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Thread: Better biscuits... best biscuits?

  1. #1
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Better biscuits... best biscuits?

    My aging Mom made biscuits last week. Very tasty.
    I wondered how to make them a little fluffier though. They were good, but a little dense.

    Here's what we used:
    Gold Medal self rising flour, 2 cups
    3/4 tsp salt
    3 tbsp butter
    2 tbsp shortening
    1 cup buttermilk

    Questions:
    1. Does the brand of flour matter?
    2. Is using regular flour plus baking soda and baking powder better for biscuits?
    3. Any other suggestions for making biscuits a bit fluffier?

    BTW: found a good thread for sourdough recipes, including biscuits while searching: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...al-help-wanted.

    Anyway, be interested in any suggestions you have for better biscuits, or any recipe you care to share.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    pretty thick I use to make some like that with the self rising flour. Recently we found some in the frozen section of the store you can cook 1 or a dozen and they are way better than the in can biscuts
    Visions Steel/841-WELD(9353)
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  3. #3

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    I get my biscuits and gravy at Abbys, in Wasilla, at the corner of Church and Seldon. They have both a full order and a half order. Old family recipe, and wonderful-good. (closed Sun and Mon)

    P.S. Thanks to a metalworking-forum member here, for referring me to this place.
    Dear whatever doesn't kill me, I'm strong enough now. Thanks.

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    Default good biscuits

    2 ½ cup self rising flour
    2 Tbsp powdered Butter Milk
    ¾ cup chilled butter cut into ½ inch pieces

    1 cup milk

    or just use buttermilk and omit the buttermilk powder or just use milk

    The amount flour will change depending on the flour, the milk ,the weather ect. You can add more flower later in the recipe

    BUT before you attempt the recipe, STOP

    Biscuit baking is technique, not recipe!


    best biscuit recipe in the world will break your teeth unless some simple guidelines are followed

    mix dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl

    work the fat into the dry ingredients. Usually this means using your finger tips to crumble , squish smallish bits of chilled fat in the flower mixture until you have pieces about the size of a pea evenly distributed. Keep fat as cold as possible since this is necessary for steam generation and flaky layers.

    Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix as quickly as Humanly possible: but GENTLY . ignore any small lumps left in mixture after mixing for 7 to 10 seconds and no more than 10 folds of the mixture

    Place dough on lightly floured counter or work surface. Flatten dough ball into a rectangle. Fold sheet vertically then horizontally and flatten again. You can add more flour if it is sticking. Repeat folding and flattening until the dough no longer sticks to the counter or at least 4 times. (Makes 256 layers).These layers of wet flour and cold bits of fat create stream pockets that make for tender yet flaky biscuits.

    Pat dough down and cut into individual biscuits ( use drinking glass, cookie cutter or just take a knife and cut them out square. Do what ever is best but get the most out of each patting as you possible can. The biscuits from the first cut are always the most tender cause they have been worked the least.

    Place biscuits in or on your pan(or in your cast iron skillet or( dutch oven) bake until golden 400 degrees in center rack of oven.


    I am an old retired guy and I found this recipe on the internet a few years ago. Never made a decent biscuit in my life and I am here to tell you this recipe works. I use one of those curved cutter things to cut the butter into the flour but these biscuits really turn out nice

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    I just sent you a recipe for biscuit "Good Biscuits" but I noticed there was no salt mentioned and I can't remember if I added salt. I am thinking the butter prolly adds enough salt or I guess you coulod add a little on your own. .

  6. #6
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Thanks, NorthCountry. None of the milk or butter or shortening was real cold. Thanks for the advice, which we will try on our next effort. Appreciate the information about chilled ingredients.

  7. #7

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    I agree with NorthCountry, "Biscuit baking is technique, not recipe!"

    I'm not a fan of self rising flour but use whatever you have. Gold Medal self rising flour is described as all-purpose flour with baking powder and salt added, but it actually contains several other ingredients: (wheat flour, baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, salt, calcium sulfate, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, and folic acid.) Seems sort of pointless, since it's so easy to add your own baking powder and salt.

    Here are several things you can try to make your biscuits fluffier:

    1. Adjust your flour. In general, hard wheat works better with yeast, but soft wheat works better with baking powder. (Gold Medal uses hard wheat.) You don't need to replace it 100%, or even 50%, instead try mixing two or three kinds of flour. If you can't find soft wheat flour, try mixing in a little pastry flour with your all-purpose flour, because the finer grind mimics the soft wheat. (Avoid cake flour though, it's too fine.)

    (If you decide to cut your self rising flour, you'll want to adjust the other flour to match. The approximate equivalent is that each cup of sifted flour has 1 1/2 tsp. of baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt added. Baking powder contains baking soda, so you don't need any extra.)

    2. Make sure you sift your flour before you add anything to it. You don't really need a sifter, a colander or coarse strainer will work almost as well, or you can even fluff it thoroughly with a fork.

    3. Make sure your butter and/or shortening is frozen. First freeze it, then chop or grate it, then refreeze it, before cutting it into your dry ingredients.

    4. Cut your frozen shortening into your dry ingredients with two table knives (or a pastry cutter or your fingers) until the flour looks like peas (not smaller though), quickly enough so it doesn't melt from overworking it.

    5. Make sure your liquid is VERY cold, use ice water or extremely cold milk. (Milk makes biscuits more tender but water makes fluffier biscuits than milk, so consider thinning out your milk just a bit with a little ice water.)

    6. Don't mix in any liquids until you're ready to go, then mix quickly, fold gently but quickly, and get the dough into the pan before you lose too much CO2.

    7. Be careful not to overwork your mixture, never knead it like bread dough, instead just gently press or roll it, then fold it over into several layers, and repeat. (Kneading it like bread dough is too rough and releases too much of the CO2. Yeast keeps making new CO2 but baking powder can only react twice.)

    8. If you choose to use a cutter, make sure it's sharp, dipped in flour between cuts, and pushed straight up and down, without any twisting motion that can release the CO2.

    9. It isn't traditional for biscuits, but ANY baked good rises slightly higher in a pan, where it can climb the sides (and its neighbors) and spread UP instead of OUT.

    10. Watch your temperature, make sure your oven is hot enough (at least 425*) to make the moisture in the biscuits quickly expand, before the heat sets the shape. (Personally I start with an even hotter oven (over 475*), then open the door once they've set after about a minute and a half, to drop the temperature enough to avoid burning the tops in the remaining baking time.)

    Finally, one thing to avoid: it can be tempting to try increasing the leavening, but it will ruin the taste (metallic or soapy) and can actually decrease the rise, so don't do it.
    Inspiration is simply the momentary cessation of stupidity.

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    Thumbs up Granny's recipe . . .

    My wife was raised in rural East Texas 60 years ago when biscuits were a way of life—biscuits every morning, cornbread every night. Here's Granny Covington's recipe, exactly as it was written down in 1957 in Red River County, Texas:

    3 C. flour
    pinch yeast
    1/2 C. shortening
    6 tsp baking powder
    1 1/3 C. sweet milk (not sour) to make soft dough
    salt & pepper to taste
    hot pan & oven —sm. amt shortening in pan

    Cut shortening into flour, salt, pepper & baking powder
    Mix in milk to make tacky dough, knead in flour till soft & manageable
    Pat out to 1/2" to 1" deep depending on needs, cut biscuits out
    Dip into melted shortening in pan*, flip into pan with oil side up
    Bake till brown 400 degrees 10-15 min.
    Makes about 16 biscuits

    *The "pan" is a cast iron skillet that is heated in the oven while the dough is made

    Y'all enjoy . . .



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    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    My aging Mom made biscuits last week. Very tasty.
    I wondered how to make them a little fluffier though. They were good, but a little dense.

    Here's what we used:
    Gold Medal self rising flour, 2 cups
    3/4 tsp salt
    3 tbsp butter
    2 tbsp shortening
    1 cup buttermilk

    Questions:
    1. Does the brand of flour matter?
    2. Is using regular flour plus baking soda and baking powder better for biscuits?
    3. Any other suggestions for making biscuits a bit fluffier?

    BTW: found a good thread for sourdough recipes, including biscuits while searching: http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...al-help-wanted.

    Anyway, be interested in any suggestions you have for better biscuits, or any recipe you care to share.
    Thanks.

    1. Does the brand of flour matter? YES! The best flour for biscuits is White lilly self rising flour, unfortunately it is not sold in Alaska.
    2. Is using regular flour plus baking soda and baking powder better for biscuits? If you can get an cake flour and then add salt and baking powder it will make better biscuits.
    3. Any other suggestions for making biscuits a bit fluffier? Use less fat. You only need 1/4 cup of fat to make great biscuits, Lard is the best, but if you don't have it then use Shortening. Butter contains some water and salt so it is not used for the fat in biscuits, If you must use butter use unsalted butter. Never use oil for biscuits! If you are using self rising flour the salt is not needed. Shortening at room temperature work, but cold shortening works the best. Mix dry ingredients and sift. If only using self rising then measure then sift. Then add the shortening and work it in with your hands until it is well mixed into the flour and in small flat pieces. Add the milk/buttermilk and incorporate till a consistent dough is formed. Sprinkle a little flour on the outside of the dough ball and kneed the dough, folding it over onto it's self half dozen times, you can skip this step if you intend to roll out your dough like is mentioned in a previous post. Then flour a smooth cutting board/countertop/table and roll out the biscuits. Then cut out the biscuits, a standard 16 oz beer glass works great, or you can use metal rings, or what ever fits your fancy. Once the biscuits are removed re roll the remaining dough 1 or 2 more times and cut a few more biscuits. Take the small amount left over and form it into a biscuit. Then place into a 450 degree oven for 12 minutes.

    The oven MUST be pre heated to 450! And when the beep for preheating the oven goes off it only means the air in the oven is 450 degrees, give it 10 more minutes to get the mass of the oven up to 450 as well. This way the oven recovers faster after you open the door and let the hot air out.

    My Recipe:

    Baking Powder Biscuits

    2 cups flour, sifted
    3 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 cup cold shortening
    2/3 cup milk

    Buttermilk Biscuits

    2 cups flour, sifted
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 cup cold shortening
    1 cup buttermilk or Keifer


    If you don't feel like rolling the dough out you can, after kneading it, place it into a cast iron pan and press it into the pan at an even thickness, then cut the dough and bake the same as above.

    I have made biscuits thousands of times and it works. If you don't have milk and want biscuits just use water, you will still have a good biscuit when it is done, but the gravy is not as good with just water.

    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

    http://wouldieatitagainfoodblog.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Member garnede's Avatar
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    The above recipes make a dozen biscuits.

    Be sure to use fresh baking powder/self rising flour. If it is older than 6 months then it will start to loose it's rise.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

    http://wouldieatitagainfoodblog.blogspot.com/

  11. #11
    Member ironartist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    I get my biscuits and gravy at Abbys, in Wasilla, at the corner of Church and Seldon. They have both a full order and a half order. Old family recipe, and wonderful-good. (closed Sun and Mon)

    P.S. Thanks to a metalworking-forum member here, for referring me to this place.
    thanks for the laugh, wasn't kidding when I said good food, thanks fm
    well lookie there just broke a K,
    Visions Steel/841-WELD(9353)
    "Rebellion is in my blood, I was born an American"
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  12. #12
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Wow, good tips - and nearly all about technique.
    Thanks Seraphina, Marcus and Garnede (How's GA?) for the advice. We'll have plenty to work on.

    Seraphina, I have assumed all these years watching others bake that sifting had something to do with screening out litter or something, but from what you say, it has nothing to do with screening and everything to do with aerating, fluffing or some other process. Interesting. All these years...

    "Make sure you sift your flour before you add anything to it. You don't really need a sifter, a colander or coarse strainer will work almost as well, or you can even fluff it thoroughly with a fork."

    Thanks. Good thread.

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    Question Sifting . . .

    If you do sift, make sure you do it after you measure the flour because sifted flour will likely weigh less than unsifted. Professional bakers like Jim Lahey measure ingredients by weight, not by volume.

    Fold and refold is the secret to flaky biscuits as it distributes the fat in layers.

    Good luck . .



  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    Seraphina, I have assumed all these years watching others bake that sifting had something to do with screening out litter or something, but from what you say, it has nothing to do with screening and everything to do with aerating, fluffing or some other process. Interesting. All these years...

    "Make sure you sift your flour before you add anything to it. You don't really need a sifter, a colander or coarse strainer will work almost as well, or you can even fluff it thoroughly with a fork."
    You're very welcome 6XLeech. Actually it does both, sifting does also screen out litter, and I've used it to save insect-infested flour many times, but the fluffing is the most important aspect for baking a consistent product. It's important to sift or fluff your flour before you measure it, because almost all recipes calculate amounts based on sifted flour. If you only sift after you measure then you will add too much flour and your recipe will turn out differently each time.

    When I cook for myself I'm not picky, but when I bake for guests I always double sift, both before and after measuring my ingredients. (When I used to bake commercially, I didn't bother for bread because each batch was 150 loaves and fluffing saved time, but always sifted for biscuits and pastries.) Sifters are great gadgets, but gadgets are not required for baking success. Whenever recipes become too fussy or complicated, it's time to go bake a bannock by a campfire!
    Inspiration is simply the momentary cessation of stupidity.

  15. #15

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    Any of you have a recipe using mayonnaise for biscuits? I used to have one that made real good biscuts but lost it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    Wow, good tips - and nearly all about technique.
    Thanks Seraphina, Marcus and Garnede (How's GA?) for the advice. We'll have plenty to work on.

    Thanks. Good thread.
    We are expecting our first frost tonight, otherwise GA is boooooooooooring! I do like the long hunting seasons though.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

    http://wouldieatitagainfoodblog.blogspot.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by garnede View Post
    The above recipes make a dozen biscuits.

    Be sure to use fresh baking powder/self rising flour. If it is older than 6 months then it will start to loose it's rise.
    http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2011/11...is-still-good/

    Above is a link to how to check if your baking powder is still good. Put some in a bowl and pour boiling water over it. If it does not bubble vigorously then it is bad. I don't know a test for self rising flour.

    *The difference between baking powder and baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) is that baking soda requires an acid ingredient in a recipe to activate it, such as vinegar, buttermilk, coffee, or yogurt.
    Baking powder has baking soda as one of its components, as well as an acidic ingredient to activate it, so it can be used in recipes that have no other acidic ingredients. Baking soda and baking powder are not interchangeable in recipes.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

    http://wouldieatitagainfoodblog.blogspot.com/

  19. #19
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Thumbs up These biscuits were great!

    1. We used plain flour (not self rising) - adding our own baking soda and baking powder.
    2. Shortening and butter and buttermilk were WELL chilled.
    3. Shortening and butter were cut into flour with knives (not hands).

    Man, were these biscuits good.
    I was expecting to tinker with the recipe through the winter and maybe I will, with these few - technique - hints,
    the biscuits were a real hit at our house. Great suggestions.

    Hmm... ham?

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