.

In large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Using pastry blender, cut in lard until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk, and stir to form ball.

If cutting biscuits, sprinkle remaining flour on sheet of wax paper, turn dough mixture onto it, knead for 5 minutes, roll out dough to 1-inch thickness, cut with biscuit cutter, and place 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheet. If making drop biscuits, drop dough onto baking sheet using large spoon, and pat down gently. Brush tops with melted butter.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.

Indian fry bread

Yields 12 pieces.

Fry bread is the Native American counterpart to Mexican tortillas. Thicker and more substantial than tortillas, fry bread is delicious and filling. Made with lard and dry milk, it is truly authentic, as American Indians did not commonly have access to fresh milk. To substitute fresh milk, use 2 to 2 1/2 cups warmed milk and omit the water. Serve with seasoned meat, cheese, onions, lettuce, salsa, and beans for a fun twist on "taco night."

4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

1 heaping teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup instant dry milk

1 teaspoon salt

2 to 2 1/2 cups warm water

Lard, for frying

In large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, dry milk, and salt. Mix in just enough warm water to form soft dough. Cover and set aside for 2 to 3 hours.

Turn dough out onto floured board, and knead for about 1 minute. Shape dough into log, and then cut into 12 even pieces.

Using floured rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into 5-inch round.

Heat lard to 1/2 inch deep at 360 F in cast-iron skillet. Fry dough pieces, 1 at a time, for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned, turning once. Drain and cool on paper towels.

Homemade flour

tortillas

Yields 12 tortillas.

If you've never looked at the ingredients list on a package of store-bought tortillas, you should. Forgo the additives and make your own - authentically prepared with lard - from pure ingredients. Serve warm with butter and honey for a snack, or with fixings for burritos or wraps for a meal.

3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 to 6 tablespoons lard, cold and coarsely chopped

1 1/4 cups warm water

In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Using pastry blender, cut in lard until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add warm water, a little at a time, adding just enough to form dough that is soft and no longer sticky (do not use hot water).

Turn dough out onto floured board, and knead until soft and pliable, 2 to 3 minutes. Divide dough evenly into 12 portions the size of golf balls. Cover with linen towel, and let dough rest for at least 10 minutes.

Dust each ball with a little additional flour, and roll out with rolling pin or "palote," as thinly as possible without tearing, 1/16 inch or thinner.

Heat griddle, comal, or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. (Do not use a very hot griddle or the tortillas will cook too quickly.)

One at a time, lay tortilla on hot griddle. Let brown for a few seconds on one side, and then turn over and brown other side. Each side should be nicely speckled.

Place cooked tortillas on towel or in tortilla warmer to keep warm while you cook the remaining tortillas.

Dumplings

Yields 6 servings.

This very old-fashioned rendition of chicken and dumplings is probably the way your grandma used to make it. Nothing extra has been added - no vegetables, no noodles - this really is just chicken and dumplings. A free-range organic bird is all you need to celebrate the true flavor of chicken. Add a bay leaf and a teaspoon or two of your favorite dried herbs to spice up the broth, and/or add some vegetables.

1 broiler chicken (3 to 5 pounds), dressed and cut into

8 pieces

Water

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons salt, divided

2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons lard, cold and coarsely chopped

1 cup milk

Place chicken in large saucepan. Add enough water to cover. Add pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, combine flour, baking powder, and remaining salt in large bowl. Using pastry blender or fork, cut in lard until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk, 1/4 cup at a time, and mix until soft dough forms; set aside.

Once chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink at the bone, transfer to cutting board, and cool slightly. Remove skin, shred chicken, and discard bones.

Return meat to pot, and bring stew to boiling. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls into pot. Cover, and boil for 12 minutes, or until dumplings have doubled in size.

Homemade noodles

Yields 6 servings.

You'll be delighted at how easy it is to make homemade noodles. Whenever you have leftover chicken or turkey, toss it in some broth with these noodles, and you'll have a simple, nourishing supper - perfect for a cold evening.

3 eggs

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon milk

1 tablespoon lard, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon salt

2 to 2 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, divided

1 scant teaspoon baking powder

In large bowl, combine eggs, water, and milk. With electric mixer, beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Beat in lard and salt.

In separate bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour and baking powder. Add gradually to egg mixture, beating on low speed. Using rubber spatula, stir in more flour, up to 1/4 cup if needed, to make stiff dough.

Turn dough onto floured board, and knead into ball. Sprinkle a little additional flour on board and rolling pin, and roll out dough as thinly as possible, about 1/16 inch.

Using pizza wheel, slice dough into strips 1/4 inch wide, and then slice again in half crosswise. Transfer noodles to wire rack and cover loosely with lint-free cloth. Leave to dry for 2 hours.

Note: To make soup, place 8 cups of chicken or turkey broth in a stockpot, and bring to boiling. Whisk in 5 tablespoons of all-purpose unbleached flour to thicken the broth. Add 1 1/2 cups cooked and shredded chicken or turkey. Gently stir in the dry noodles. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the noodles are tender and the broth is thickened. Stir in 1 teaspoon fresh or dried herbs of your choice. Serve piping hot. Yields 6 to 8 servings.

 
 

 

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