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Old 05-04-2012, 05:57 PM   #1
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Making grilled Biscuits?

Have you or would you make grilled biscuits or cornbread? I think putting the cornbread in a Cast Iron skillet works. Not sure how to go about cooking biscuits. Do you think you can just lay them directly on the cooking grate, and cook indirect? Or would it be better to lay them on a CI pan. I think I have a smaller size CI flat gridle I could use.

I'm pretty sure the boy scouts (and campers) have been doing this using dutch ovens with Flat Lids for a long time. I wasn't a boy scout and don't have that kind of pan.

Thanks for your thoughts.


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Old 05-04-2012, 06:56 PM   #2
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Simple breads, cooked in various ways, were a staple of the frontier. You can use wheat flour and make something like a biscuit, pretty much the same recipe, but cooked as a more cake-like form in a skillet or pan or on any stone or metal plate that can be placed where it is heated from all sides, not just the bottom. While I doubt it was often done on an actual hoe, hoecake was one term. Ramrod bread was the war version with a snake of dough spiraled around a ramrod.

Wheat could be scarce on some frontiers, and corn substituted. The simplest corn cake was made by walking into the field and picking a few ears and shucking them and grinding/mashing the kernels. Not at all corn meal, and certainly not limed grits.

If you read early accounts, you hear about it all the time. F. Law Olmsted (the NY Central Park designer) rode through Texas in 1855 with his brother.
He moaned that all the way from the Sabine in the east to near Austin, they stayed in private homes and had nothing but corn cake picked that morning, salt pork, and bad coffee. I guarantee you most of those folks didn't have ovens. They didn't even finish roofing their houses. And it was pork, because pigs care for themselves. But forget milk. None to be had. Soda was also rare. The corn cakes could well be just corn, salt, water and tallow.

None of this is to say they wouldn't make corn pancakes or something in between at need. They were not picky eaters. Nothing you stumble into making will ever be as bad as some of what Olmsted was fed.

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Old 05-04-2012, 08:12 PM   #3
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I would try to create the same conditions that you would have in an oven. Place the biscuits on your CI grill and place a domed lid over them.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:13 PM   #4
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I only put cornbread in a skillet to keep it corralled. Biscuits could be put right on the grill or a piece of aluminum foil. You might even be able to put a knob of biscuit dough on the end of a stick and bake it over a flame or burner.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:22 PM   #5
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Nestle a covered dutch oven full of biscuits or cornbread batter in among the coals, put some on top. That is what a dutch oven is for.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:41 PM   #6
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A grill with the lid closed is an oven. Prepare the biscuits as you would for the oven and place them, pan and all on the grill to cook indirectly. You need to manage the temperature to a stable level for the biscuits.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:52 PM   #7
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As Andy says, a Dutch oven is an oven. It is what they did for ovens when the West was wild.

Same for pan biscuits, or griddle biscuits. You can make easy ones from Bisquick baking mix.

A while back (a year) I was interested in making yeast flat breads on my gas barbecue (flat breads similar to pita) and I enjoyed them. Unfortunately I don't have notes and can't recall the exercise in detail.

I think my ideas came from Steven Raichlen and his books and PBS TV programs regarding Barbecue University, etc. I have three of his cookbooks and I think they're pretty good, and they cover cooking not only meats but vegetables, breads and all other sorts of barbecue mischief. I hope I'll live long enough to cook every recipe in all three books. (He has more books but probably more than I have time to cook all the recipes.)
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:06 AM   #8
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Well, since you have a cast iron pan, you can do biscuits in it on top of the fire. The heavy cast iron will convey heat up the sides. You still have to account for the lack of top heat, and top heat is the important heat in breads. So you just turn your biscuits at the appropriate moment to do the other sides.

Here's the finished biscuits (obviously store-bought tube biscuits, but it works with rolls, too). They used a Dutch oven lid, but an iron pan works.

Brush both sides of the biscuits with oil. A tin foil tent can make it go faster.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:39 AM   #9
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And everything tastes better when you're camping.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:54 AM   #10
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I have made bannock.

Parks Canada - Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site - ACTIVITY - Bannock Recipe


Bannock recipe - Canadian Living

As you can see, it can be made with or without shortening and with milk or water. I used a recipe closer to the first one, if I recall correctly.

It was served to a Southern friend who said, "That's just a big biscuit."

We had a 55 gallon drum wood stove and no oven, so I needed a stove top bread. That is also why I learned to make English muffins.

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