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I don’t do many recipes because I cook very much with my senses and less with a recipe. I judge things by smell and by looking. I never use a timer or even think about time. I know cookies are done, merely by looking-are they getting brown, do they smell like cookies, have they spread enough. I can tell meat is done, simply by poking. It’s just not in my nature to use anything that looks like a recipe. Which isn’t helpful when someone asks me how I cooked a dish. There are however a few basics that I use, staple recipes that carry me far. Meaning. It’s a basic recipe that I adapt to however I’m feeling, or not at all if that’s the way I want to roll! I thought I would start a ‘Anything but basic’ series. To give those who love recipes a base to start with. For people who can’t cook, or don’t like to, these are also great starter pieces. I’ll explain more as we go!

Today’s anything but basic, is biscuits. I love biscuits because you can turn them into anything for any meal!

Basic Biscuits.

  • 2 1/4 cup Flour (I use all-purpose)
  • 2 TBSP Sugar (I use cane)
  • 1 TBSP Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Cold Butter
  • 1 Cup of Cold Milk

What you’re going to do!

Pre-heat your oven to about 350. In a large bowl place the dry ingredients. Using a box grater (no joke!) grate in your 1/2 Cup of cold butter. Then gently mix the butter with the dry ingredients. Slowly, slowly slowly adding just a bit at a time, pour in your milk. Pour a bit, mix. Pour a bit, mix. Just until it comes together and can be formed into a ball. You may use all the milk, you may not. You may need more flour, you may not. Everyone’s flour and milk are different. So you have to play! if it feels wet, add more flour. Too dry? Add more milk! Once it comes together. Place some flour on your surface and either pat it out, or roll it out. You’re going to make about 8 Biscuits here. So technically you’re supposed to roll out to about 1 cm thickness. But who has time to know what that even looks like?? So just roll or pat out. Cut with your choice of cutter and place on a baking sheet. Ok? You can’t really make them too big, but you can make them too thin! Sometimes this recipe only makes 6 biscuits for me. Cook until your house smells amazing, the biscuits have risen, they are golden, the bottoms brown and they are firm. Maybe 15 minutes? Depends on your oven!

So you have your basic dough. You can happily leave as is, and eat plain. Or maybe double cream and some jam?

From basic to versatile.

  1. Omit the sugar add about 1/4 tsp of Cayenne to your dry ingredients. Then grate in cheese of your choice after the butter has been mixed in. I have used cheddar, fontina, goat, mozzarella. You can also add some herbs in the mix if you have them on hand! Great for chilli
  2. Instead of patting out the dough to make biscuits, roll out. Until almost paper-thin. Then spread with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up and cut. Place each cut in a muffin tin (easier to cook the ‘buns’) Top with icing when they come out. Great for Breakfast!
  3. Add some lemon rind and place fresh blueberries on top once they are cut.Great for snacks or sweet treat or breakfast!
  4. Omit the sugar. Mix in some herbs and cut sun-dried tomatoes. Great for brunch
  5. Omit the sugar. Add grated cheese and ham. Great for breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner!
  6. Put on top of chicken pot pie!

Once you get used to the basic dough, the world is truly yours. You can put in any flavour combination that you feel. What ever you have on hand use! There has been weeks that the kids and I  have eaten biscuits with almost every meal. It’s truly one of those recipes that you can play with and is almost fool-proof!

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