|Not cast iron...but works for me.|
In my current work in progress, Surrender to the Sheriff, my heroine has traveled from the present to a California Gold Rush town in 1851 and the cast iron skillet has become her favorite tool - but not in the kitchen! Lilly actually uses the cast iron pan as a weapon.
And while the cast iron pan could do some nice damage to a man's leg or shoulder...most woman on the frontier used their pans to make the staples on the trail and keep their families fed.
The cast iron pan could be used over an open fire on the trail or in an oven once they had a kitchen in their new home.
The pan would be filled with dough and moved about the fire, angled in such a way that the bread would eventually rise and cook. Though cooking was difficult along the Oregon Trail, baking skillet bread was often the only food they could count on as conditions were usually harsh.
Today you and I can grab these items from the pantry and pop them in the oven without barely a thought about the travelers heading west over rugged terrain.
Hope you enjoy this time-tested biscuit!
3 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp butter (or shortening)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk or sour milk
Shortening for greasing the pan
Mix all the dry ingredients together and then cut in the butter or shortening (on the trail this would have been done with a fork, you can go ahead and use a pastry blender if you'd like!) Cut in the shortening until it's grainy. Stir in the milk. Knead the dough a few times, then push into the greased pan. Bake in a 400 degree oven about 35 minutes or until the bread is lightly browned and light in weight.
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