Thursday, September 22, 2011

Variation on a Sourdough

It is football season.  At my house that means marching band season.  And that means every weekend is booked with games and marching band competitions through the end of October or perhaps even longer if the football team makes the playoffs.

The result?  There is very little baking going on around here unless it's something tried and true.  Since the sourdough starter is still alive and well (due, of course, to my tender care and regular feedings) I've tried some variations instead of the usual white or wheat bread.

This one is a whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread.  After you've let the dough rise, punched it down and divided into thirds, knead each piece several times on a floured surface then roll out into a rectangular shape.  The dough is very elastic and can be tricky to roll out but you'll eventually get there.

Generously sprinkle dough with ground cinnamon, white sugar or golden brown sugar, raisins or chopped pecans, or all of the above, whatever your heart desires.  Start at one shorter end and roll up.  Tuck in the ends and place into your greased loaf pan seam side down to rise for 6-8 hours.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

No need to wait for it to cool.  I recommend slicing and consuming while it's still warm, it's the only way.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mama Huskey's Biscuit Pudding

One of my first cooking memories is standing on a step stool at my grandmother's kitchen counter making miniature fried peach pies from her leftover scraps of dough.  "Mama" Huskey was a fabulous, old-fashioned cook.  She was quite a stickler when it came to her personal appearance however in the kitchen she was anything but neat and tidy.  She was one who could twirl around the kitchen a time or two, slinging pots and pans hither and yon, and lay out a table full of food before you hardly knew what was happening and all the while wearing her "earbobs" and a good dose of red rouge.  This is her recipe for using leftover biscuits and is the ultimate in comfort food.

Biscuit Pudding

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons powdered sugar

Slice leftover biscuits and arrange in an 8x8-inch baking dish.

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.  Add next four ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until well blended and just beginning to thicken.  Pour over biscuits and let sit for a few minutes while biscuits soak up most, but not all of the liquid  Additional milk can be added if liquid is completely absorbed.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Beat the 2 egg whites with the powdered sugar until stiff.  Spread over pudding and return to oven for about 6-7 minutes, or until lightly browned.

I'm quite sure Mama's biscuits were the from-scratch variety while mine on the other hand, were some leftover Pillsbury Grands.  Maybe next time I'll be brave and try the homemade kind.