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  • Writer's picturecoffeeandwoodsmoke

january days (and teff & oat biscuits)

There were days And there were days And there were days I know When all we ever wanted Was to learn and love and grow

— The Grateful Dead, Days Between

January days in a state of in-between.

In-between the frenetic pace of the holidays and the longer days of spring; in-between relief that the busyness is over and restlessness with another grey sky day.

In a state of tension, embracing the relative mildness of this January while waiting on edge for the next Arctic front to descend. Feeling somewhat guilty about appreciating it with the nagging concern about what it portends for next wildfire season.

Walking gingerly on the ice crust that forms on the ever-thinning (yet ever-present) snowpack, melting and re-freezing each day since falling last fall, when we thought a heckuva winter was starting.

In the stillness, noticing: that the sun is rising a few minutes earlier and setting a few minutes later each day.

Turning toward the sun.

Teff & Oat Biscuits

If you’re gluten-free, you may have heard the news about how rice–and to an even greater degree, rice-based products–contain troubling levels of inorganic arsenic. I’ve had a hard time finding products, and even recipes, that don’t contain rice. So I’ve been experimenting a bit, tweaking old recipes and trying to make them rice-free. This has been one of my favorites so far: drop biscuits made with teff and oat flours. The recipe was inspired by the butter biscuits from Alice Medrich’s “Flavor Flours” cookbook. Topped with some homemade marmalade (try Alton Brown’s recipe for a quick-and-easy version), it’s a delicious breakfast or snack. Enjoy!

Ingredients: 130 g ivory teff flour* 130 g oat flour 2 t granulated sugar 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder** 1/2 t salt 1 C heavy cream 1/2 C plain, whole milk yogurt

* Brown teff flour will work too; the final product will just be darker in color. ** This leavening level is for sea level. To make high elevation (5000′), use only 2 tsp powder.

To prepare the dough:

  1. Sift together the teff and oat flours, sugar, powder, and salt in a the bowl of a stand mixer.

  2. Add the heavy cream and salt, and beat with the paddle attachment over low speed for 2-3 minutes, until quite stiff. (The batter will seem loose at first and firm up quite a bit with beating.)

  3. Scoop the dough into a piece of plastic wrap and form into a log approximately one foot long and 2 inches diameter.

  4. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, and preferably overnight.

To bake the biscuits:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  3. Cut the log into 9 equal size pieces and place, evenly spaced, onto the baking sheet.

  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops and bottoms are golden brown.

  5. Serve hot from the oven.

  6. Enjoy!

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