Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Croquer: Which came first? The Biscuit or the Egg?

The last time I was in New York, before heading off to the airport I had the loveliest breakfast at Williamsburg's beloved Egg (135 N. 5th St at Bedford Ave, Brooklyn; 718-302-5151).
I had French pressed sustainably grown coffee with my superstar Eggs Rothko (Easy-cooked egg in a thick slice of homemade brioche and topped with melted Grafton cheddar), served with broiled tomatoes and a patty of homemade pork sausage. Wow!
Since, chef-owner George Weld has expanded Egg's hours to lunch (every day) and dinner (Wednesday through Sunday), featuring farmhouse supper favories like Brunswick Stew, fried chicken, collared greens, and the addition of a tasteful beer and wine list. One of Egg's trademarks though has always been their buttermilk biscuits, and thanks to my assumed Raison d'être, the continually winsome Tasting Table you don't have to travel to Brooklyn to have them!

Buttermilk Biscuits
Adapted from George Weld, Egg
Makes 8 to 10 biscuits
The trick, he says, is to use bleached flour (for extra-fluffy texture) and very cold butter, then work quickly and mix with a light hand. And don't forget Weld's favorite biscuit topping: molasses.
1 pound and 10 ounces bleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
6 ounces cold unsalted butter
2½ cups buttermilk or sour milk*, plus more for brushing
1. Preheat oven to 500°. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
2. Cut half of the butter into thin sheets and place them in the freezer.
3. Blend the remaining butter into the flour mixture with your hands. Work quickly, blending until the flour resembles very coarse meal with a few pea-size lumps. With a rubber spatula, mix the buttermilk or sour milk into the flour and butter just until a dough begins to form.
4. Dump dough onto a floured work surface and pat it into a rough rectangle about ¼ inch thick. Lay the slices of frozen butter on top, then fold the dough over twice (as if you were folding a letter in thirds). Press down gently on the dough until it's about ¾ inch thick. Use a 2½-inch biscuit cutter to punch out biscuits (do not twist the cutter). Place biscuits onto a greased baking sheet and brush the tops with milk.
5. Bake the biscuits for 13 to 18 minutes, until risen, golden and light. If they feel wet or heavy, bake them longer.
* To make sour milk, combine 2½ cups of whole milk with 2½ tablespoons of white vinegar.

Tasting Table, a daily foodie email subscription now comes in LA and Everywhere editions alongside the original New York.

1 comment:

  1. Hooray! That was a lovely breakfast. I think I'm going to have to make that soon. Feeling wistful.