Latest Posts









Hello Bakers,

This is not a real post - just a post to let you know that my latest Craftsy class launched yesterday.
It is called 25 Essential Baking Techniques - I am thrilled to be teaching this.
It is a great foundation class - perfect for beginners and for advanced bakers who want to know more.
This class answers lots of your baking questions and there are great recipes in there as well.
Here is link to the class.
Happy Baking!!!
Colette

 www.craftsy.com/ext/ColetteChristian_10252_


Hello Bakers,

There has been so much going on with filming the latest Craftsy class and finishing the macaron book
that this poor blog is sorely neglected.
But not anymore....
The year is young and there is so much baking to do.
We will start 2016 with a three part series on working with citrus fruit

This is the time of year when citrus is at it's best. Here in California the trees are heavy with fruit.
Let's start with Key Lime Pie. You know it - it's delicious hard to eat just one slice.
Key limes were transplanted, literally, to the Florida Keys by the Spanish in the 1500s.
They are Key West - every restaurant sells some variation of the Key lime pie.
What's a little ironic is that in 1926, a hurricane wiped out the key lime plantations in South Florida.
They were replanted with Persian limes, which were easier to pick and grow. Today, key lime plantations are grown closer to Miami.
In Key West, actual key limes have urban myth status. They are found in back yards and never leave the Keys....
Key limes are tricky to squeeze but it can be done. Key lime juice can also be purchased. The best brand is Nellie and Joe's. I would rather use fresh (non key lime juice and extra zest) the bottled key lime juice. But if you are too pressed for time to squeeze limes then that is an option.
In the early days, key lime pie wasn't baked.
During mixing there is a reaction between the condensed milk and the lime juice that causes the filling to thicken on it's own before baking.
Today, we know it is dangerous to consume raw eggs, so the pie is baked for 12-14 minutes until the eggs are cooked and the filling is set. Baking it is better because it helps the filling set up even firmer.
Traditionally, key lime pie was topped with meringue - those egg whites have to be used up after all.
But this version uses whipped cream as a topping. Any extra egg whites in my kitchen get turned into macarons.
One last bit of history, there are 38 states in the union that have an official state dessert and Key Lime Pie is Florida's.

Key lime pie is very quick to put together - Bakers you have to try this.
Let me know what you think.
Happy Baking!
Colette


Key Lime Pie
One 8”pie, about 8 servings
Equipment
2 8” pie pans - the disposable ones work best for shaping the crust
Whisk
2 medium bowls
Spatula
18”-20” (45 to 50cm) piping bag
Medium open star tip
Scissors to cut bag
Ingredients
Crust
5 ounces (142g) graham cracker crumbs
2 Tablespoons, 1 ounce, (28g) sugar
5 Tablespoons, 2 ½ ounces, (71g) butter, melted
Filling
Grated zest of one lime
½ cup, 4 ounces, 113g fresh squeezed key lime or regular lime juice
3 large egg yolks, 2.13ounces, (60g)
1 can sweetened condensed milk, 14 ounces, (397g)
Whipped Cream (Chantilly) Topping
1 cup, 8 ounces, 227g heavy cream
2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon, 1 ¼ ounces (40g) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Mix well
  3. Press the graham cracker crumb mixture into one of the pie pans. It should cover
the bottom, sides and lip of the pan. Line shell with plastic wrap.

4. Carefully press the 2nd pan on top of the graham cracker crumb mixture. Push down hard 
so that the crust is flat and smooth against the first pan. 

Carefully remove the top pan.
    5.   Bake the crust for 7 minutes. The crust should be a light golden brown. Remove and set aside.
    6.   Prepare filling. In a medium bowl combine lime juice, lime zest, egg yolks and condensed milk.    Mix well.

    7. Pour filling into pie shell.

    8. Place in oven. Start checking at 14 minutes. The filling should jiggle slightly but not ripple.
If it jiggles then put it back in the oven for another 4-5 minutes. Check again. By now it should look set.
    9. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. Let cool for a half hour then move to the refrigerator to completely cool.


A few hours before serving, make whipped cream (Chantilly) topping.
Mixing by hand:
1.      Make sure all the ingredients and the bowls are chilled.
2.      Whisk the cream, vigorously, until it is slightly thickened, about the consistency of yogurt..
3.      Add the sifted confectioner’s sugar and the vanilla.
4.      Continue to whip the cream until the cream is smooth but not grainy, about the consistency of shaving cream.
5.      Do not over-whip or the cream will become grainy and separate.
Mixing by Machine:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment or using a hand held mixer,
whip the cream on medium speed until it is slightly thickened, about the consistency of  yogurt.
    2.  Stop the mixer and add the sifted confectioner’s sugar and the vanilla.
    3.  Increase speed to medium high and continue to whip until the cream is smooth but not grainy, about the consistency of shaving cream.
    4. Do not over whip or the cream will become grainy and separate.
Chantilly cream should be made and used a few hours before serving.
Finishing the pie...
Put the tip in the piping bag and fill with the cream. Pipe a pretty border around the edge of the pie.
The pie can be decorated 2-3 hours ahead of serving and refrigerated.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Key Lime Pie will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.






Hello Bakers,

   Last week one of my Craftsy students asked me if I had a Mascarpone pound cake recipe.
I felt bad because I thought I had one but could not find it anywhere. So, I began poking around the internet and in my library and came up empty handed.
I really don't like disappointing you so I decided to adapt a cream cheese pound cake from
way back when and see what happened.
   I chose a cream cheese pound cake from Gourmet's Best Desserts published in 1988.
This was one of the first cookbooks I received when I joined, The Good Cook Cookbook
Club. One of the perks of the club was that you got your first four books for a dollar each!
Every month after that, a little catalog of cookbooks came in the mail. All you had to do was to buy two books a year and keep up with the form that said you didn't want any books that month.
That's where I got into trouble.
  At this time was very busy running my B&B  and my restaurant. I had a husband, who ran the business with me and a baby who was the most adorable baby in the history of babies, at least I thought so.
So the books kept coming, because I ordered them or had forgotten to mail out the form.
    Eventually I had to quit the club. I sent them a sad but truthful letter telling them
that my husband had threatened to divorce me if I didn't leave the club. The bookshelf in the kitchen was bursting with books.
Incidentally, one of the first things I did when,years later, that marriage ended was to rejoin The Good Cook cookbook club. :)
    Gourmet's Best Desserts is a gem. The photographs may feel a little dated but they
really bring back memories of that wonderful magazine.
Sorry, nobody did it better then Gourmet.
   Here is Mascarpone pound cake - a little revamped and totally delicious. The mascarpone affects
the crumb directly, giving it a silken texture.

   Enough chat - here is the low down on Mascarpone. It has almost as much fat as butter, 70-75%.
When it is being mixed, it has a tendency to break, the water in the cheese separates out. When this happens, it is a mess. Maybe some of you have had this experience when making Tiramisu.
Because of this I am adding the mascarpone alternatively with the flour. This will give the fat in the cheese lots of insulation and it won't break.
   I hope you enjoy making this pound cake. I swirled mine with streusel so that I could send it to work with my current husband, who loves to have cake for breakfast.
Happy Baking!
Colette

Mascarpone Pound Cake

1 loaf pan or 1 small Bundt pan - greased, line the loaf pan with a parchment paper sling
Stand Mixer or hand held mixer fitted with paddle attachment
Spatula
Offset spatula
Sifter
Parchment paper if using loaf pan

8 ounces (227g) butter
8.75 ounces (248g) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
4 eggs, lightly mixed
4 ounces mascarpone cheese
8 ounces (227g) cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Optional: Streusel or Jam
Streusel recipe is at the bottom of the page.

1. Preheat your oven to 350 conventional, 325 convection.
2.  Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 8 minutes.
3. Add the eggs in two increments, mixing for 20 seconds at low speed and then 25 minutes at medium high speed. Add then second increment of egg and repeat mixing sequence.


4. Starting with one third of the flour, alternate adding the flour and the cheese to creamed mixture,
Mixing only until the ingredient disappears. After the last batch of flour is in. Finish mixing with a spatula.
5. Spoon batter evenly in the pan. If you want to do a swirl of streusel or jam, spoon in half, top with your streusel or layer of jam and then the remaining batter.
6. Bake at 350 degrees or 325 convection. Start checking in 40 minutes. A cake tester or skewer inserted in the center should come out clean.
(Mine took 53 minutes in my Wolf Countertop Convection oven.)
7. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then un mold onto a wire rack.
Dust with powdered sugar.

Streusel
Bowl
Bowl Scraper

4 ounces (113g) flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1.4 ounces (40g)  brown sugar
1 ounce (28g) granulated sugar
3 ounces (85g) cold butter

1. Sift all dry ingredients into a large bowl.
2. Cut in butter until it looks like coarse meal - the butter chunks must all disappear.
3. At the end you can mix with your hands - but the mixture should not clump up or be mixed to the point that the butter melts.
Leftover streusel freezes very well.
The Instagram Photo

Hello Bakers,

Please forgive me for not writing. It has been forever. The macaron book completely
took over my summer and early fall. It will be out soon.
Now the blog is back and my goal is to post a lot more often.
About ten days ago, I posted a Sourdough Peach muffin on Instagram and got a few requests for the recipe.
I had promised that I would feature that recipe here on the blog and now I am making good on that promise.
I know the proper and hip thing to do would be to be blogging about pumpkin spice and Thanksgiving but I promised and when I promise a recipe I have to make good it.

Don't worry, I have some nice posts planned for your holiday baking - focusing on getting ahead, making the perfect pumpkin pie and in general being the best baker at your holiday gatherings.
This is for all my readers who maintain a sourdough starter, for those of you who don't the starter can be replaced with sour cream or yogurt.
These muffins, made with starter, are really tender and delicious and a great way to use the starter that you would normally discard.
Just a side note - to make these muffins - your starter should not be exhausted or in distress just in maintenance mode - which means you have been feeding and discarding at least once a week.
The starter should be looking like pancake batter - if there is liquid on the top and you haven't fed it in a while, clean it up and give it a feed (usually 300g water and 200g unbleached all purpose or bread flour id perfect) and then let it sit out, covered at room temperature for a few hours.
Then you are ready to bake these delicious muffins.
You can use any fruit you like, blueberries, apples, peaches, and pears. It really is a blank canvas.

Sourdough Muffins

Again, these muffins are delicious. They have less fat then most cake muffins and keep well due to the sour.

Yield 13 muffins
12.5 ounces all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

8 ounces healthy starter
4 ounces melted butter
6 ounces sugar
2 eggs
6 ounces buttermilk or 6 ounces milk mixed wirh 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
or lemon juice.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of one lemon

The mise en place

7 ounces fresh blueberries, chopped peaches (frozen work great), pears, or apples.
Coarse sugar (sometimes called sanding sugar for sprinkling) (optional)

Oven 350 degrees
Line a 12 cup muffin tin with muffin liners.
1. Sift or whisk together flour, soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside
2. Mix together starter, melted butter, sugar, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, lemon zest until smooth and combined.

3. Combine the wet into the dry ingredients, mixing together with a spatula, Try to use no more then 15-20 strokes. Stop mixing when the flour disappears, Fold in the fruit quickly.
4. Scoop or spoon batter into prepared cups.

5. Garnish with coarse sugar if desired.
6. Bake at 350 degrees, start checking at 25 minutes.
The muffins are done when a cake tester or skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
For some reason the second time I baked them they did not take on a lot of color. The oven at school has a top heating element - that made a difference. We can achieve this at home by moving the muffins or anything we are baking to the top third of the oven for the last few minutes of baking.
But don't walk away - they can over brown quickly.
Happy Baking!
Colette





Hello Bakers.

I am so excited to let you know that this is my first blog post to include micro recipe videos!
These are so much fun to create. If they seem a little rough at first - please bear with me - a little more practice and all should be smooth and finessed.
Now for today's topic.....
A few months ago, the generous folks at Emile Henry sent me a baguette baker. I had been
borrowed the Bread Cloche from the Sur la Table Kitchen and was having great success.
I posted my photos online and Emile Henry picked up my threads.  They offered to send me the Baguette baker to experiment with - as a certified baguette obsessed baker - I could not have been more thrilled.
The baker came with a booklet of nice recipes but I felt they needed more hydration so I changed the formula so that the baguettes were at 73% hydration. They were not super easy to handle but a little flour on the hands goes a long way.
You don't need the Emile Henry Baguette to make these baguettes - but it really does a great job.
Put it on your wishlist baguette aficionados, You will love it.
Perfect Emile Henry Baguettes
238g Water – cool body temperature – about 90 degrees
325g Bread Flour – Unbleached (King Arthur or Gold Medal Better for Bread)
5g Instant Yeast
7g Salt

Equipment:
Scale
Large Bowl
Dough whisk or Stand Mixer fitted with the Dough Hook
Bowl Scraper
Proofing Bags
Emile Henry Bread Baker
A piece of parchment paper  - cut it 8x10”this will support the baguettes during proofing and also line the baker during baking. You may have to trim it to fit the lid.

**A Half Sheet Tray lined with parchment paper can also be used.  Lightly spray with pan spray or brushed with a thin film of vegetable oil.  (This prevents the dough from sticking if you have to shift the baguettes on the tray.)

1.       Combine the water and yeast in the mixing bowl – stir to combine, about 15 seconds.
2.       Add the flour and salt.
3.       Stir with the dough hook until the dough becomes a cohesive mass.  If using the mixer, mix on speed one for 3 minutes.
4.       Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a shower cap.

5.        Let sit for 45 minutes at room temperature.
6.       After 45 minutes give the dough a fold.  Using the bowl scraper and starting at the bottom of the bowl fold each edge toward the center. Then turn the dough over so the smooth side of the dough is facing you.
7.       Cover and let sit for another 45 minutes.
8.       Fold again – 3 folds is optimum as folding strengthens gluten and your baguettes with have more volume. But two folds will also produce good bread.
9.       After the second or third fold let the dough sit, covered for 10 minutes.
10.   Using your bench scraper, divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Each piece should weigh about
190 grams.  Roll each piece into a short sausage shape (lightly flouring your hands if the dough is sticky. Cover and rest the dough for 15 minutes. This helps the dough relax so shaping the baguette is easier
11.   Shape the baguette as shown in the video clip.

EH Baguette Demo 02 from Colette Christian on Vimeo.
 Load the baguettes onto the baker.
12.   Place the baker in the proofing bag, add the cup of steaming water (3/4 full) and zip the bag shut.
Check after 20 minutes. They may take longer but this is a good point for the first check.

 Preheat the oven to 450 degrees conventional or 425 degrees convection.
13.   Your baguettes are proofed with they look like they have taken a breath and held it. In other words, they are slightly puffy, about a 1/4 larger then then were and have a slight marshmallow texture.  Because they are baking in the Emile Henry Baker – we are under proofing them slightly. They will finish proofing as the baker warms up.
14.   Remove them from the bag – let them sit for 5 minutes to form a slight skin – this makes them easier to slash.
15.   Sprinkle the tops with flour, spray them lightly with water and slash them on a strong angle 3-five slashes.

EH Baguette Demo 02 from Colette Christian on Vimeo.
16.   Pop the top on the baker, slide it into the oven.
17.   After 20 minutes, remove the top of the baker and let the baguettes bake uncovered for 5 more minutes. They should be an all over deep golden brown – if they are still light after 5 minutes bake them a few minutes longer.
18.   Remove the baguettes from the baker and cool on a rack.
Next assemble a plate of your cheeses and pates, invite your friends over, pour the wine and enjoy!
Baguette Party!
Baguettes have no shelf life so freeze leftovers, well wrapped. Thaw at room temperature for a few hours and then refresh them, in a 350 degree oven for 5-7 minutes.
Happy Baking!
Colette





Hello Bakers,

I am so pleased to announce that my new Craftsy Class - Danish Pastry from Scratch will
be launching soon.
Here is a chance to win the class for free!!!! And be on your way to creating gorgeous Danish from Scratch.
I cannot wait to share this class with you.
Please click on the link to enter. The last chance to win will be on Sunday and the winners will be notified next week.
Happy Baking!
Colette

http://www.craftsy.com/ext/ColetteChristian_Giveaway



Hello Bakers,


Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
Last week, we received early zucchini in our Abundant Harvest Organic fruit and veg box.
They were beautiful - vibrant green, slim and perfect. The first zucchini of the season, which here in
California is always earlier then anywhere else.

I was reminded of my years back in Massachusetts and Vermont, where in summer, zucchini is ridiculously plentiful.
Old timers warn new gardeners to plant only one or two zucchini plants, but nobody listens
and there is such an abundance that you can't give it away.

In fact, there is an old New England joke that goes like this: "Why do you roll up your car windows in August? Punchline: "Well, if you don't someone will throw a zucchini in your front seat."
Ha!

The following recipe is how I used up those first two zucchini - this is an old fashioned muffin and quick bread recipe that has been around a long time.
I love the pineapple in this. It brightens up the flavors - and allows the recipe to have  less sugar and still be sweet.
It uses one small can of crushed pineapple - I wanted to make sure of that so you didn't have a little bit of pineapple leftover, which can be annoying.  That is why the recipe makes 15-16 regular size muffins, 6+ Texas size muffins and 2" loaf pans. Mini loaves would make great gifts - whatever size pan you have on hand grease or spray it well and fill it 2/3rds full.
They also get topped with cinnamon sugar before baking - this adds an extra bit of sweetness and dresses them up a little.
I love gilding the lily with my baking - one day in another post I will tell you why.....
Happy Baking!
Colette

Pineapple Zucchini Muffins
12 3/4 ounces (361g) All purpose Flour - I used King Arthur
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Salt

3 Large Eggs
7 ounces (198g) Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla

6 ounces (170g) Vegetable Oil

1 small can Crushed Pineapple Drained
2 medium sized Zucchini, grated and excess water squeezed out (8ounces) (228g) - post squeezing
4 ounces Walnuts (114g), toasted and chopped

Topping: Cinnamon Sugar - 7 ounces (198g) sugar to 2 Tablespoons of cinnamon
- combine and set aside. Leftover cinnamon sugar can be stored in an airtight container.

1. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together.
2. In a large bowl or in the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Mix by hand with a whisk until smooth and light (about 3 minutes) or with the mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour the oil into the mixture with the machine running or while whisking if working by hand. (Stabilize your bowl if working by hand.)
If using a mixer, stop, find a good spatula the rest of the ingredients are folded in.
3. Add the sifted dry ingredients, zucchini and pineapple. Mix the ingredients with as few strokes (folds) as possible, about 15 - the flour should have almost disappeared, then add the walnuts.
Add the walnuts in another 5 folds and everything should be smooth. The point is not to over mix and develop too much gluten.
4. Portion the batter into sprayed or lined muffin tins or loaf pans. Remember these muffins will rise nicely so do not over fill. Sprinkle the tops with cinnamon sugar.
5. Bake at 350 regular oven or 335 convection.
6. Start checking in 25 minutes. They may take a few minutes longer depending on their size and shape.
The muffins are done when a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
Enjoy - they are perfect with morning coffee.
They also freeze really well.











Hello Bakers,

Last week, one of my Craftsy students asked me for a Honey Madeleine recipe. I was happy to
come up with one. It took a few tries because honey always contributes a lot more moisture then sugar. My AI, teaching assistant, Shayenne was so patient - each time we had to redo it.
But this final version is delicious. My husband (Chef) thinks I should add honey powder to pump up the honey flavor but for now I think we will stick with this recipe. The honey flavor is there, trust me.

All  this led me to think that blog post on honey madeleines would be a great idea.
These have a delicious honey and butter glaze. They are fun to make and really tasty - delicious with
morning coffee or tea.

After all, once you have invested in a madeleine pan, it's nice to have a collection of madeleine recipes.

I offer two recipes for madeleines in my Craftsy class French Miniature Desserts and they are good but I will try to more offer more madeleine recipes on the blog. I know plenty of you have those madeleine pans resting in your cupboards. Let's use them and make some beautiful madeleines.
Maybe even a few savory madeleine recipes....
The thing is, Madeleine pans are rather exclusive, basically the only thing you can make in them are madeleines.

This recipe is nice for this time of year. I always think of early spring in California as a transitional
time for bakers - we are moving out of citrus and the berries are not quite here yet.
(Well they are but they are still expensive)
So honey is a nice flavor to explore this time of year.
A good supermarket clover honey will work fine. But if you have some flavored honeys use them.
Lavender honey could be really interesting in these.
The batter is loose so be careful when you fill your piping bag. Maybe put down a piece of parchment paper to catch drips.
Have fun!
Happy Baking!
Colette


Honey Madeleines (Ribbon Method)
114g  ( 4 ounces) Cake Flour
3g Baking Powder
1g Salt
3 Eggs
85g (3 ounces) Sugar
85g (3 ounces) Honey
71g (2.5 ounces) Melted Butter
Yield 12 Madeleines
Honey Glaze:
57g (2 ounces)Melted Butter
57g (2 ounces) Honey
  
Equipment:
Scale
Stand or Hand Held Mixer
Spatula
Madeleine Pan
Sifter or Strainer
Pastry Brush
Piping Bag
Piping Tip (optional) Ateco 804 or any plain tip approximately 3/8” in diameter

Pan Preparation:
Pan spray (or melted butter)
Brush the shells of the madeleine  pans with melted butter or spray with pan spray.
Sift the flour over the pan – be generous, then tap out the excess.

1.     Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, 190 Celsius, Gas Mark 5.
2.     Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
3.     Combine the honey and melted butter in a medium sized bowl.
4.     In a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand held mixer, combine  the eggs and sugar.   With the mixer at high speed, beat until the mixture is tripled in volume. This will take 8-10 minutes of mixing at high speed. 

5.     Using a spatula fold in 1/3rd of the egg mixture into the melted butter and honey.  Then add this back into the egg mixture, fold gently.
6.     Sift the dry ingredients over  egg mixture, in two increments.

7.     Do not over mix.

8.     Put the batter into the piping bag. (it will be loose)
9.     Pipe the batter into the shells – slightly below the top of the pan.

10.Chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
11.Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes.
12.At 12 minutes, test for doneness by inserting a skewer in the center – it should come out clean.
13. If the madeleines do not test clean, return them to the oven for 3-4 more minutes.
14. Let cool in the pan for about 5  minutes, then carefully remove the madeleines and move them to a cooling rack.

Glaze.
1.     Combine the melted butter and honey.
2.     Brush on madeleines while still warm.


       The madeleines can be piped, wrapped and frozen for up to one month.
       Bake them from the frozen state and allow additional 10-12 minutes for baking.
       The madeleines are best eaten the day they are made. They will keep well  wrapped and              frozen, after baking for up to one month.
       Thaw at room temperature for several hours at room temperature.

***Thank you Carol for proofreading this recipe. We need your eagle eye as I type way too fast.








Hello Bakers,

In the past few weeks, I have gotten several requests for a good biscuit recipe.
This led me to think that maybe biscuits would be a great blog post.
The following biscuit recipe is a particular favorite.
It is quick and easy, uses milk not buttermilk and uses only baking powder -
making it very accessible to the baker who wants to get some hot and delicious
biscuits on the table - without having to think about ingredients.

Most of us have milk and baking powder in our kitchens and if you are reading this
blog - you most likely have unbleached all purpose flour (King Arthur) in your cupboard as well.
This recipe uses butter - pure unsalted delicious butter.

This is one of those recipes where the butter flavor is the star.
Often I am asked by students "when do you use a premium butter and when is a regular unsalted
butter OK to use in your baking?"
When butter is the predominant flavor - spend up and get the good stuff.
Recipes like biscuits, pie crust. croissants, puff pastry, quick puff pastry and butter cookies (like shortbread) are all better with made with premium butter - after you have mastered the technique of that particular recipe.
Use a supermarket butter when the recipe has lots of sugar, chocolate and other flavors - cakes,
muffins and brownies are good examples of where I would use Trader Joe's unsalted butter.

In these biscuits, I used unsalted  Plugra which is a delicious European Style butter.
Another one of my favorite brands of butter is Challenge Butter.
Challenge Butter is local to California and never uses milk from cows that have been treated with rbST.
Kerrygold is another delicious choice but needs to be cubed and frozen first. Kerrygold cows are grass fed which is why their butter softens up so quickly.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and add it to your repertoire - it will surely make your loved ones smile
to see hot biscuits on the table for dinner.
BTW - they are also great with sausage gravy. Yum!
P.S. You can easy cut the recipe in half - that's why I wrote it in grams. :)
Happy Baking!
Colette

Flaky Buttery Biscuits
     Oven 400 conventional or 375 convection
      Pan Prep:
Line a sheet tray with parchment paper
Makes 18 2” biscuits

450g unbeached all purpose flour
8g salt
22g granulated sugar
18g baking powder
180g unsalted butter – cubed and keep cold
270g (ml) milk  Sift all the dry ingredients together.

1.       Cut in the butter – the mixture should look like corn flakes.  A plastic bowl scraper works great for this.

2.       Add the milk.
3.       Combine working the flour into the liquid, push the liquid into the flour with the bowl scraper,
against the side of the bowl. This is how you build layers.

The mixture will begin to come together and there should be no floury residue on the bottom of the bowl.


4.       Transfer the dough to a work surface andf fold a few times until it comes together – do not overwork.
5.       Roll out the dough to 1/2-5/8” thickness. Cut with a floured cutter and place the biscuits on the lined sheet pan.

6.       Chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up the fat.
7.       Brush the tops with a little milk – this keeps the crust soft.
8.       Bake at 400 until the tops are light brown – start checking in 12-14 minutes.
9.       They should be golden brown and delicious. Make sure to pick one up carefully – make sure they feel light.
Leftover biscuits can be frozen for up to one month. Thaw at room temperature for several hours and then refresh in a 350 degree oven for 5-7 minutes before serving.