That’s How We Roll

September 7th, 2009 by Dionna | 6 Comments
Posted in Adults, Children, Eclectic Learning, Healthy Living, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, My Family, natural parenting, Preschoolers, Teens, Toddlers

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As a stay at home mama to a busy toddler, I’m constantly searching online for new ideas in several areas:

*fun/educational activities for my son;

*information on attachment parenting, gentle discipline, and other techniques that model responsive/sensitive parenting;

*creative ways to be frugal on our one income budget;

*information on living more consciously (i.e., eating healthy, whole foods; doing our part to leave the Earth a nice place to live by reducing our ecological footprint); and

*promoting causes I believe in such as increased/extended breastfeeding; an overhaul of our broken vaccination system/schedule; the case against circumcision; and others that I’ll write about here from time to time.

On those rare occasions I have time to be crafty, I also like finding ideas on relatively simple crafts to make (and perhaps sell).

It is my hope that this blog will compile some useful information on the above topics for others who are searching.

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For this first post, I thought I’d share one of Kieran’s recent firsts – his first homemade biscuit-making experience. I am guilty of giving in to the simplicity of store-bought biscuits. It’s so easy to peel the can open and slide the pre-made dough into the oven. (On that note, am I the only person who always jumps as the can bursts open at the seam when pressed with a spoon? I know it’s coming, yet I still gasp and jump like it was surprising.) But in my quest to make more things from scratch and do new things with Kieran, I decided to give from-scratch biscuits a try.

I remember making biscuits with my mom when I was younger. Kneading and rolling the dough was always intensely relaxing, and I can still hear the sound of each biscuit falling out of the mouth of the glass we used to cut them out – a small, satisfying “pop.” As you can see from the pictures below, Kieran shares my fondness for the process.

He knew he was in for a treat when I cleared the table and let him throw flour everywhere. A mess? He was in! He helped me with every step – he measured, poured, stirred, cut, kneaded, and rolled like a pro. And true to his mama’s side of the family, he took several pinches of dough to nibble on (sampling for quality is a requirement in our house).

Being a complete biscuit novice, I was surprised when my biscuits stayed as flat as we’d rolled them. Doh (or dough, as the case may be *wink wink*) – that’s what happens when you don’t use a recipe that calls for yeast! Regardless of their thinness, the biscuits were little round hunks of heaven. We doubled the recipe that follows below and made about 20 biscuits and 15 cinnamon kisses. We froze half for later consumption (I’ll let you know if they thaw and reheat well).

Making biscuits from scratch is a money saver. Even if you had to buy every ingredient listed I doubt you’d spend more than $10.00, and you could make hundreds of biscuits if you so chose. Cans of pre-made biscuits sell for $1-$2 at Walmart and Aldi, 8-10 biscuits per can.

Enjoy the pictures of our precious mini-baker, and let me know if you have a favorite biscuit recipe. Maybe we can have a bake-off!

Rolling with the miniature rolling pin I used to play with as a little girl.

I think he liked rolling with mama’s big rolling pin even more!

Cutting out the biscuits using a glass I filched from my grandma’s cupboard.

Spooning on cinnamon sugar to make kisses.

This, by the way, was the dough he most enjoyed sampling.

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My Mom’s Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe

  • 1/2 cup shortening (I used butter flavored Crisco)

  • 2 c all purpose/unbleached flour

  • (*the reviews I read or whole wheat flour were less than stellar, so I didn’t try it this time)

  • 1 Tbsp Sugar

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 3/4 c buttermilk (more or less; it needs to be enough to mix all of the dry ingredients into the ball of dough.)

Sift all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl.

Cut the Crisco into the dry ingredients until it is about the consistency of cornmeal.

Stir in buttermilk until the dough forms a “ball” and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl.

Flour your table (use wax paper if you’d like); roll your rolling pin and what you are going to cut the biscuits out with in the flour so they don’t stick to the dough.

Put the dough in the middle of the flour and knead it at least 20 times. Handle lightly and don’t overknead it or it will get too tough. Pat the dough out a bit with your hands and then finish with the rolling pin. The biscuits will not rise in the oven, so leave your dough at least 3/4 of an inch thick.

Cut out biscuits and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Put them side by side if you want them to have soft sides or about an inch apart if you want them to have crispier sides.

Bake at 450 degrees until golden brown; about 10-12 minutes.

For cinnamon kisses, conserve part of the batch (or make a double batch like I did!), and roll it out thinner than you did for the biscuits (about 1/4 inch thick).

Spread butter on the layer of dough, then sprinkle with a cinnamon sugar mix (like you would use to make cinnamon toast) generously all over the butter.

Roll it up about 3 rolls, then cut it and start a fresh roll.

Slice into pieces about 1 inch wide. Place them on the cookie sheet with the biscuits. (My mom’s recipe said to cook at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, but I just tossed them in with the biscuits and they turned out fine.)

I cut out all of my biscuits and made the kisses, flash froze them on a cookie sheet, then tossed them in a freezer safe Ziploc bag.

Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of our biscuits to share with you right now, I’ll try to remember to snap one next time.

Thanks for stopping by!

6 Responses to:
"That’s How We Roll"

  1. Tammy

    I'm so glad you're back, Di! Or Coden-a-me-mama as I read the link without the spaces for guidance. My Spanish turned me into mi and I was like "is it something to do with elbows to my mom?" :)

    In tribute to this post, I'm going to make homemade biscuits for my roommates sometime soon. I wish we had a little flour-covered helper around to roll and sample the dough for us!

  2. Ruth Ann

    Great bisuits and great fun!!! I will be interested in finding out how they taste after being frozen. That would be nice, to be able to freeze them and pull them out to use later. We will have to learn how to make home made apple butter to go with them!!!

  3. Candy Graber

    Yay! I'm so glad your blogging! I've added you to my blog list!

    Great pics! He is a sweetie!

  4. Allison

    Cute pictures!

  5. Life In Training

    Glad you're back on the blog! Trying myself to be a better at it.

    BTW, I read something recently about the best way to sub whole wheat flour in recipes. I think it was to replace no more than 25% of the flour w/whole wheat. Has to do with the gluten/protein content. I'll double check that number and let you know!

  6. Dionna

    Thanks everyone!

    Michelle – I usually sub half wheat for my other baking recipes (cookies, bread, etc.), and that does well for most. There was a certain CCC recipe that didn't do well with the wheat, but that's the only one I can think of offhand.

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