Tag Archives: Bread

Birthday Breakfast: Biscuits

21 May

In honor of what would have been Popo’s 91st birthday yesterday (wowsers!), we’re featuring another post by Aunt Lisa.  Get ready for a killer breakfast.

Okay, I’ll admit it…I make a damn good biscuit.  It’s the only thing I make that tastes as good as my mom’s, and every time I make them I think of her.  I see her hands cutting the shortening, gently folding the dough and popping out the biscuits from the biscuit cutter.  It’s a skill I learned by watching, not by doing.  Biscuit dough was too fragile for unskilled hands.

When I was growing up, biscuits were a regular weekend treat, especially in the winter.  One of my father’s greatest loves was a BIG breakfast.  The man liked his eggs over easy and his sausages browned crisp.  And please don’t forget the fried potatoes.  My mother would roll her eyes when he’d ask, “What about the fried potatoes?”  The meal was complete with a light and fluffy biscuit hot from the oven smothered with butter and honey.  My father didn’t just eat breakfast in our kitchen; he also liked to go out.  He knew every breakfast place in town, and they knew him.  He was on a first name basis with every short-order cook within a 20 mile radius of his house.  But when eating out, he always order toast, not biscuits.  My mother had spoiled him.

Biscuits, like scones and pie crust, take a special touch.   For this recipe, use cold shortening and milk.  Mix the dough by turning it over onto a pastry cloth and folding the ends of the cloth toward the center.  Be gentle; don’t knead the dough– just bring the crumbs together and press down.

BISCUITS (Makes about 1 dozen)
2 cups of all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup shortening
2/3 cup cold milk

Mix dry ingredients together and then cut in the shortening.  Add cold milk all at once and stir with a fork just until the dough starts to hold together.  Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured pastry cloth and bring the crumbs together by gently pressing down.  When the dough is solid and about ¾ inch thick, cut biscuits with a biscuit cutter or use a floured drinking glass edge.  Place biscuits on a cookie sheet and put in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.  Then, bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes.

Yum!  Thanks, Aunt Lisa.  Mangia!

Uncle Tom likes it when Aunt Lisa volunteers to blog

By Popular Demand: Sausage Bread

25 Dec

Sausage bread has been, by far, the absolute most requested recipe I’ve heard about since I started this website project.  “When are you going to do sausage bread?” everyone asks.  My mother, cousins, brother– they all have weighed in.  I’ve been waiting until the Christmas holiday to post it, since this is a mandatory food item on our table this time of year.  Hot and cheesy with the kick of Italian sausage, it is great as a Christmas Eve appetizer, Christmas day breakfast addition, or leftover for lunch.  It’s also a super-delicious gift for friends.

Hot from the oven

Sliced and ready to eat

SAUSAGE BREAD (Serves a crowd)
3T olive oil
2T butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 package bread dough (we buy it from the deli counter)
1lb Italian sausage meat
1/2lb provolone or mozzarella cheese (or a mix of both!)
1/2C grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
1-2T olive oil

Heat oil and butter in skillet and saute onion and garlic until onion is transparent.  Add sausage meat and break up in pan, stirring and cooking until meat is no longer pink.  Drain off excess fat and set aside.

Knead bread dough on lightly-floured cloth for about five minutes.  Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.

Roll dough into a large oblong about 1/4 inch thick.  Brush with olive oil.  Cover with meat mixture and spread to edges of dough.  Sprinkle with cheeses and salt and pepper.  Starting at long end, roll up tightly, tucking in sides.  Seal with water.  Shape ito a half circle and place on to a lightly greased baking sheet (or use a silpat).  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.  Let cool slightly before slicing.

Seriously, we love it.  As I type this Christmas afternoon, my brother is requesting it reheated for a snack this very moment.  Mangia!