Our Curated Cuisine at Home series aims to highlight local restaurants, cafes and chefs. Every week, we share a unique recipe using ingredients easily found in grocery stores while supporting and uplifting local businesses that have been impacted by Covid-19. Join us as we get to know and connect with our community!
What is it about baking during stressful times or moments of reckoning that gives us a sense of relief? We’d love to hear your story in the comments below or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you’re looking for a new bake, we’ve got you covered with this week’s recipe from Clear Flour Bread & Bakery. These shortcake biscuits require a lot of cutting in butter, pounding dough and creating flaky and crispy layers of goodness. Add herbs for savory biscuits, or simply enjoy with butter and jam. Owner and baker, Nicole, walks us through this recipe below. Enjoy your bake!
Clear Flour Bread & Bakery Shortcake Biscuits
5 cups Pastry Flour
scant 1/4 cup Sugar (can be lowered for savory inclusions)
2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Butter, cold & cubed
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons Creme Fraiche (can be substituted with Sour Cream)
1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon Cream
3/4 cup Buttermilk
- Scale all dries into a mixing bowl, chill if needed.
- Cube your butter, and add to your dries. Use your fingers to separate 1/4" pieces into dry ingredients.
- Cut your butter into the dries with 2 bench knives, or large chef's knives (dull knives are fine, it's just butter!)
- Once your butter is a small pea size, add all your wet ingredients at once, and fold until it comes together.
- Pour out onto a flat surface and use your knives to disperse any wet clumps, or flour pockets.
- Roughly flatten and fold the dough on top of itself 3-4 times until it holds its shape and is less shaggy.
- Roll out to 1" thickness with a rolling pin & use a round cookie cutter or cut into squares.
- Cream wash the tops and sprinkle or dip in demerara sugar (raw sugar).
- Bake in convection oven at 340 degrees for 20~26 minutes (if frozen, closer to 26 minutes)
Enjoy on it's own with butter or, my personal favorite, with honey butter (equal parts honey & room temperature butter mixed together)
Summer twist: Cut the tops off, fill with sweetened whipped cream & berries!
Savory twist: Parmesan & Black Pepper, Caramelized Onion finished with salt!
Get to know Clear Flour
How did the idea for Clear Flour come about?
The bakery will celebrate it's 38th year this October. The founders Christy Timon & Abe Faber have a unique & lovely story about a small catering company that started in this location, growing into what is now Clear Flour Bread. A story that my husband Jon's family grew up knowing as they were customer's very early on. As Jon waited in line in the stroller with his mom, it began a staple in their lives. Jon's oldest brother would soon land a job at Clear Flour, thus cementing this sweet relationship. When I met Jon in San Francisco in 2012, we dreamed of what our bakery would look like one day... it was always "Clear Flour" to Jon. Something like Clear Flour. I finally had the opportunity to see what it was all about. It led to a backyard coffee & toast date with Christy & Abe, which eventually led to an offer for us to take over the bakery instead of starting our own. After 35 years, they felt a need to pass the torch on to a younger generation. They saw something in us, and we couldn't deny the offer. The official change happened on Halloween 2017. The bakery has remained with it's original set of values. Good food, made from the best ingredients by people who care.. deeply.
Where did you learn to bake?
The age old story. My grandmother Frances taught me how to bake. It was simple stuff...I was 15. We would pick lemons from her garden & make the most incredible lemon bars. I also remember the Chocolate Chip, Raisin & Walnuts cookies that will forever be one of my favorites. She gifted me her mother's recipe book that is one of the most cherished items I own. *although a lot of the recipes contain MSG & there are more than enough gelatin fish mold recipes that I will never reproduce*
What's your favorite item(s) on the menu?
I'm an ice cream girl. I love how you can incorporate so many different flavors & combinations. Ice cream was something that Jon & I brought to the bakery so it's also special to me that it's a thing we've added. I eat the Honey Almond Granola every day. And we have the best chocolate croissant ever.
What has this pandemic taught you most about yourself and/or your business?
Wow, this question...It taught me patience. It taught me to slow down and assess what was "filling me up" at the bakery and I learned what my role was in truly supporting the people who work at the bakery. We wouldn't be a speck of what we are today if we didn't have the love and passion that our staff has for baking & service. They are the fuel, we're simply the vehicle for getting their creativeness & kindness to the world.
How can our audience continue to support you?
We are open for preorders on our website and also we have reopened our doors for retail & preorders. Also check us out at a selection of farmer's markets including the Brookline Farmer's Market, Newton Farmer's Market & the Watertown Farmer's Market.