Flaky Squash Biscuits Makes 20-24 biscuits
Delicate, sweet and vibrant in color, these tender biscuits pair well with winter stews and soups. For dairy-free biscuits, substitute margarine and soy milk for the butter and cow’s milk.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Baking Time: 18 minutes
2 cups unbleached white flour, or 1 cup unbleached and 1 cup whole-wheat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold butter
1 cup purèed squash (delicata, pumpkin or butternut)
2 teaspoons honey
1-4 tablespoons low-fat milk
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into small pieces and work into flour mixture with a pastry cutter until it’s the size of small peas.
2. Mix honey into purèed squash, then stir into flour mixture. Add enough milk to make a soft dough.
3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. With your hands, flatten it out to about a 1/2-inch thickness. Fold the dough in half as you would close a book. Rotate dough 90 degrees, pat it out, and fold it again. Repeat this twice, dusting with flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking to your fingers. Work quickly to prevent the butter from becoming overly soft.
4. After the last folding, roll out dough to about 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into 1 1/2-inch rounds. To shape the biscuits, form your thumb and first finger into a crescent shape. Hold the biscuit upright in this crescent with your fingers curled around the cut edges. Rotate and gently squeeze the biscuit to give it more height.
Note: Shaping makes a marked difference in the lightness of the biscuits. If you simply cut them and place them on a baking sheet, they’ll still work, but they won’t be as good.
5. Place the biscuits closely together in a 9-inch square baking pan. Bake until puffed and very lightly browned, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve piping hot.