German Biscuits – a VERY vintage ((and equally delicious)) recipe

One of my favorite things?? — vintage cookbooks! I have a pretty extensive collection, thanks to one of my other favorite things — estate saling. ((PS did you know there is a whole mass of people wondering what’s the correct spelling for garage/estate saling — sale-ing? Some “scholars” actually insist there is no appropriate “hyphen-ing” addition, rather a writer should pen the following “today I went to a few garage sales”. Humphf.))

Back to the biscuits.

I snatched up The Art of German Cooking and Baking by Mrs. Lina Meier; 1909 ed. 1949 many months ago and have been amused by the recipes ever since. I actually keep this cookbook on my nightstand, close by when an unexpected quiet moment arises. This treasure is FULL of recipes that will never ((ever)) be resurrected in my kitchen; dozens of rabbit recipes, numerous ways to cook any animal organ you can imagine & many funky food combinations that make me chuckle and gag all at the same time.

Yep, that’s my kind of entertainment.

image

But tucked in neatly among all of the unmentionables, a bounty of Old World, semi-forgotten treasures await:

  • coffee cake with almond frosting
  • sour cream cake
  • cheese tart
  • chocolate mousse
  • chocolate pudding
  • fudge
  • champagne cream
  • yeast doughnuts
  • many, many more just begging to be brought back to life AND
  • BISCUITS

Let me just say, there are a lot of things I can pass up ((as far as eating goes)) but a hot, buttered, homemade biscuit made by a professional isn’t one of them. Oh, and yes, I am pretty sure, after perusing her cookbook for countless hours, Mrs. Lina Meier is a professional biscuit-maker and all around cook & baker extraordinaire! 

image

Now let’s REALLY talk biscuits. Let me just start off by saying, a few things about this recipe were on the verge of ((if not past the verge of)) confounding. For starters, I really do wonder what 1½¢ worth of yeast looks like. Oh, and that little blurb about beating the dough for 20 minutes – I thought that was for the birds. But there was an overall vagueness to this recipe that really left me feeling like a baking buffoon.

“Mrs. Meier? How long should I set the batter to rise?? While we’re at it, how long should the biscuits rise?? And one last question (well two I suppose), what temperature and for how long should these biscuits bake??”

I am pretty sure she gave me a few German scowls, at least 3 or 4 head shakes and I am almost certain I heard her mutter she would be better off doing it by herself. I will admit, there were at least 3 times I was completely certain that I had botched the entire recipe.

But, as any really good, basic recipe seems to go – these biscuits were AMAZING. In spite of my naivety, inexperience and long list of questions, after 21 minutes in a 375° oven, out popped the most delicious, fluffy, slightly sweet yeast biscuits. Certainly better than I could have EVER hoped for.

Mrs. Meier’s short list of ingredients & limited instructions combined with a few of my inexperienced assumptions produced a budding family favorite. ((stretchy pants here I come))

image

The aroma — it’s as if grandma worked her magic in my kitchen.

image

image

So good & clearly fool-proof ((haha)).

Biscuits
Yields 24
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
21 min
Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
21 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 cups AP flour - divided
  2. 1 pt. milk, lukewarm ((I used 2%)) - divided
  3. 1½ t, AD yeast
  4. lb salted butter, melted
  5. 1 egg
  6. ½ c sugar
  7. ½ t kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 365°. Prepare 2-12 count muffin tins (flour and butter). Add yeast and ¼ c lukewarm milk to a small mixing bowl, stirring to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes. In a medium glass mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of flour with remaining milk, whisking until smooth. Add the yeast dissolved in the milk, stirring to combine. Set to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  2. Next, mix melted butter, egg, sugar salt into the flour/yeast mixture. Beat for 2-5 minutes on high (using a hand mixer).
  3. Add remaining flour, stirring to combine. Roll out dough on a floured surface, to approx 1" thickness. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out 24 biscuits, using remaining scraps to form biscuits. Place biscuits into prepared muffin tins and allow to rise 1-2 hours.
  4. Place biscuits in preheated oven, baking until lightly golden, approx 21-23 minutes.
  5. Serve with softened butter and jam.
Adapted from The Art of German Cooking & Baking
Adapted from The Art of German Cooking & Baking
Food for a Year: http://foodforayear.com/

 

 

 

In true show & tell form: "I am open for questions & comments"

 
%d bloggers like this: