Do your biscuits look at least this good or better?

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

  1. IveofIone

    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 Old and out of date baking soda.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.

    Ive
     
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  2. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    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

    Mark Walker Active Member

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    Nice Ive!
    Those go well with ribeye don't they?
     
  4. IveofIone

    IveofIone Active Member

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

    Ive
     
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  5. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

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    Nailed it!
     
  6. Matt B

    Matt B ...

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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

    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.

    Ive
     
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  8. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
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  9. Mike Monsos

    Mike Monsos AKA flyman219

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    This is a very old thread but I wanted to say that this recipe is outstanding! I've had this in my to do cooking folder but today I finally got around to making some of these killer biscuits. Thanks Ive for sharing this.

    Mike Monsos
     
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  10. IveofIone

    IveofIone Active Member

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    Mike, I'm sure glad you guys are enjoying this recipe. I bake them at least once a week and never get tired of them. We have baked all of our own bread for about 15 years now and are constantly on the lookout for high quality flour. There is a real difference in baked good results depending on the flour used. A few weeks back we found a real treasure at Costco of all places. The flour was an organic product made by Central Milling in Utah. It has produced some excellent biscuits and breads lately but since it is Costco it probably won't be available the next time I go down to Spokane. If you find some of this stuff try it out, it seems to be a quality product with exceptional flavor.

    Great for pizza and breadsticks as well as biscuits. I have been trying to make breadsticks as good as Olive Garden and this flour is the closest I have come yet. We just got a new range with a convection oven and I am learning new tricks that can be done with it, fun stuff if you bake a lot like I do.

    Bake on, Ive
     
  11. Trapper

    Trapper Author, Writer, Photographer

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    Good advice!

    My recipe is very similar. Sometimes I use plain yogurt or sour dough starter instead of butter milk. I use a cookie sheet with an air layer. It tends to bake all of them more uniformly.

    Aside: I have an old Magic Mill. It's a stone grinding mill I've had for years. I buy wheat berries from Wheat Montana and then just grind what I need at the time. I don't sift it but normally mix it with other flours.

    If you want the freshest flour, I know of no better way than to grind your own.
     
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  12. SquatchinSince86

    SquatchinSince86 Totally Unprofessional

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    Thanks for digging this up! When I lived in Nashville, we made weekend trips to Loveless Cafe, where the biscuits by the basket was a necessity. And my hometown's minor league team is the Biscuits.



    I now need biscuits back in my life.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
  13. IveofIone

    IveofIone Active Member

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    Trapper, it is interesting what you use at times to make your biscuits. Recently I have tried regular milk for the liquid and also just plain water for those times when nothing else is available. Surprisingly the ones made with water seemed superior to regular milk. Using all butter also resulted in biscuits that were more dense than those with half shortening or all shortening.

    Biscuits appear to be one of the easiest things to bake but it seems to require a lot of experience to get consistently good ones. As a woodworker I compare them to building a simple square box. It sounds easy but you have to be good to make it perfectly square. With biscuits though more jam will hide a multitude of mistakes.:D
     
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  14. Trapper

    Trapper Author, Writer, Photographer

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    In Alaska and in the fall back country camps when it's cold I tend to use butter flavored Crisco because it's not so hard. Also, I use a butter shredder at times. I too experiment.

    I've had many people ask me to share my recipes. I tell them my recipes are a simple guideline, not hard fast. I virtually never make something exactly how it is in my recipe book. I make an Italian herb bread using the same basic recipe I use for pizza dough. People have asked me things like "What ever possessed you to convert a pizza dough recipe to an herb bread?" I tell them "I have no idea why I did that. It just seemed to make sense one day." I think if you are working out of a wall tent in the back country for two months at a time, your mind wanders.
     
  15. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

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    Found no flour of such acclaim at my local Costco yesterday. Nothing less than a 25# bag either. :eek: