When my young veterinarian friend challenged me to write for seven days about things for which I am grateful, there was such a spontaneous flood of topics in my mind that I could not order them properly and decided not to try. When I think of the big subjects, one greater always occurs to me, and then some small thing will come to mind with butterfly wings which, in beating, swirl the air around me and propagate their effects sometimes somehow to start the hurricane. So what is most important? As translators so often say, it depends on the context.
I found this simple iron pan at a yard sale in Southern California more than thirty years ago. I think I paid two US dollars for it. Maybe less. It has outlasted so much finer functional equipment for cooling and accompanied me on a culinary journey which began in graduate school and continues to this day. Its size and stability facilitate use in so many ways: on the stovetop, in the oven, on a small portable burner or a campfire or on top of some deserving head.
2 cups of spelt flour (about 250-300 g)
1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (about 60 ml) butter
3/4 cup (about 180 ml) milk
Mix or sift the flour and baking powder thoroughly, then mix in the butter thoroughly with a pastry cutter or fork. Then beat together the egg, milk and salt with a whisk, pour the liquid onto the flour mixtures and stir for a bit until everything is thoroughly wetted. Knead the soft dough for about a minute on a board, then form biscuits and bake. For crisper ones, keep the formed dough thin, for fluffier, softer ones form them to about 3/4 of an inch (about 2 cm) thickness.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 450 °F (230 °C).
To ensure greater softness and height for the biscuits, place them in a small iron pan or baking dish rather than on a baking sheet as usual. Serve hot with jam, cheese, olive oil or whatever else sounds good.
Of course this recipe works well with other flour too, such as ordinary or whole grain wheat flour, rye, etc. or some tasty combination.