Home Page | Gallery | PM Inbox | Forum Index  
 

Biscuits

Share recipes and tips, or memorable restaurant experiences here.

Biscuits

Postby drmoss_ca » Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:53 am

There must be hundreds of recipes for biscuits. Most are distantly related to my mother's scones, but in the eating you wouldn't know it. The classic north american biscuit is a hastily cooked slightly crunchy mess of flour and fat, and is entirely yummy if eaten just as soon as they come out of the oven. I have experimented a bit over the years, but the best I can do is this:

1½ cups all purpose flour
2 TBSP baking powder
½ tsp salt

Mix these together well, using a sieve if need be to squish the lumps in the baking powder. It works fine to use a kitchen stand-mixer with dough hooks.

Add to the dry ingredients:
½ cup sunflower oil (any fat will do, but liquid is easy)
and
a ¾ cup measure with one egg and the rest made up of a milk product. Buttermilk is my favourite for this part.

Mix briefly till combined, using a spatula if needed in the stand-mixer to ensure all the dry ingredients are mixed in. Everyone says you must not knead biscuit dough if you want it to rise, and rightly so. But if you want to make tall biscuits that rise as best they can, you do need to do something akin to making the layers of real puff pastry. I take my dough, which is currently too wet, out of the mixer, place it on a silicone baking sheet and sprinkle it with more all-purpose flour, flatten it with my hand, turn it and sprinkle again, repeating until the dough feels right. You don't want a wet greasy surface, but you don't want it to get to being crumbly. Continue flattening to ½ - ¾ inch thickness and folding in half several times. This is what makes the layers you will need for the biscuit to rise well and pull apart in flaky layers. Don't do it more than around eight times, but you'll find that out for yourself as you experiment. After the final fold, press it out to ¾" thickness and use a biscuit cutter to cut out your biscuits. Squish the remaining dough into a similar thickness for some more cut-outs, and again for some more after that. Should make about ten biscuits if you have the thickness right. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400ºF for 18 minutes (18 is a strange number to pick, but it works well with my thirty year old stove. Experience will show you what works for yours.) Cool on a rack, but best eaten when still warm. Practically useless the next day unless very hungry. I made a batch today as it is -15ºC and hot flour and fat seems needful. Most disappeared before I got the camera out:

Image

Give it a try - very easy and an important added touch when serving a homemade soup, stew, or chowder.

Chris
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace
User avatar
drmoss_ca
Admin
 
Posts: 8957
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2004 4:39 pm

Re: Biscuits

Postby fallingwickets » Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:15 pm

Look's delicious. I'm thinking about giving the recipe a whirl.....that they arent that great the next day gives me pause. I can eat, but no that much :D do you think the recipe can survive being halved?

clive
de gustibus non est disputandum
User avatar
fallingwickets
Clive the Thumb
 
Posts: 7821
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:59 am

Re: Biscuits

Postby Rufus » Sun Dec 11, 2016 2:26 pm

Jeez Chris, next you'll be posting recipes for grits. :-B
Bryan
Rufus
 
Posts: 1854
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 2:25 pm
Location: Greater Toronto Area

Re: Biscuits

Postby drmoss_ca » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:45 am

fallingwickets wrote:Look's delicious. I'm thinking about giving the recipe a whirl.....that they arent that great the next day gives me pause. I can eat, but no that much :D do you think the recipe can survive being halved?

clive


Better to make the same amount, and freeze half the dough.

C.
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace
User avatar
drmoss_ca
Admin
 
Posts: 8957
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2004 4:39 pm

Re: Biscuits

Postby ShadowsDad » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:29 am

Clive, you could always make 1/2 the recipe with a larger diameter and making breakfast biscuits with a round of sausage, a slice of cheese, and on the day of consumption a fried egg. I don't use Chris' recipe, but I'll make biscuits specifically for breakfast. I freeze them ready made and just waiting for the microwave warmup and the egg.

Nice looking biscuits Chris. Have you ever made Bakewell Cream biscuits? I don't know if that leavener gets up to you, but it might.
Brian

Maker of Kramperts Finest Bay Rum and Frostbite http://www.krampertsfinest.com/
Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square
User avatar
ShadowsDad
 
Posts: 2828
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:13 am
Location: Central Maine

Re: Biscuits

Postby drmoss_ca » Mon Dec 12, 2016 4:21 pm

ShadowsDad wrote:Clive, you could always make 1/2 the recipe with a larger diameter and making breakfast biscuits with a round of sausage, a slice of cheese, and on the day of consumption a fried egg. I don't use Chris' recipe, but I'll make biscuits specifically for breakfast. I freeze them ready made and just waiting for the microwave warmup and the egg.

Nice looking biscuits Chris. Have you ever made Bakewell Cream biscuits? I don't know if that leavener gets up to you, but it might.


You've lost me there. I have heard of Bakewell tarts, and cream of tartar, but not Bakewell cream. Is it some form of pre-mix?

Biscuits, like the diagnosis of appendicitis, can be the easiest and also the hardest. Mine come out a little crunchy on the outside but wonderful if eaten fresh. Back when the hospital kitchen cooked from scratch I learned that biscuits could be soft and chewy and would keep at least a day. There again, my mother's scones (biscuits are something else entirely to a Brit) were crumbly and bread-like. While the ingredients were the same except for the raisins she added, you wouldn't think they were related in any way.
I would be interested to learn how to cook the chewy soft biscuits.

C.
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace
User avatar
drmoss_ca
Admin
 
Posts: 8957
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2004 4:39 pm

Re: Biscuits

Postby ShadowsDad » Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:40 am

Bakewell Cream is a type of leavener that was developed due to the shortages during WW2. It works very nicely and lends a unique character to biscuits. I know that it's a Maine thing but I didn't know if it was as far north as you're locale. It can be found online, but we buy it at the supermarket.

At this link cursor down a bit: http://www.newenglandcupboard.com/

One cooks experience with Bakewell Cream: https://food52.com/blog/16844-is-this-i ... -your-life

I suspect that the "extra lift" given by the Bakewell Cream is due to the complete lack of expiration date for the leavener. I change my Rumford baking powder every 6 months or so to make sure that it's fresh and working. Mainers are pretty frugal and I suspect hold onto their baking powder for longer than they should. BTW, the gent who wrote the story above didn't find a different taste, but I do. The color of the baked goods is IMO quite noticeable.

These recipes should give you what you want. Two recipes, one for a dropped biscuit and one for a cut Bakewell cream biscuit. There is a 3rd recipe that I use that I didn't supply. If you can get Rumford baking powder, I use the recipe on the container. All of these recipes use general purpose flour. Gluten development isn't what's desired in a biscuit, so no bread flour and no long mixing after the liquid is added. If you need the Rumford recipe let me know.

Best Dropped Biscuits

These are just as the name suggests, the best dropped biscuits. Easy too!

BTW, the recipe says to allow the melted butter to cool 5 minutes before mixing. I let it cool for much longer the first time, it still worked.

Yield is approx. 10-12 biscuits.

Ingredients:

2 cups (10ozs) unbleached all purpose wheat flour
2 tsps baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp table salt

1 cup cold cultured buttermilk (or clabbered milk, see below)
8 TBL unsalted butter, melted and allowed to cool for at least 5 minutes, or at room temperature.
2 TBL melted butter for brushing the tops of the biscuits

Directions:

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees F.

Whisk together the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine buttermilk and melted butter in a medium bowl, stirring until butter forms small clumps. This happens very quickly if everything is at the right temperature. It’ll be a clotty mess, but that is exactly what is desired.

Add the buttermilk/butter mixture to the dry ingredients stirring with a rubber spatula until just incorporated and mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Using a greased 1/4 cup measure scoop level scoops of batter and transfer to a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet (biscuits should measure approx. 2 1/4 inches diameter by 1 1/4 inches high). Repeat to use up the batter, spacing biscuits approx 1 ½ “ apart. Bake until tops are golden brown and crisp 12-14 minutes.

Brush biscuit tops with the remaining butter, transfer to wire rack and allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.

Clabbered milk: Take 1 cup of milk and 1 TBL of lemon juice, mix and let stand for 10 minutes.

Variations:
Black Pepper and Bacon Drop biscuits
Cut 6 strips of bacon in half length wise then into 1/4" pieces, fry in nonstick skillet over meduim heat until crisp, 5-7 minutes. Using a slotteds poon transfer to paper lined plate to drain and cool to room temperature. Follow recipe for Drop Biscuits adding the bacon bits and 1 tsp ground black pepper to the flour mix

Cheddar and Scallion DB
Add ½ cup (2 ozs) shredded Cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions to the flour mix.

Rosemary and Parmesan DB
Add 3/4 cup (1 ½ ozs) grated parmesan cheese and ½ tsp finely minced Rosemary leaves to the flour mixture.

Cooks Illustrated, Nov/Dec 2007 pages 18-19.



Bakewell Cream biscuits (for Ankarsrum)

Directions for mixing by hand are on the Bakewell Cream can.

4 cups / 18 ½ ozs of AP flour or 20 1/4 ozs of soft white wheat berries ground 2x into flour
1 stick butter (softened) or ½ cup shortening or ½ cup coconut oil (softened)

4 tsps fresh Bakewell Cream (use more if it isn’t fresh)
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp salt

1 ½ cups milk

Preheat oven to 475°F.

Put the first set of ingredients in the plastic bowl with the single wire whips. Set the mixer to lowest speed and allow the fat to cut into the flour. While this is happening get the second and 3rd sets of ingredients together.

After the flour/fat mixture looks like sand with an occasional piece of gravel, sprinkle the 2nd set of ingredients (with a spoon or my hand) into the mixture and around the bowl as it’s mixing. Allow to mix for a few seconds to incorporate.

Then add the milk, again, around the entire bowl. This will incorporate in mere seconds.

Turn out onto a floured countertop and fold as required to make sure the dough comes together. Pat out, or use a roller to get the dough to 3/4" thick, cut into the required sizes/shapes.

Put on greased sheet pan and bake for 5 minutes @ 475. Then turn the oven off and leave the biscuits in for another 5 - 10 minutes.
Brian

Maker of Kramperts Finest Bay Rum and Frostbite http://www.krampertsfinest.com/
Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square
User avatar
ShadowsDad
 
Posts: 2828
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:13 am
Location: Central Maine

Re: Biscuits

Postby drmoss_ca » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:13 am

I get it, acid sodium pyrophosphate instead of tartaric acid to make the bicarb produce CO2. I wonder where the cream of tartar that was in short supply in WW2 came from?

C.
"Je n'ai pas besoin de cette hypothèse."
Pierre-Simon de Laplace
User avatar
drmoss_ca
Admin
 
Posts: 8957
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2004 4:39 pm

Re: Biscuits

Postby ShadowsDad » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:53 am

That I can't tell you. Interesting question though and you got my interest up.

The Bakewell Cream has another advantage. It has no shelf life as other chemical leaveners have. That may be where it got it's reputation for being a sort of super leavener from. I just find that I prefer the taste and the tannish color of the biscuits it makes. The first time I tested them I knew they were different and I had to ask the cook what it was that made them different.

Researching the other baking powders and WW2 shortages.

Nothing here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baking_powder

Maybe a hint? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_bitartrate

It says that it's a byproduct of wine making (grapes) I didn't live back then but were the grapes going to the GIs in the form of jelly? One would think it could be synthesized but maybe they had their hands full and there wasn't the industry to do it. (Just WAGs and probably wrong)
Brian

Maker of Kramperts Finest Bay Rum and Frostbite http://www.krampertsfinest.com/
Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square
User avatar
ShadowsDad
 
Posts: 2828
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:13 am
Location: Central Maine


Return to Cooking & Recipes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest