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United States of America

The United States is a country of 50 states located in North America, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean on the eastern seaboard to the Pacific Ocean on the west coast.  Hawaii was the last state to join the union in 1959, extending U.S. territory into the waters of the Pacific.  The nation’s capital is located in Washington, D.C.—a special political jurisdiction on the Potomac River bordering the states of Virginia and Maryland—while New York City serves as a global financial center and cultural capital. The U.S. is generally divided into four geographical regions, celebrated in the famous songs “America the Beautiful” and “This Land Is Your Land”:  Northeast, South, Midwest, and West.  Each region contains thriving metropolitan areas, as well as majestic natural beauty showcasing everything from mountains and deserts to pristine beaches and the Great Lakes.  They also feature unique cuisine, cultural practices, and even different accents and idioms.  National symbols include the bald eagle as the national bird, the Statue of Liberty as the icon of democracy, and “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem.  While “In God We Trust” was adopted as the official motto in 1956, the Founding Fathers associated with the American Revolution used the Latin phrase E pluribus unum when the Great Seal of the United States was created in 1782 as the national coat of arms.

 

E pluribus unum—translated “Out of many, one”—is perhaps one of the best ways to describe what it means to be an American.  With all her ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity pulling from all corners of the globe, she is a people united by the common values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These treasured ideals are enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, which was officially adopted on July 4, 1776, and marks our national birthday.

Breaksfast Biscuits

Serves 6

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Ingredients 

  • 2 cups (250 grams) all purpose flour (if using dutch flour add 2 Tablespoons per 1 cup)

  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 tablespoon fine sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter - very cold unsalted butter

  • ¾ cup (177 ml) buttermilk or whole milk


 

Instructions

  1. For best results, chill your butter in the freezer for 10-20 minutes before beginning this recipe. It's ideal that the butter is very cold for light, flaky, buttery biscuits.

  2. Preheat the oven to 220 and line a cookie sheet with nonstick parchment paper. Set aside.

  3. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Set aside.

  4. Remove your butter from the refrigerator and either cut it into your flour mixture using a pastry cutter or (preferred) use a box grater to shred the butter into small pieces and then add to the flour mixture and stir.

  5. Cut the butter or combine the grated butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

  6. Add milk, use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir until combined (don't over-work the dough).

  7. Transfer your biscuit dough to a well-floured surface and use your hands to gently work the dough together. If the dough is too sticky, add flour until it is manageable. 

  8. Once the dough is cohesive, fold in half over itself and use your hands to gently flatten layers together. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and fold in half again, repeating this step 5-6 times but taking care to not overwork the dough.

  9. Use your hands (do not use a rolling pin) to flatten the dough to 1" thick and lightly dust a 2 3/4" round biscuit cutter with flour. 

  10. Making close cuts, press the biscuit cutter straight down into the dough and drop the biscuit onto your prepared baking sheet.

  11. Repeat until you have gotten as many biscuits as possible and place less than 1/2" apart on the baking sheet. 

  12. Once you have gotten as many biscuits as possible out of the dough, gently re-work the dough to get out another biscuit or two until you have at least 6 biscuits.

  13. Bake on 425F for 12 minutes or until tops are beginning to just turn lightly golden brown.

  14. If desired, brush with melted salted butter immediately after removing from the oven. Serve warm and enjoy.

 

* I like to dust the top of my biscuits fresh out of the oven with honey butter.  Mix melted butter and honey (½ to ½)  and brush on the tip of biscuits.