Wednesday, June 9, 2010

73. (3) Baking Powder Biscuit recipes, Real Flaky

Total failure is not an option when it comes to cooking...re-dos are expected and necessary. With the advent of the internet, help is almost endless. I had mentioned in post # 52 that biscuits were not my forte...they had certainly brought me much disappointment. The green onion biscuits featured in that post are delicious, tender and wonderful, but they are not the flaky kind most people expect.

So, once again...I challenged myself to find that great biscuit recipe. What I discovered is that the method of handling the dough is as much a part of the process as are the ingredients...which are not all that much, anyway...basically just a little grease and flour.

I did handle the dough as little as possible which helped to keep the shortening cold. I also experimented with different cutting tools; some directions indicate that the sharper the biscuit cutter, the flakier the biscuit.




Recipe #1: Basic biscuit recipe (pictured above),

This dough was rolled gently.  Cut with (a) plastic cup, (b) plastic biscuit cutter and (c) sharp pizza wheel. The results were surprising...they all turned out about the same. They were delicate, fluffy and tender. I can only say that each of the cutting tools worked well, sharp or not.



(Recipe #1, rolled dough, margarine, milk)

2 C flour
1 T baking powder (make sure your baking powder is not too old)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C margarine (I used Smart Balance Margarine)
3/4 C milk (1%)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Measure and mix the first three ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in cold shortening with a fork or pastry blender until mixture resembles crumbs.

Pour milk into flour mixture and stir with a fork. The dough will be soft and moist and will pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Put dough onto a lightly floured board. Add as little flour as possible to make it possible to roll dough 1/2 inch thick. Cut with floured biscuit or cookie cutter. Press together dough scraps and cut. Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and serve.



Recipe #2: Basic biscuit recipe (below)




This dough was patted out and folded. I cut the dough with the biscuit cutter and the sharp pizza wheel. The results, again were surprising. The round biscuits in the middle were cut with the biscuit cutter and the ones on the right were cut with the wheel. The patting and folding process gave these biscuits a very flaky, raised look that the rolled biscuits in recipe #1 did not have. There was no real texture difference.

If you look closely, you will see the little biscuit on the left in the picture above. It is actually a mistake. I had cut the recipe in half and forgot to add 2 T of the milk to one half...so, this little flaky fellow got short-changed...but, sometimes there is a silver lining...I made two of the chili meat cups featured in post # 51 with the less moist dough and it made a more crisp and real-tasting biscuit cup than the refrigerated tube biscuits used in that recipe.


(Recipe #2 patted and folded dough, margarine, milk)

2 C flour
1 T baking powder (make sure your baking powder is not too old)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C shortening (I used Smart Balance Margarine)
3/4 C milk (1%)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Measure and mix the first three ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in cold shortening with a fork or pastry bleder until mixture resembles crumbs.

Pour milk into flour mixture and stir with a fork. The dough will be soft and moist and will pull away from the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board. *Pat dough to 1/2 inch flat. Sprinkle lightly with flour and fold in half. Sprinkle with flour again, fold. Repeat from * once or twice. Use a sharp biscuit or cookie cutter to make biscuit shapes. If you want a deeper color, brush with a little milk prior to baking. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until golden. Remove and serve.


Not wanting to leave any stones unturned, I made a third biscuit recipe which used buttermilk and shortening instead of Smart Balance. The same folding  and patting procedure was used and I, again, handled the dough as little as possible. I wanted bigger biscuits, so I cut them with a thin-edged plastic cup. The end product put a smile on my face...perfect large fluffy, flaky, tender biscuits!



Big and Flaky Biscuits




(Recipe #3, patted and folded dough, shortening, buttermilk powder)
2 C flour
1 T baking powder (make sure your baking powder is not too old)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C shortening
3/4 C buttermilk or (3 T dried buttermilk solids and 3/4 cup water)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Measure and mix the first three ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in cold shortening with a fork or pastry blender until mixture resembles crumbs.

Pour milk into flour mixture and stir with a fork. The dough will be soft and moist and will pull away from the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board. *Pat dough to 1/2 inch flat. Sprinkle lightly with flour and fold in half. Sprinkle with flour again, fold. Repeat from * once or twice. Use a sharp biscuit or cookie cutter to make biscuit shapes. If you want a deeper color, brush with a little milk prior to baking. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until golden. Remove and serve.

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