In case you haven't noticed, I'm basically a lazy cook.
Not so lazy that I will stoop to using prepared or processed foods, but still, lazy.
I like things that are easy.
I have a food processor, but it's too much effort to get it out so I never use it.
Well, if I used it I'd have to wash it, wouldn't I?
It's much easier washing a knife.
The same with my big stand mixer with the dough hook. If and when I make bread (which is rare, these days) I never bother hauling it in from the pantry – too much work. I just knead by hand…. I can use the upper body work-out, anyway.
One could say that I'm just substituting manual labor for efficient, mechanical labour, but by the time I get the equipment out, set it up, use it, wash it and put it back, it actually takes more time.
I was watching the Barefoot Contessa the other day (yes, we get cooking shows) while making my cranberry bread, and she used 5 food processors to make her 'quick, easy little picnic lunch in half an hour'.
Now, she has 5 food processors plus a staff to clean them. If I were to try that at home I would be spending more time washing the food processor than cooking.
For all of you cooks that are happy using a bowl and a spoon let me say one word: Biscuits.
I like the idea of baking powder biscuits: One can go from the question: 'Can we have biscuits with this?', to buttering the biscuits, in 30 minutes.
The reality of baking powder biscuits is a bit different, however. They can be light and wonderful when hot from the oven…. Or hard as hockey pucks.
They're rarely / never good the next day, so, for us a small batch is also important.
These are two of the easiest, best biscuits I've made to date.
And I've been practicing.
They don't require any kneading or cutting – the less one handles a biscuit the more tender they are.
These are 'drop biscuits'.
These are so easy anyone can make them.
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) shredded cheese
1 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup milk
Combine everything except milk in a bowl and stir well to combine.
Add milk and stir gently until just combined.
Dividing the dough into 6ths, spoon onto nonstick or lightly greased baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes at 400F (200C) oven or until lightly browned. Remove and serve immediately – with butter.
1/2 cup white all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbs butter
2 tbs honey
1/3 cup milk
Combine flours, oatmeal, baking powder and salt in a bowl and stir well to combine. Add the butter and cut in with a pastry cutter, fork or 2 knives until well blended.
In another bowl whisk egg lightly. Add milk, honey and whisk lightly. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir gently until just combined.
Dividing the dough into 6ths, spoon onto nonstick or lightly greased baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes at 400F (200C) oven or until lightly browned. Remove and serve immediately – also with butter.
For all of you hyper-ambitious cooks… Try these anyway. They may be easy, but they are delicious!
Tomorrow (drum roll, please) will be a proper bread recipe – the Bread Baking Babes are at it again…. And I made it!