Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lessons on Biscuit-Making . . .

I thought I had made the perfect biscuits. I had mixed all of the dry ingredients--flour, salt, and baking powder together--before adding the shortening and milk. And then, I blended it all, just enough, so that it held together. (You don't want to over-mix biscuit or pie dough, or it becomes tough.)

I announced that I had made the perfect biscuits. And I had, from my vantage point. (My biscuit dough was wrapped around little sausages; the dough puffed up just enough that the sausages appeared to be wearing pillow collared down coats. They were lovely. And the layers of the dough, created by the shortening, was lovely too.)

The only problem was that I rolled the dough out to the perfect thickness for my sausages in a blanket. And I used that same thickness to make my vegetarian brunch-mate ordinary biscuits, cut round with a silver one cup measuring cup. Her verdict? They couldn't be called the perfect biscuits, because they were too thin. The flakey layers, in my brunch-mate's biscuits were practically nonexistent, since there wasn't much distance between the crunchy bottom and top crusts.

Conclusion: Next time I make biscuits, I am going to roll them out to the approximate thickness that I want the final baked biscuits to be. Maybe then, I will find perfection. :-)

(I would like to try this recipe sometime. It's probably more buttery tasting than my family recipe, which I'll list below.)


Biscuits, from the Family's Favorites Recipe Book

2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk

Bake at 450 degrees.

Since my sister, who put together the family favorites, never uses a timer for baking, there is no bake for ___ minutes line. I discovered, today, that you'll likely bake them for 12 - 14 minutes, or until the biscuits are a lovely, golden brown.


Oriana said...

These sound really yummy! I am going to have to try them. Do you mix the ingredients together with a pastry cutter, like you do with pie dough? I would love to see the Family's Favorites cookbook, too. :-)

Olive Kite said...

I use my hands, actually. And I squish it all together until it seems like the milk and shortening is evenly distributed through the dry mixture (and it all holds together).

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

You should have told her they were theme biscuits for toy day and you were making Frisbees.

Anyone who can write things like "pillow collared down coats" deserves a second chance.

The word verification is "liked." Sounds pretty appropriate to me.

Betty Edit said...

Mmm, I wish I had some of those right now... they were so good.

Olive Kite said...

Were the ones I served you also too flat? (Well, you had the pig-in-the-blanket (or coat) variety, so maybe they were okay.)

literaqueen said...

I kept waiting for the "and then they burned to a crisp in the oven" line-- THAT would have been some serious hubris in action. Thin's not bad . . . I'll bet they still tasted good.

literaqueen said...

Hey, one more thing. I know it's right before the end of the semester for you, but can you sneak away from Utah for a storytelling festival April 3rd? It goes on the 4th too, but I'll skip that part to listen to General Conference. It would be amazing if Christl could come as well, but somehow I don't see that happening. Wanna come be in my storytelling workshop on April 3rd? Airfare's cheap . . .