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Sept 2009 COTM: SOUTHERN Baking

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September 2009 Cookbooks of the Month:

SCREEN DOORS AND SWEET TEA: Recipes and Tales from a Southern Cook, by Martha Hall Foose (SDST)
&
BON APPETIT Y'ALL: Recipes and Tales from Three Generations of Southern Cooking, by Virginia Willis (BAYA)

Please post your full-length reviews of recipes for all baking and desserts, biscuits, rolls, breads(sweet and savory), etc here. Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing and the book or author and page number, if possible, as well as any modifications you made to the recipe. This thread includes:

BAYA
Chapter 9: Biscuits, Rolls and Breads
Chapter 11: Desserts

SDST
Chapter 6: Hot from the Oven
Chapter 7: The Sweetest Things

A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

Happy Cooking!

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  1. My second shot at the Mayo Biscuits in BAYA (sorry, dont' have the page in front of me). First time we liked them, although they looked nothing like the ones pictured but thought they lacked salt. So this time around I added just a tad of salt (which I think helped) and some chives. They were fine, but somehow fairly leaden. I think in the end this isn't the bisquit recipe for me. This could well be my fault, as I"m still very new to making biscuits.

    2 Replies
    1. re: LulusMom

      Hi LLM.....
      Below is a link to my report of the BAYA Mayonnaise Biscuits I made on 31 May. There are about 4 reply posts after the initial report...

      Mine didn't look like the ones in the book either but they were light and tasty. I think biscuits need minimum mixing and handling. I planned on making them again this week-end. We'll see how they come out this time.

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6164...

      1. re: Gio

        I hope you have better luck than I did. I was careful to keep the handling/mixing to a minimum. Maybe somehow the salt toughened them up a bit? I love how easy these are to make, but in the end they're just not doing the trick for us.

    2. Dark Secrets - SDST pg. 216

      Dang! I messed these up! THey went together easy enough. I cooked it for slightly longer than 30 minutes (like 32 minutes, haha) and the batter looked like it had set and I shook the dish gently and the batter didn't move. So I took it out of the oven and let it cool as instructed. After 10 minutes I ran a knife around the edge and inverted them onto a baking sheet. I sprinkled them with sugar and began to cut them but they just don't seem done in the middle of the batch. But I was too far along to run them back in the oven. So I started putting them on my serving dish and the instructions say sugared side down but the "top" doesn't look that pretty. Anyway, they taste good but I needed to cook these longer. Oh well, onto Slow, Low Oven Ribs (SDST pg. 112).

      1. Meme's Cobbler pg 253

        I posted about this before on the earlier BAYA thread...
        This is the easy-peasy cobbler recipe I grew up with. (In my family it was known as Cuppa-Cuppa-Cuppa-Cobbler!)

        The big revelation for me is that VW has you pour the melted butter into the batter, mix it up, then pour it back in the skillet. My family's version had you dump the batter on top of the melted butter. It doesn't sound like a big difference, but it is!

        Tonight, I made a half recipe of it in my itty-bitty cast iron skillet. (DH bought this little skillet for me a few months ago and I LOVE it! Perfect for half recipes of cornbread, cobbler, and other stuff! Just the thing for just the two of us.)

        So, a half recipe of the cobbler and a little two cup baggie of my recently frozen GA peaches made for the perfect sweet treat tonight. I always sprinkle a good bit of demerara sugar on top, just to add that little extra crunchy sweetness.

        I wish I'd thought to take a picture. It was really pretty before we dug into it! :-)

        5 Replies
        1. re: onrushpam

          Easy-peasy sounds like a recipe for me, given the ongoing craziness in my life. Can you please explain what difference the butter technique makes? Is it just for ease or does it affect the outcome somehow?

          ~TDQ

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            Combining the butter into the batter makes it more uniform and it puffs up and over the fruit more than when I just pour the batter into the butter.

            1. re: onrushpam

              Ah, that does sound like a good trick, then!

              Thank you!

              ~TDQ

          2. re: onrushpam

            I have one of those mini iron skillets. that sounds like a great way to put it to use!

            1. re: onrushpam

              Meme's Cobbler, BAYA pg 253

              I made it with peaches tonight -- delicious! I'm actually a fan of biscuit-type cobblers, and this is more a sweet, buttery cake, but delicious nonetheless.

              The business about melting the butter in the pan then pouring it into the batter seemed rather messy. At least with my pan, I ended up with a greasy bottom from the butter running down the sides and spreading around. If I make it again, I'd be inclined to heat just a tablespoon or two of butter in the pan, just enough to swirl around and coat the pan, then melt the remaining butter in the microwave for stirring into the batter.

            2. Simply Cake - SDST, pg. 220

              Mmmm.....cake. This is a great recipe. It is very rich and not overly sweet. I followed the recipe exactly even though I normally keep 2% milk instead of whole. I bought whole milk specifically. I ate a piece of this cake for breakfast this morning. Don't tell anyone.

              Oh and I don't have a stand mixer so I used my hand mixer. It was smoking when I was done. I'll borrow a stand mixer next time. Haha.

              My copy of Bon Appetit, Y'all arrived today and I'll be cooking from it this weekend. I'm slightly intimidated by it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Boudleaux

                Cake for breakfast? It must have been really good. I'll have to look into that.... I don't have much of a sweet tooth but since you say it's not too sweet, I may very well like it. I'll letcha know.

                Don't be intimidated by BAY'A. It's really a very user friendly book and the finished dishes are wonderful.

              2. Cornbread...

                My tried/true recipe is exactly the same as the BAYA one, except I use equal amounts of baking soda and baking powder. I started out tonight, determined to try it with just baking soda. I couldn't do it. I tossed in the baking powder.

                So can anybody explain what difference I might've expected, had I been brave enough to do without the baking powder?

                1. Hushpuppies BAYA pg 213

                  I really liked the lightness of these, which I think comes from the beer. (My usual recipe calls for buttermilk.) If you don't have beer, I think Club Soda would also work.

                  I made a half recipe for just the two of us and they are all gone. :-)

                  The ingredient list doesn't specify the amount of salt, but the instructions say to use a teaspoon. I used a half teaspoon of kosher salt and they were maybe just a little too salty. I'll probably use less next time.