Biscuits for a (Big) Crowd and Chili with a Fried Egg

Biscuits+for+a+crowd
I made a couple hundred biscuits today for the Slow Food Calgary booth at the Calgary Folk Festival this weekend (which I sadly won’t be attending, because I’ll, with any luck, be in Tofino). Yesterday Kris, Jenn, Maxwell and I made a few vats of chili (using beef from Tim Hoven), organic beans and other tasty stuff (including sweet marjoram and summer savoury from Kris’ farm) – but who wants a plain old bowl of chili with no carbs to dip in?

So today I holed up in the downstairs kitchen of the Cookbook Company and lost count at about 20 batches. That’s a lot of biscuits. I made an enormous mess. I took a picture. You don’t want to see it.

But – good news! Aviv is back. He came by to visit. He’s freshly back in Calgary after spending four months in Kathmandu-Tel Aviv-Paris-Montréal – he baked bread at Tangboche and at Everest base camp and worked with one of the best bread bakers in a city full of bakers and boulangeries. I sweated a little bit when he checked out the flour (from Kris and Highwood Crossing), then picked up a biscuit and bit into it. He liked them. Or at least he was being nice about it.

And lucky us-he’s going to stay right here in Calgary. He has decided to call his new bakery (for which he has plenty of cool ideas, but I’m not sure he’s ready to share them) –Sidewalk Citizen. How cool is that? So very cool. Just like his shoes.

Large-Batch Biscuits

AuthorJulie

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3-1 cup butter, cut into chunks (I used roughly a third to a half a pound of butter – it doesn’t have to be exact)
1 cup milk or half & half, plus a little extra for brushing on top

1

In the bowl of a food processor (or a large bowl), combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and pulse or work with a pastry cutter, fork or your fingers until the mixture is well combined and crumbly, with bits of butter no bigger than a pea – you want to leave some larger bits, rather than blending it completely – the larger chunks are what will make them flaky.

2

If you used a food processor (this is my favourite way) – dump the mixture into a bowl. Add the milk and stir just until you have a soft dough (you may need to use your hands). Pat the dough out about 3/4" thick and cut into small rounds with a biscuit cutter, glass or open can rim, or a knife, or if you really want to streamline things, pat it into a circle and cut into 8 wedges. Place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray, spacing them a bit apart. If you like, brush the tops lightly with milk. (I do this to the whole circle of dough before cutting it.)

3

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden.

Category

Ingredients

 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
 2 Tbsp. sugar
 1 Tbsp. baking powder
 1/4 tsp. salt
 2/3-1 cup butter, cut into chunks (I used roughly a third to a half a pound of butter – it doesn’t have to be exact)
 1 cup milk or half & half, plus a little extra for brushing on top

Directions

1

In the bowl of a food processor (or a large bowl), combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and pulse or work with a pastry cutter, fork or your fingers until the mixture is well combined and crumbly, with bits of butter no bigger than a pea – you want to leave some larger bits, rather than blending it completely – the larger chunks are what will make them flaky.

2

If you used a food processor (this is my favourite way) – dump the mixture into a bowl. Add the milk and stir just until you have a soft dough (you may need to use your hands). Pat the dough out about 3/4" thick and cut into small rounds with a biscuit cutter, glass or open can rim, or a knife, or if you really want to streamline things, pat it into a circle and cut into 8 wedges. Place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray, spacing them a bit apart. If you like, brush the tops lightly with milk. (I do this to the whole circle of dough before cutting it.)

3

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden.

Large-Batch Biscuits

Wanna hear about dinner? Ironically the day before yesterday, in a state of panic, I made room in the freezer for all the stuff that will likely go stinky if left to its own devices in the fridge for the next couple weeks, which of course displaced much of the frozen stuff. I lobbed bags of cooked beans (white, red, black), six whole frozen tomatoes (which melt right into soups, stews, chilis and curries in the slow cooker), a bag of frozen cooked ground meat I couldn’t identify but turned out to contain zucchini, frozen diced tomatoes and peppers into the pot, plus a chunk of frozen chipotle pepper, and shook over some chili powder and cumin and let it go (on low) for 6 hours.

It was fab over new potatoes, cooked in a hot pan with a bit of canola oil, then topped with cheddar. W suggested we add a fried egg, so I obliged. It was actually pretty damn tasty.

Tomorrow: Tofino.

Share

About Julie

You May Also Like

17 comments on “Biscuits for a (Big) Crowd and Chili with a Fried Egg

  1. Zoey
    July 20, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    Awesome. Maybe it’s bad that I’m suddenly as excited for the Slow Food Calgary booth at the Folk Fest as I am for the music… but then again, a girl needs biscuits for the energy to listen to music, so I think it’s all part of the circle of..life?

  2. Erica B.
    July 20, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    The Folk Fest food, Aviv’s new bakery, dinner and Tofino all sound fantastic (and exhausting)! I made a version of your spaghetti pie tonight that included diced up bison burgers (they had to get used, and the kids wanted “psketti”

    Have a great trip – hope you get some well deserved R&R!

  3. Jennifer Jo
    July 21, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Yes, I DO want to see the picture of that mess!

  4. Rebecca
    July 21, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Frozen tomatoes in the crockpot! That’s genius. It never occured to me to freeze tomatoes, but I’m definitely going to try it.

  5. hypnoid
    July 21, 2010 at 7:55 am

    In that nice-looking pic of the frozen stuff sitting in the cooker, it looks remarkably like there is a cluster of frozen blueberries in there. Which I almost want to try now.

  6. Pat
    July 21, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Tell Aviv there is a very cool hotel at the Amsterdam Airport called Citizen M. It had a great ambiance and spirit to it! I’m looking forward to hearing more about Citizen Sidewalk.

  7. Theresa
    July 21, 2010 at 8:35 am

    wow, you just planted your garden and you’ve already got new potatoes! 😉
    Have fun in Tofino!

  8. Vincci
    July 21, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Ooh! Now I’m getting pumped about the Slow Food Calgary booth too – have fun in Tofino!

  9. jennchic
    July 21, 2010 at 9:38 am

    what a fun time! it was fun to cook with you and we’ll miss you at the fest but so appreciate you squeezing in some baking before you left. say “hi” to the ocean for us! xo

  10. Cheryl Arkison
    July 21, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Love that bottom photo of the before!
    (Next time I suggest poaching the egg right in the chili.)

  11. Donna
    July 21, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Enjoy Tofino !
    Ice Cream at DD Dutchman Dairy (Sicamous ?)along the way?

  12. Gemma
    July 21, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Do you need to blanch and skin the tomatoes before you put them in the freezer? The biscuits look fantastic- did you use some whole wheat flour in them?

  13. Donna
    July 21, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    My ice cream maker performed much better when I made sure the bowl was frozen (did not slosh) when I started.
    Fresh peach ice cream – yum.

  14. justcooknyc
    July 21, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    it’s amazing how you got so many awesome things in this one post

  15. Manon from Ontario
    July 22, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Julie did you get my email about how to make ice cream? I need some help here?

    Thx,

    MFO

  16. Sharlene
    July 22, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    This is the epitome of comfort food for me! Perfection!

  17. JulieVR
    July 23, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Manon – no, sorry I haven’t, I’ll look for it.
    Gemma – no need! Just toss them into the freezer whole. Easy. I didn’t even bag them!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.