CHEW THIS! Pretzel Biscuits

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Saturday, November 16th 2019 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Pretzel Biscuits
Blaise Doubman

Can anyone else believe that it is almost Thanksgiving! I can’t believe how fast this year has went! Soon we will be venturing into the year 2020! Which blows my mind even more because was it really twenty years ago that everyone was panicking over “Y2K”? Remember that? For those who are not old enough, Google it and you will be amazed. Ha! Looking ahead to Thanksgiving, not to mention Christmas and New Years’, I am already starting to plan the family meals. It is never a bad idea to start planning ahead, especially with the busy lives everyone lives today! For Holiday meals I have a few tips I would like to share with all of you! First off, I always say to start with a list. Make a list of the things you want to prepare and then cross off two or three different things. This will eliminate your stress, give you extra time to put love into the other dishes and will narrow the focus on what you would really like to serve. Secondly, write down the time and date of your Holiday party and start writing down what you need to do to prepare each dish, backwards, so that you will get an idea of when you actually need to start each dish. Thirdly, and maybe the most important, try to find recipes that you can make ahead of time and don’t be embarrassed or afraid to buy some good store-bought side dishes or even desserts! Yes, that is right, everything doesn’t have to be made from scratch. Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, has also given the same advice when it comes to good store-bought side dishes and desserts so if it is good enough for her, it is good enough for me!

When thinking about this year’s Thanksgiving I was researching different combinations of yeast rolls. I wanted something different, something that was easy and something that was a combination of sweet and salty. I thought about coming up with a recipe for salted rosemary yeast rolls, when I caught an episode of Ree Drummond’s show, The Pioneer Woman. She was making pretzel rolls and they looked delicious! Aha! How about making pretzel biscuits? I did some research and discovered that not many appealing recipes exist, so I got busy developing. These are wonderfully soft with the flavor of a pretzel without being too chewy, like a lot of the recent pretzel breads and rolls can be and have a wonderful deep flavor with minimal effort. I highly recommend you stir up a batch of these delicious rolls for something new and fun!

Pretzel Biscuits

These can be made ahead and then warmed up ahead of serving. If keeping these overnight and wanting to heat them the next day for serving, run cold water over the biscuits and place on baking sheet. Bake in 375 F degree oven for about 8 minutes until warmed through. This trick also works with stale or dry breads and rolls.

1 ¼ cups whole milk
1 stick, unsalted butter
1/3 cup, plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups white all-purpose flour
1 package instant dry yeast
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
10 cups water
½ cup baking soda
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Kosher salt, for sprinkling

Start by combining the whole milk, unsalted butter, packed light brown sugar and salt in a large pot over medium high heat. Bring to a near boil, but not boiling, and remove from the heat.

Allow to sit at room temperature to slightly cool for 8 minutes.

Add in the white all-purpose flour, instant dry yeast, baking soda and salt. Stir well. Cover this mixture with a clean, dry kitchen towel and place in a warm spot to rise for 60 minutes.

Divide the dough into 14 equal size balls and place onto a lightly greased baking sheet.

Cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel and place in a warm spot to rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.

In the meantime, place the water in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once at a boil, stir in the baking soda. After the 30 minutes is up, place each ball of dough into the boiling water, working with about five balls at a time, and let them boil for 45 seconds.

After 45 seconds, remove and place back onto the baking sheet. You can form the balls at this point to appear a little “cleaner” by rolling in lightly floured hands, or just leave as they are for a more homemade, “rustic” appearance. This is up to you. I prefer a “rustic” appearance.

Brush each dough ball with the melted butter and sprinkle the tops with the Kosher salt.

Bake, in preheated oven, 14 minutes, until golden brown and delicious.

Ask and Answer: Do you have a family recipe that you would like to share with me, or perhaps a special recipe that you have developed or are “known for”? I would love to hear from you and would love to feature you in an upcoming column, right here! Please reach out and share with me! Visit my contact page located at, https://trailblaise.com/contact for more information.

CHEW THIS! Macy’s Favorite Biscuits

Macy’s Favorite Biscuits

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, April 15th 2018 edition. By: Blaise Doubman

Dog Love, Biscuits and a Broken Heart…
Blaise Doubman

It has taken me countless attempts at this column and I am still writing through tears. Never did I imagine that I would be creating a column “in memory” of my little fur baby Macy. For the past 12 years Macy has been such a strong part of my family that I can hardly remember life before her. Of course, before Macy, came my first fur baby, Chloe. Both Shetland Sheepdogs and both have taught my family and I so much about life. Chloe was a huge part of my childhood, Macy a huge part of my young adulthood. Chloe seen so much life. She seen my brother Damon and I through Elementary School and even into High School. She was a huge part of my brother’s Senior photos and a huge part of my beginnings into real responsibility. So much life happened those 12 years we had Chloe and so much happened the 12 years after that we had Macy. Macy got to see my brother and I both graduate college with Bachelor’s Degrees, watch as my parents and grandparents grew, struggled, celebrated and learned new normals. There was so much life, so much living in those 24 years. 24 years! A lifetime of memories, both good and bad, but always with either Chloe or Macy right by my side. But now, neither.

I always told people that Macy was like my child. Why? Because she really was! She was my “fur baby”. I felt like she was a part of me just as much as I was a part of her. We went though everything together, the good and the bad. When “Blaise the Baker” first really took off I would get messages and comments about what a beautiful baby she was, so gorgeous, glamourous even. People from all over the Country would comment to me when I would post her picture online and talk about how she looked almost like a “living doll baby”. People would send her gifts for her Birthday and Christmas, but that was nothing unusual for her, because for 12 years I had thrown her a Birthday party, complete with cake and presents. She loved the attention. Chloe had more of my brother Damon’s personality. Macy had mine. She always wanted to be center of attention, laughed a lot, smiled, very rambunctious, barked a lot, never wanted to be left by herself and was full of nothing but love…and perhaps was a little bit of a troublemaker.

She was spoiled rotten to the very core. Around her 11th Birthday my family and I noticed the aging process starting to take its toll on her. She started having more and more trouble until on March 31st, 2018 she passed away. My heart will never be the same. I am heartbroken. I still look for her. Listen for her. Worry about her. My family and I are devastated. Things will never be the same I am sure and the only thing getting me though this is my family, friends and the good memories I will always carry with me of my sweet little Macy. So many friends have reached out to me, thank you. So many of my readers, followers and fans have reached out also, thank you. Thank you also to “Country Acre Animal Clinic” of New Castle and thank you to Veterinarians Rob and Nathan Rich who extended the life of Macy and helped her anyway that they could and were always there for us, day or night. As I type this the tears are flowing. I am not sure how my family and I will get through this, but we will. Together. If you are reading this and have a fur baby of your own, please stop right now and give them a hug from me – and from Macy. I love you Macy and I will never forget you. Thank you for everything.

Macy’s Favorite Biscuits

These biscuits can be made ahead and stored in an air tight container for up to two weeks. Feel free to use any type of cookie cutter design you would like, even using special ones for Holidays. If you do not own a cookie or biscuit cutter just use the bottom of a drinking glass. Be sure to flour the cutter, or glass, for easier cutting of biscuits. You can replace the vegetable oil with bacon grease for a richer biscuit. When adding in the broth feel free to use whatever style broth you wish – such as chicken broth or beef broth. The color of the dough will vary slightly.

1 ½ cups instant oatmeal
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup white all-purpose flour
½ cup broth

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine with clean hands, the instant oatmeal, vegetable oil, white all-purpose flour and broth. Once the dough comes together and forms a ball, transfer to a clean and slightly floured surface. Knead a couple of times and then allow to rest for about 5 minutes.

Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough carefully into about ½-inch thickness.

Cut out shapes, using desired cutters, and place carefully onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake, one sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 30 minutes until firm and slightly dry.

Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature before removing.

Ask and Answer: I received a question about why I specify in my recipes, that my sticks of butter, salted and unsalted, are “4 oz”. The reason I specify this is because not all stick butter is 4 oz. Some European or Amish butters are slightly more or less ounces per stick.

Sprite Biscuits

Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” June 18th, 2015

When my Grandma Barbra and I first made these, we both fell in love with them! So tender, delicious and quick – you will not believe there are only 4 ingredients – and perfect for breakfast (with butter and jam) or dinner (with butter and honey). No rolling pin? No problem – for this recipe, one is not required.

Try these today…

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Sprite Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose baking mix, plus more for sprinkling (I use “Jiffy” brand)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Sprite
5 tablespoons salted butter

Start by preheating your oven to 450 degrees F.

Put the five tablespoons of salted butter in a 9-inch square pan and place in oven to melt gently, while you prepare the biscuits. Be sure to keep an eye on it. You want the butter melted – not burnt. If the butter burns, throw it out and start again – with a better eye on it the second time.

In a large bowl, “cut together” the all-purpose baking mix and sour cream with a fork or two knives. Be careful with this part, and have a light hand about it. Do not over-mix the dough – very important.

Next, gently stir in the 1/2 cup of Sprite. Stir until a soft dough forms together.

Take about 1/2 cup of additional all-purpose baking mix, and spread it on a clean work surface, in preparation for rolling out your dough.

Knead and roll the dough in the all-purpose baking mix, until well coated. Use your fingers and hands to pat the dough out. Using a biscuit cutter (or the bottom of a drinking glass – which is what I use), to cut out the biscuits. (This recipe makes nine biscuits total.)

Take the 9-inch square pan from the oven, place the cut biscuits right in the pan, on top of the melted butter and return to the oven, until brown, which will take about 13 minutes total.

Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Enjoy!

CHEW THIS! Cinnamon Roll Biscuits

Cinnamon Roll Biscuits with Cream Cheese Glaze

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, January 4th 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Warm cinnamon roll biscuits are perfect for breakfast or dessert…
Blaise Doubman

Happy New Year! I hope this New Year makes all of your greatest wishes and dreams come true. Around my house, New Year’s is typically celebrated in a small celebration with just close family. It’s always a time to reflect on what has happened throughout the year – and a time to guess what will take place on the road ahead. Also celebrated every New Year’s is the promising of “New Year’s Resolutions”. I’m bad at keeping mine – but I think mine will be different this year. I’m really going to try and keep mine. What is it? I’m going to make the promise to myself to eat breakfast (and a better breakfast) every morning. A promise to myself to start my day right, and this recipe was inspired by it.

I love delicious homemade cinnamon rolls. I always start from the soft interior, and work my way out to the crispy edges. I was in the mood for a cinnamon roll the other day, but wanted to create something that was a little different. I created this recipe after being inspired by seeing something similar in one of my older cookbooks. It’s a cinnamon roll – but in biscuit form – and it couldn’t be any more delicious. Perfect for breakfast…

Cinnamon Roll Biscuits with Cream Cheese Glaze

These can be served with or without the cream cheese glaze and are perfect for either breakfast or dessert. This recipe is very versatile and can easily be doubled, tripled – or even halved. Feel free to roll the dough out with a rolling pin – but it’s not necessary. (I like using my fingers and palms to spread out the dough). If you do use a rolling pin, be sure to move the dough around frequently to prevent sticking.

For the biscuits…
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 stick of butter (4 oz.), cut into cubes
2/3 cup whole milk

For the filling…
¾ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted

For the glaze…
1 tablespoon cream cheese
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
Pinch of salt

Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees F.

Lightly spray two 8 or 9-inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray.

Start by making the filling. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and finely chopped pecans in a small bowl and set aside.

Next, start making the biscuits by combining the all-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and, using your fingertips, combine the butter and dry mixture together until consistency is like pebbles and sand.

Into the mixture, add the milk and stir until a dough is formed.

Place the dough onto a floured working surface and knead about 10 times – until the dough is easily held together, yet flexible. Spread the dough out using your fingers and palms to roughly the size of a large rectangle. (Mine ended up being 9-inches wide and 17-inches long).

Using a pastry brush, brush the 4 tablespoons of melted butter evenly all over the dough, being sure to get every single corner.

Spread the filling all over the dough, evenly, and press it down gently with your hand.

Next, carefully roll the dough into a log, by starting with one of the long ends, and rolling until it meets the other long end. Then, using a sharp floured knife cut the roll into slices, making each one about 1-inch thick.

Finally, place the slices into the prepared cake pans (not overcrowding them – give them a little room) and placing them into the preheated oven for 14 minutes.

While the cinnamon roll biscuits are in the oven, make the glaze by combining the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, milk and pinch of salt into a bowl. Whisk together and set aside until biscuits are ready.

Once biscuits are puffed and golden, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before drizzling on glaze.

Serve warm. Leftovers can be kept, covered, at room temperature for 2 days.