I love making breakfast.
It should make me curl into the fetal position and rock myself, since my mom was Queen of the Rude Awakening. She would wake me up by flickering the bedroom light and singing at the top of her lungs: “Good mornin’, good mornin’! We’ve talked the whole night through, good mornin’, good mornin’ to you-hoo-hoo-hoo-HOOOOOOO!”
Oh, the agony of being an angsty teen and waking up to Debbie Reynolds every morning. Pass the flannel and the black eyeliner!
I wasn’t a morning person until I switched careers and started working at a German bakery. I had to be there, bright-eyed and ready to strudel, at 3:45 a.m. It was very weird to pass the late-night/early-morning party people on the road and realize you were living in their tomorrow, but I liked the solitude of unlocking the bakery door and getting the day started. I’d make a variety of croissants, coffee cakes and breakfast pastries every morning. Cinnamon rolls on the weekends. I’d always set one aside for Jeff, who would drive to my hometown to see me on the weekends. A little bribery never hurt.
Have I made a single cinnamon roll since we got married? Mmmm, no. Mainly because it’s hard to make a single cinnamon roll. You have to make many, many cinnamon rolls. So, I’ll wait until they can be shared. But, I do make breakfast for Jeff every morning. I’ve heard that I’m “ruining it for everyone,” but trust me, this man deserves breakfast. Last night, I was miserable with a sinus headache and the hot-sleeping, and Jeff got up around 3 a.m. to get me a Benadryl. On the way, he stepped in cat puke. So, he had to clean his foot and the floor and then find my Benadryl, which he brought me with a nice, tall glass of extra-cold water full of glorious crushed ice.
This man deserves a hot breakfast.
Now, that breakfast includes biscuits – a new one for me. Before, I was pretty content to buy a sack of frozen ones and rejoice over the convenience, but my mom has thrown down the gauntlet. She says a woman can’t make a decent biscuit before menopause, and I just can’t have that. It’s Debbie Reynolds all over again. So, the pastry blender and the rolling pin are ready to go.
My latest experiment is Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits. Sweet from the brown sugar, tangy from the sour cream, crunchy from the toasted pecans, these things are pretty addictive. If you don’t have a pastry blender and/or rolling pin, you can easily work the butter with your fingertips and pat out the dough with your hands. Just make sure your ingredients are cold, and work quickly.
And remember: “Good mornin’, good mornin’ to you-hoo-hoo-hoo-HOOOOOOO!”
Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits
From Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home to Yours”
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup cake flour)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
- 1/2 cup cold sour cream
- 1/4 cup cold whole milk
- 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans, preferably toasted
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Get out a sharp 2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter, and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
- Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, salt and baking soda together in a bowl.
- Stir in the brown sugar.
- Drop in the butter, and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with the flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly.
- Stir the sour cream and milk together, and pour over the dry ingredients. Grab a fork and gently toss and turn the ingredients together until you’ve got a nice soft dough. Reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick, gentle kneading–3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together.
- Toss in the pecans, and knead another 2 to 3 times to incorporate them.
- Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour, and pat the dough out with your hands or roll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high.
- Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Place them on the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut out as many biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits can be made up to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting–just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.)
- Bake the biscuits for 14 to 18 minutes, or until they are tall, puffed and golden brown. Transfer them to a serving basket.