I usually get complements on, and requests for, my biscuit recipe. People think there’s some trick or secret ingredient but really it’s just having a wet dough, layering and lots of practice. AJ is a
big huge biscuit fan so I make these very regularly.
While our last fridge was dying it let about a half gallon of milk curdle; practically turned into yogurt. I usually use sour milk in biscuits so I figured this was a perfect opportunity to try making and freezing a huge batch of biscuits. This post is just about making the biscuits, instructions for freezing are in another post, coming soon!
My Normal Biscuit Recipe:
-makes about 10-
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder -or- 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup fat- lard and or butter (equal parts lard and butter is the best!)
2/3 cup and more milk
1/2 tsp salt
Huge Batch of Biscuits
-makes about 40-
9 cups of flour
1tsp baking soda
2 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup lard
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
5 1/2 cups milk
You can use mixed or straight: soured milk, milk, buttermilk or mixture of any of those with: yogurt, cream, creme fraiche, kefir, sour cream.
Whisk or sift the flour, leaveners and salt together, then work your fat in with a pastry cutter or your fingers and a fork. There shouldn’t be any large fat pockets left and it should look like the texture of crumbs.
Add enough milk that it makes a very wet not workable dough, should stick like nobody’s business to your fingers and everything else, mix it very well with a big spoon until you get some texture in the dough.
If you are making a normal batch, sprinkle a generous amount of flour around the edges of the dough, along the side of the bowl. If you are doing a large batch sprinkle a generous amount of flour along a third of the side of the bowl. Now, starting where the flour is work your fingers down along the edge of the bowl, pulling 1/3 of the dough up into a ball. 1/3 is about the maximum I can work with at one time. If you are a glutton for punishment, by all means try to do more at once. The flour keeps the dough from sticking to your fingers and get’s it away from the bowl. It will stick a little but that’s perfectly normal.
You need to get the dough out in a reasonably quick amount of time because it’s very wet and like a great blob will start oozing everywhere. Have a nice thick disk of flour to flop your dough blob onto, then cover it with a thick coating of flour and start kneading.
You are just doing wimpy kneading, this isn’t bread dough folks! Gently knead just until it starts to get elastic and stops sucking up flour, then stop. Roll it out into a 1/4 inch or so thick sheet that is roughly symmetrical, you will be folding it.
As you are rolling it out flip it periodically when it feels like it is sticking or stops spreading easily and re-flour. Now, either butter the top or flour the top and bottom of your sheet of dough well. Buttering makes a flakier biscuit but I am way too lazy and hardly ever have room temperate butter for that step.
Then, fold your dough in half and roll it out to a 1/4 inch thick again and repeat. Four times is usually good. You could also do an abridged version where you butter all touching sides and only roll it out twice; the initial time and one more time, after the multi-fold and buttering. The sheet you cut biscuits out of should be between an inch thick, you could do it thicker of course.
I have used cookie cutters, jars, cups, wine classes and knifes to cut out the biscuits. Our biscuits are usually square and cut out with a knife. I do it that way because then I don’t have to mess around with making scraps into sad deformed biscuits.
What ever you use, keep the edge floured and if dough builds up pull it off so you continue to get clean edges on your biscuits. It’s good to use the sharpest knife or edge you have because good, clean cuts will allow the biscuits to rise to their highest potential …hehe…
Freezing biscuits is in another post – coming soon!- You can refrigerate the dough for about three days, about then it will start to get a very sourdough like favor and start to have a thicker crust, which is fine if you are okay with biscuits like that. The absolutely best biscuits, in my opinion, are ones made from dough that’s been in the fridge a few hours or overnight.
Preheat your oven to 450°F, I like to preheat my pan too but you don’t have to do that. These cook in about 8-12 minutes, when they are nicely golden brown they are done.
We eat biscuits with jam, honey, butter, syrup, chili, gravy, cheese, eggs… the possibilities are endless! What do you usually eat with or on your biscuits?
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