A good biscuit can provide you with a flaky breakfast morsel, an afternoon snack enjoyed with jam or butter, or the bread for the basket on your dinner table. Need a quick primer on biscuit baking before you head into the kitchen? Avoid overworking the dough, which will create tough biscuits. Substitutions for shortening include lard or butter, and you can see what else Martha White has to say on the topic here. Now that your armed with a few tips, figure out which of these 7 recipes you’ll be making.
1. Baking Soda Biscuits
King Arthur Flour’s recipe has substitutions built in, letting you control the taste and texture of your biscuits. Sweet biscuits result from using the full 4 tablespoons of sugar, while incorporating buttermilk will yield flakier fare. It yields about 12, 2½ inch biscuits.
- 3 cups (12¾ ounces) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 to 4 tablespoons sugar (to taste; sweeter biscuits)
- 4 to 6 tablespoons (2 to 3 ounces) butter or shortening
- 1 cup (8 ounces) milk, buttermilk, or water
Directions: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together the dry ingredients. With two knives, a pastry blender, or your fingertips, cut or rub the butter or shortening in until the mixture looks like bread crumbs. Add the liquid all at once, mixing quickly and gently for about 20 seconds until you have a soft dough.
To shape the biscuits without rolling the dough either: drop by spoonful onto a lightly floured baking sheet; or fill the cups of a greased muffin tin about two-thirds full. For cut biscuits, pat the dough into a rectangle about ¾-inch in thickness. Fold it into thirds like a letter and roll gently with a floured rolling pin until the dough is ¾-inch in thickness again. Cut into circles with a biscuit cutter for traditional, round biscuits. Or, to avoid leftover dough scraps, cut the dough into squares or diamonds with a bench or bowl scraper. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until they’re lightly browned.