Friday, October 12, 2007

Basic Biscuits

I've been inspired by Erika at Tummy Treasure. All week she's been doing breakfast posts. You should check them out. She's done international breakfasts, grainy breakfasts, breakfasts from friends, and even some of the breakfast treats I've done! Seeing the blueberry biscuits made me want to make some biscuits...so I pulled out my Dorie Greenspan Baking from my home to yours. She has some great looking biscuit recipes. Now, biscuit making was always a skill that any good housewife had. The family would get up to prepare for a hard day of work and biscuits were a staple of the breakfast. Lots of people rave about their grandmother's biscuits. I don't remember biscuits specifically. In fact, our biscuits are usually the frozen kind. Now, don't pity my because these biscuits are puffy and yummy. In fact, it always amazed me that the biscuits from Pillsbury that are frozen always come out so fluffy, while homemade, which is supposedly the best ALWAYS, come out flatter. How is it that the frozen ones are so much better? So, I want to figure out this mystery. Maybe I'll do some homemade and freeze them. Maybe it's the freezing and baking from frozen state that makes them get tall. Anyway, I decided to try a version of Dorie's Basic Biscuits. I did make a few changes but followed her suggestion of using 1 3/4 cups AP flour and 1/3 cup cake flour. The biscuits were still a little flatter than a frozen biscuit but were very good. I've seen my roommate with one, so I know she likes them. Through the weeks I'm going to keep experimenting, but I would recommend these. If you want a little extra flair, throw in some blueberries or pecans before you start. Basic Biscuits adapted from Baking from my home to yours
2 cups AP flour (or 1 3/4 cups AP flour and 1/3 cup cake flour)
1 T baking powder
2 t sugar
1/4 t salt
3/4 stick cold butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup cold buttermilk Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Drop the butter in and, using your washed hands, blend the butter and flour together quickly. You can also use a pastry blending if you desire. Do this until you have a pebbly, sandy mixture.
Pour the buttermilk over the dry ingredient and toss with a fork until the dough comes together. Give the dough four quick kneads with you hands. Dust a clean work surface or pastry cloth with some flour. Press the dough until it is 1/2 inch high. Using a biscuit cutter or the top of a glass cut the bisuits out. Do this as closely together as you can to get the most out of the first round. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet or stone. Gather the scraps together, press again, cut out biscuits. Follow this procedure until all the dough is used. Bake for 14-18 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Remove immediately. Dorie suggests that these can be frozen after cutting by freezing them on a baking sheet, then wrapping them air tightly and placing in the freezer. They will just require a little longer to bake.

3 comments:

Alisha said...

Oh yum! I haven't had biscuits for breakfast since, um, since I lived in Mississippi. LOL I'll have to make some soon.

The biggest issue I've found with homemade biscuits is you can't handle the dough overmuch. I notice if I don't play with it too much I get a much better biscuit.

Erika W. said...

These look like great biscuits! I've made the same ones for years, but maybe I should branch out and try Dorie's. How could she steer me wrong?

Red Dirt Mummy said...

What you call biscuits we call scones (basically the same recipe) and we have them for morning (or afternoon!)tea with jam and cream. YUM! Add a nice hot cuppa and it can't be beaten. How do you eat yours?