Do your biscuits look at least this good or better?

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by IveofIone, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. IveofIone Active Member

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    I bake biscuits at least once a week and have loved them since I was a small child. But I have noticed that not every one makes good biscuits. If your biscuits come out like pale blond hockey pucks perhaps I can help. A good recipe is essential but good ingredients are more important. The 4 main gotcha's that queer the do for biscuits are: Old or low quality flour. Old and stale baking powder. Old and out of date baking soda. And too low a baking temp on the wrong kind of tray. A 5th biscuit killer is overworking the dough-knead it just enough to bring it together and stop. Don't roll it out, press to shape and thickness with your hands. Remember to buy your baking soda in the smallest box possible, transfer it to a sealed container and then discard it after a couple of months and open another box. They recommend changing it every month but I buy a little extra time by sealing it after each use.

    A well made biscuit is a delight on a cool weather camping trip served hot with honey. To me the real test is if the biscuit is as good cold with just butter on it as it is hot. Mine are delicious either way.

    This works for me:
    2 cups flour
    3 tsp baking powder
    1/4 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp kosher salt or 3/4 tsp regular sea salt
    2 tbl butter
    2 tbl shortening Best results are with the butter and shortening chilled
    Whisk the first 4 ingredients well before cutting in the butter and shortening
    Add 1 cup of chilled buttermilk and mix until the dough just comes together
    Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead just enough to get the dough into a shaggy ball.
    Press out flat to about 3/4 to 1'' thick and cut. My oven does best at 440 degrees but most ovens vary considerably. Bake on a thin black sheet for best heat transfer-11 or 12 minutes or until golden brown on top and brown on the bottom.

    If everything comes together they should come out tall with a slightly crispy top and bottom and be fluffy and light inside. Try em out and see what you think. And remember-if you add egg or sugar they aren't biscuits any more.

  2. Jerry Daschofsky Moderator

    Posts: 7,716
    Graham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +659 / 5
    Thanks Ive. That's been one of my downfalls......baking. I've had mixed results over the years. I'm gonna try your method. Thanks for the tips.
  3. Mark Walker Active Member

    Posts: 2,760
    So. Cal.
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    Nice Ive!
    Those go well with ribeye don't they?
  4. IveofIone Active Member

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    Not necessarily Mark, I think ribeyes are much happier cohabiting with grilled garlic bread!

  5. Mark Walker Active Member

    Posts: 2,760
    So. Cal.
    Ratings: +221 / 1
  6. Matt Baerwalde ...

    Posts: 829
    Seattle, WA
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    Those look really good Ive. Having grown up down south, I'm snobbish about biscuits. The best way to get good biscuits, short of using lard, is to use Crisco (shortening) like you call for, and to use a really wet dough...almost "too wet."

    White Lily flour makes the best biscuits but you can't get it out here. I always try to bring some back when I visit family.
  7. IveofIone Active Member

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    Matt, sadly White Lily has sold out to Smuckers and the long time facility has been shut down. Apparently a new plant has opened in Ohio but the formula is different and the biscuits will never be the same again. Another page in the corporate takeover of our economy. When the new White Lily fails to deliver because it is no better than Gold Medal they will simply tear out that page and throw it away.

    I can find King Arthur at the market and have had good luck with Bob's Red Mill flour as well. Either one will produce a more dense biscuit than you would get with the old White Lily but that is just something we have to live with. And you are really right about using a "too wet" dough. A dry dough will produce the dreaded hockey pucks.

    One thing I forgot to mention in my post was oven heat. Bring the oven to temp and let it soak for about 20 minutes before baking. You won't get good results if you turn the oven on and place them inside as soon as the oven beeps.

  8. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,396
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,355 / 9
    View attachment 43718

    Although not made from scratch, pulling this together at camp for breakfast puts smiles on the faces around the fire.

    I'm going to try to make some your way next time I do sausage gravy and biscuits for a weekend breakfast at home.