I’m embarrassed to show you my copy of How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.
This photo kind of airbrushes its most grimy and tattered flaws. Believe me, it’s not pretty. It is, however, well-used and well-loved. It is not an infallible collection of recipes, but it is steadfast and approachable and easygoing—things I look for in friendships. So, it’s like an old friend, I guess.
My old friend comes in a new form these days. I can’t lug my book around to the market or the waiting room or the park, but I can browse and plan ahead on the go with my app, and I like that. Still, I love to return to the pages that we’ve worn clear out of the binding, like page 251, Yogurt or Buttermilk Biscuits. They are not the very best biscuits I’ve ever had, but they are the ones we almost always make and enjoy. The simple ingredient list—all-purpose flour, butter, yogurt—are things I almost always have on hand, and we can go from craving biscuits to slathering warm biscuits with jam in under half an hour. Thanks, old friend.
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything
2 cups all purpose flour (I have used a mix of wheat and white with great results)
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons of butter (Bittman calls for 2-5 tablespoons, we always use five)
7/8 cup plain yogurt (I always use full-fat yogurt. If it’s greek or other thick yogurt, I thin it with a bit of milk)
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl and cut in butter until you have a coarse meal (this could also be done in a food processor). Mix in yogurt until a soft ball forms (add more flour if it’s too sticky to handle)
Pat or roll out dough so it is about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into rounds (I use a glass or jar). Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 7-10 minute, depending on the size of the biscuits, until golden. Best served right out of the oven.