the best cookbook i ever bought was most definitely the weekend baker. it contains my favorite recipe for biscuits and scones... which i make all the time. it also contains recipes for delicious things i don't make quite as often but enjoy just as much. like these double decker brownie/chocolate chip cookie combos. and this pretzel crusted lemon chiffon pie. i could go on and on.
what's really great though is the way the cookbook is organized. it's all about baking in stages. the author recognizes that not everyone has time to bake. or at least they don't think they do. but by breaking up your recipe into a few days work, pretty much anyone can find time to bake.
if you're looking for a cookbook to add to your collection, or if you're just getting started baking and want something that will help you get started with some basics... pick up the weekend baker.
tonight i'm making the lovely buttermilk biscuits, because they're the perfect side to this delicious soup.
1 2/3 c all-purpose flour
1 T granulated sugar
1 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
8 T very cold, unsalted butter cut into 8 pieces
3/4 c buttermilk
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder & salt. Whisk until well blended. With a pastry blender or 2 table knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the pieces are no larger than peas. Add the buttermilk and gently toss with a rubber spatula just until the dough comes together.
Dump the shaggy dough onto a work surface- no need to flour the surface. Gently press the dough into a thick rectangle about 6x4 inches. Using a large, sharp knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal squares. Arrange the squares on a cookie sheet spacing them about 3 inches apart.
Bake until puffed and light brown, about 18 minutes. Transfer the cookie sheet to a rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temp. ENJOY!