The New Bakers Dozen

The The Bakers Dozen: Biscuits
By c on Thursday, October 05, 2000 - 06:24 pm: Edit

Last night a friend and I tried to make southern biscuits, "the kind his mom makes". Since I've never tried biscuits and he has never tried baking them we naturally came up with a flop. I couldn't take his utter disappointment so I want to learn the secrets of making it, since the ingredients seem so simple (flour, baking powder, salt, vegetable shortening, milk). What's the best method for making good old southern biscuits?

By W.DeBord on Friday, October 06, 2000 - 08:54 am: Edit

The biggest factor is how you mix them.

I measure my dry ingred. in a food processor, then add COLD chunks of butter. Barely process the dough with very quick off and on movements. You want to grind it so there aren't large lumps of butter, about the size of dried peas is correct.

For your h2o put some ice cubes in a large cup and chill your water. Measure your water after it's extremely cold (don't use ice).

Adding the water, you need to move quickly yet gently. For beginers I think you should use a rubber spatula to mix so you can't over work it with your hands. I never add the entire amount of liquid unless I know the recipe is perfect (hold back 2 or 3 tbsp). Your biscuits will be better tasting if they barely hold together vs a dough that is a nice ball.

Turn it out on a floured table and pat flat. I cut them thick around 3/4" using a cookie cutter dipped in flour (so it won't stick). I brush with milk before baking then brush with butter as soon as their done baking.

By W.DeBord on Friday, October 06, 2000 - 09:59 am: Edit

OOOPs!! I lapsed into making pie dough....don't use water, use cold buttermilk....SORRY, everything else is correct including holding back on the quantity of buttermilk used.

I got stuck editing my message sooooo many times in order for it to post I forgot what I was saying.

By Thomas Massey on Friday, October 06, 2000 - 09:40 pm: Edit

Also, there are recipes for biscuits made with cream as the fat. These make a different type of biscuit, but some people like them a lot. And, all you have to do is mix to combine. If you make them a little bit wet, scoop them with an ice cream scoop or two spoons rather than rolling them, which could make them tough if you work the dough too much.

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