August 23, 2013

Tea biscuit attempt number three - inventing a recipe and closing in

UPDATE! 9/12/2013 Tea biscuit attempt number four

The search continues for the recipe for Termini's tea biscuits.  This time I invented a recipe of my own.  While I have made up my own recipes for cooking, the is the first time I've invented a recipe for baking.  This is tea biscuit attempt number three, and these are much closer than both previous attempts.

These tea biscuits are still bordering on savory, rather than sweet.  They need more sugar.  There is definitely vanilla extract in the tea biscuits.  I suspected it before, but having baked a batch with it in there, I'm sure now.  There needs to be more.  A tablespoon may already seem like a lot, but it's going into a dough with five cups of flour.  The dough is a mess.  Next time, I'll try chilling it, like I do with any other sticky, messy dough.  It usually makes it easier to work with.  I need to find a way to make the dough more workable.  Adjustments will be made.  I may cut back on the milk.  Oh, and Termini's tea biscuits have raisins in them.  I have to add those in a future attempt as well.  These aren't right, but I feel like I'm moving in the right direction.  I got eleven biscuits out of this recipe.  

5 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
pinch salt
1 1/2 tbs. baking powder
1 stick butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
1 1/3 cups milk
4 eggs
1 tbs. vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
2.  Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse to mix together.  Add the chilled butter and pulse to cut the butter into the flour mixture.
3.  In a medium bowl, mix milk with three eggs.  Make sure the eggs are thoroughly mixed with the milk.  Then add the vanilla extract.  (I do all this in a liquid measuring cup instead of a bowl.)  
4.  Transfer the flour mixture to a large bowl.  Make a well in the center and pour the milk mixture into the well.  Use a fork to bring the dough together.
5.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed it together.  Pat it out to about an inch thick.  (It's too sticky to roll.)  Use a three inch biscuit cutter to cut out biscuits and transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  
6.  Beat the final egg for an egg wash.  Brush the top of the biscuits with the egg wash and bake for 14 minutes, until the tops are browned and the biscuits are baked through.  Transfer biscuits to a wire rack to cool.  

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