Monday, March 10, 2014

Just Like Grandma Made

How many times have you heard somebody yearn for some tasty dish that their grandma made years and years ago? I've heard people complain that they follow Grandma's recipe, but it just doesn't taste the same. Well, now I have the answer. It doesn't taste as good because you're not using the same ingredients as Grandma!

I've made plenty of biscuits, but these were the best. I used lard (fresh from butchering)  and fresh whole milk (right from the farm). No, I didn't grind my own flour from a local wheat field, but I might if I had it available!

Just as homemade bread tastes so much better than store-bought, biscuits and pie crusts are better with lard. I know that lard has a bad reputation, what with clogged arteries and all, but if you have access, give real lard (not the highly processed stuff sold in most grocery stores) a try for a treat. You won't regret it. I promise.

If you don't know where to find the real stuff, ask a local butcher. You may also find it at some bulk food stores in the refrigerated section, especially if they have specialty Amish goods.

The biscuit recipe? It's simple. You may want to halve the recipe if you don't need an entire tray of biscuits.

Best Biscuits
4 cups flour
2 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup lard
1 1/2 cups whole milk

Stir together the dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, cut the lard into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs (it's okay to have a few larger clumps--up to about 1/2 inch). Add the milk and stir gently until the mixture comes together. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead a couple of times. Roll or press the dough out until it's as thick as Grandma's biscuit cutter (about 3/4 inch) and cut out biscuits. Bake on a lightly greased baking sheet at 450 degrees (F) for 10-12 minutes, until golden on top. Brush with melted butter, if you want to.

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