Monday, February 9, 2009

Quick Breads

This is the oldest cook book I have. It's a bulletin of the Agricultural College Extension Office, The Ohio State University reprinted in June, 1940. The faded stamp on the cover is Elizabeth Wallrabenstein's signature. She was the Home Demonstration Agent for Oak Harbor, Ohio.

On page 5 there is this interesting illustration of balls of flour. The caption reads, "Fig. 1--Gluten balls from equal weights of flour: (a) bread flour; (b) family flour; (c) pastry flour; (d) cake flour.

Turn to page 8 and you'll see this picture of various types of egg beaters: (a) rotary type; (b) whisk type; (c) turbine type. I've yet to find the turbine type.

Here's how to form biscuits. Notice how perfect everything looks--there's no messy flour on the board, the dough circle is perfectly round and the biscuits are all consistent! I think the most important thing I've learned over the years is that my results are never, ever going to look like the one in the picture. If you can get over that fact you're well on your way to becoming a really good cook!

Biscuits: (a) Biscuit from lightly kneaded dough. Note symmetrical shape, smooth crust and large volume. (b) Biscuit from dough which has not been kneaded. Note small volume and coarser appearance. (c) Drop biscuit. Note irregular shape which is characteristic of this type of biscuit.


  1. Now, Amy, I thought I taught you how to make biscuits....tsk, tsk! You must not have been listening when I was talking! lol

    I remember Mom beating egg whites with a beater like that first one in the picture. She could really make them fluffy for her lemon meringue pies. I tried it a couple of times, but couldn't hack it.

  2. Susan, As of tonight I have officially mastered biscuits! I made a batch tonight using a 50/50 blend of cake flour and AP flour. You would have been proud of me! I even buttered the tops of them and they were scrumptious! I tried to save one for you but the boys devoured them.

    It's a lot of work to beat egg whites by hand. I tried it once but didn't have enough patience so I got out the stand mixer and let it do the work for me! LOL

  3. I have a turbine type egg beater that I got for free from a church tag sale. Thanks for i.d. the type of beater it is, as I had no clue.
    It's slightly different in design than what is pictured but the same concept. I have been collecting old kitchen utencils (pre '50's stainless)that aren't useable inorder to fashion a wreath.


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