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Tips for a Greasy, Pork-Heavy New Year’s Breakfast

January 1st, 2018

If You Were Drunk Last Night, Don’t Read This

Happy new year, I guess. I don’t get excited about this holiday. I hate staying up late, I don’t like noise, and I don’t get drunk any more. Also, it’s depressing to be reminded that everything we do here on earth is fleeting. I’ve been watching Turner Classic Movies, and some of the films had New Year’s scenes with people singing Auld Lang Syne (an annoying song that makes no sense). It was disturbing to realize all the people in those songs were dead. “Let’s think of all our great memories! Enjoy the moment! Get drunk and enjoy yourself, because we’re still young! Oh, wait. It’s 2017, and we’re all under the ground, rotting in wooden boxes.”

It seems like Americans have a talent for ruining the beginnings of things. We ruin weddings with bachelor parties and prostitutes. We ruin Sundays and church by getting drunk and fornicating on Saturday nights. We defile Lent with Mardi Gras. It makes sense that we would screw up every new year by starting it with a hangover. Nothing says “hope” like waking up next to someone you don’t know, wondering if you have VD, and having to vomit in a wastebasket.

But I do hope the year turns out well for everyone.

Instead of talking about the worst holiday of the year, let me give you a belated Christmas gift. I have been working on my biscuit recipe again, and today it paid off. I read up a lot to get a better idea of exactly what each ingredient does, and I came up with some new ideas.

INGREDIENTS

1 3/4 cups biscuit flour (not self-rising)
1/4 cup starch
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder (not soda)
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbps. bacon grease
2 tbsp. butter

The starch is there to reduce the gluten.

I wanted to add flavor to the biscuits, so I tried a cheat that works with croissants. I burned some butter in the microwave, and then I poured it off of the burnt milk solids and chilled it in the freezer. A lot of the flavor in baked goods comes from butter which has started to burn. Store butter is generally low on flavor, so it needs help. Even the fancy European butter is disappointing compared to fresh-churned.

I put some butter in a Pyrex cup and covered it. Then I nuked it until it started to burn. I poured off 2 tablespoons of the liquid and froze it, and I added it to 2 tbsp. of chilled bacon grease from really excellent bacon.

You mix the dry ingredients (well), and then you cut the fat into them. You can use a hand pastry blender or a fork, but it seems like it works out to be less aggravation if you use your fingers. Start your sink running before you cut the fat, and then you won’t have to get fat on the faucet handle when you wash your hands afterward.

Mix the buttermilk in. You may not need all of it. You want a dough which is wet enough to roll out and so on, but you don’t want it mushy and sticky. As far as I know.

Roll the dough out so it’s a little over half an inch high, and cut out your biscuits. Bake for 14 minutes in a 425-degree oven. I put a sheet of foil on the rack below the cookie sheet to keep the bottoms of the biscuits from burning.

When they come out, brush the tops lightly with salted butter. McDonald’s does this. It’s one of the reasons their biscuits are so good.

These were great. I think part of the reason is that nuking the butter removes the water. Water takes the flakiness out of biscuits.

I used the top of a Mason jar to cut the biscuits out. I need a bigger cutter, but a jar is acceptable.

Preparing the fat is a pain. If you make biscuits a lot, I suppose you could prepare portions of burned butter and bacon grease and freeze them in foil.

I suspect that 450 is a better baking temperature than 425.

I made biscuits several times this week, because I had been having biscuit failures, and it was bothering me. Now maybe I’ll be able to forget about biscuits for a while.

On December 31, bake a bunch of these instead of getting drunk.

7 Responses to “Tips for a Greasy, Pork-Heavy New Year’s Breakfast”

  1. John Bowen Says:

    Or you could mix equal weights self rising flour with heavy cream and put it in a Belgian waffle maker. Tastes like a biscuit, holds gravy like a waffle.

    You’re welcome, although your waistline might not appreciate me.

  2. Steve H. Says:

    You should be designing weapons for the army.

  3. Monty James Says:

    Happy New Year.

  4. Steve Olsen Says:

    I’m new to the whole cooking/baking thing, mostly doing a lot of reading, but if I understand you correctly, what you did with the butter is called “clarified butter” or possibly “ghee.” I don’t know how much it gets used in baking but it’s kinda common in certain types of cooking.

  5. Steve H. Says:

    It’s clarified butter, but I went further and made sure the milk solids were burned.

  6. lauraw Says:

    What kind of starch? Like, tapioca or refined potato starch?

  7. Mike Says:

    You all get snow/ice? The talking heads were saying some areas in FL got some ice. 4 or 5 inches here. Judging by the way folks act you would think it was 2 feet. I will observe from the comfort of our well heated home.
    Hope the new year is good to you and yours.

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