Wednesday, 6 May 2009

King Arthur Flour's Barleycorn Biscuits and a Product Review

In my efforts to put new and interesting whole grains on the table, I came across this recipe for barleycorn biscuits. The King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Book, a treasure trove of good recipes, described them as "beyond tasty". Well, what more incentive do I need?
I did the entire recipe in the food processor, gently. First the dry, then gently cutting in the butter, and finally adding the wet in as few pulses as possible. The dough was much wetter than regular biscuit dough, but as a bread baker I have learned to resist the impulse to start adding flour. I just turned it out onto a lightly floured board, gently shaped into a circle, patted it out and, using my bench scraper, cut it into 8 wedges.
The resulting biscuits were amazingly light. They were like cornbread but lighter, not at all how I imagined. This recipe is a definite keeper.
I just served them with dinner, with a dilled whipped butter. Yum.

Barleycorn Biscuits
King Arthur Flour, Whole Grain Baking
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3/4 cup barley flour
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole yellow cornmeal
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk
Melted butter or milk for brushing the tops (optional)
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Preheat the oven to 400f. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flours, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. With a fork, two knives, a pastry cutter, or a food processor, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Whisk together the egg and buttermilk in a small bowl or large measuring cup. Add, all at once, to the flour mixture, and blend lightly and quickly with a fork until the mixture is evenly moistened.
Turn the dough out onto at floured work surface, and using a bench knife or dough scraper, fold the dough over on itself three or four times until it comes together.
Pat the dough out until it's 3/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into squares or rounds with a 2 inch biscuit cutter and transfer the biscuits to the prepared baking sheet. Stack the scraps on top of each other, fold them as you did for the original dough, and pat out and cut again. Brush the tops with melted butter or milk for a more pronounced golden colour, if desired. Bake until the tops are golden brown, 20-23 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm.
Product Review - Febreze Destinations Collection
Now that Spring has sprung I am finally able to keep some windows open overnight, allowing in long-missed fresh air. Of course the very first night, our neighbourhood was "visited" by a Skunk-de-Pew! This seemed like an opportune time to try out the new Febreze products that Procter and Gamble had sent to me.

These are the products that I tried out over the last few weeks:
Febreze Air Effects in Moroccan Bazaar, Brazilian Carnaval, and Hawaiian Aloha
Febreze Candles in Brazilian Carnaval and Hawaiian Aloha
Febreze NOTICEables Starter Kit
Febreze NOTICEables Single Refills in Moroccan Bazaar and Hawaiian Aloha
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This line of products represents the destinations line, to take you away to a different place.
Ok, I don't know how transported I was, but let's break it down.
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Living in a bungalow semi means that half my square footage is underground. This is ok with me, I like the cozy feeling in my basement, and it is nice and cool in the summer. However, it can smell like a basement and this is where I like to have an air freshener. This is the second time I have tried Febreze NOTICEables, and I am already sold on the fact that they are noticeable and the scent truly lasts for quite a long time. Of the three new scents, my favourite would have to be the Moroccan Bazaar. It has a spiciness that you don't usually find in an air freshener, which goes much better with my earth mama, shabby chic living room style. The other two, I find to be more flowery and not to much different than the norm, as far as scents go.
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The candles I do like in all the scents, I think it is really nice to have a scented candle going in the powder room whenever you have guests over. Now, I am not sure how long the candles and room spray are supposed to last, but I would say that the scent is no longer very noticeable the next day.
I am not one to use a spray on a regular basis, but they are good to have around, "just in case". I keep one in each bathroom. (Of which I have only two, this is not a big house!)
As a favour to Procter and Gamble, I would also like to pass along this information about a new charitable contest in Canada:
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During the summer months, community centres become an important social hub, and as a source of constant activity, demand a thorough cleaning before each season. Out of hundreds of private, non-profit community centres, five centres from southeastern Ontario and four centres from Quebec have been selected to compete for a chance to win a refreshing clean makeover.
One centre from each region will win a top-to-bottom clean-up session from a team of professional cleaners and a three-month supply of products from Mr. Clean, Swiffer, Dawn, Cascade and Febreze.
Sponsored by P&G, the Simply Clean Communities Challenge runs until May 31st, calling on residents to vote for their community centre of choice to receive a spring clean-up from top to bottom.
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You can learn about participating community centres and cast your vote at http://www.simplycleancommunities.ca/
In addition to the grand prize, P&G will also be donating a basket of cleaning products valued at approximately $100 to all other community centres participating in the Simply Clean Communities Challenge.
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Feel free to follow the link and cast your vote!