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Wild West Trail Recipes

Cowboy Brown Biscuits


3 tablespoons each flour and cornmeal, mixed, for sprinkling
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, lard, or solid
vegetable
shortening, chilled and cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with the flour and cornmeal.

In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, with no large chunks of butter. If the butter gets very soft, refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Add the buttermilk, stirring just to moisten all the ingredients. The dough will be moist, then stiffen while stirring. It should be slightly shaggy, but not sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently about 10 times, or just until the dough holds together smoothly.

Roll or pat out the dough into a rectangle about 1 1/4 inches thick. Take care not to add too much flour, or the biscuits will be tough.

Cut with a floured knife into 16 equal squares. Place on the baking sheet, no more than 1/2 inch apart. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Let rest a few minutes and serve hot.

Variation: Add 1 cup dried blueberries or chopped pitted dates to the dough.

Makes 16 large biscuits


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