Sunday, January 10, 2010

homemade biscuits

homemade biscuit
Originally uploaded by anricat

There are things I've made that are time consuming and require a lot of work and technique. Then there are things that seem like they would be difficult, but really, aren't that tough. Pie crust and biscuits fall into the latter category.

We've been making pie crust in our household from scratch for a number of years now. Once we figured out how easy it is, we never bought another pie crust. I've learned that biscuits are similarly easy. I started with Alton Brown's biscuits from his baking book I mentioned previously. I found the dough from his biscuit recipe to be far too gooey and difficult to work. For me, this lead to some overworking of the dough as I tried to wrangle it into a form I could cut biscuits from. I also thought that they didn't need the egg his recipe called for. Alton Brown also likes to use frozen butter in his recipe. However, I find it to be too difficult to work with and unnecessary. Very well chilled butter right out of the fridge works just fine.

Here's my interpretation:

2 C flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 C (half stick) of cold butter
1/3 C plain, whole milk yogurt
2/3 C milk or buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.
3. Cut the butter into tablespoon-sized chunks and add it to the flour mixture.
4. Using your fingertips, work the butter into the flour (using a rubbing motion) until the butter pieces are approximately pea sized.
5. In a separate container, mix the wet ingredients together, then pour them into the flour/butter mixture.
6. Gently mix the batter by hand until it begins to come together.
7. Turn out the dough onto a work surface dusted with flour.
8. Using your hands, fold the dough back onto itself a few times. (Just fold it in half 3-4 times gently.)
9. Gently press the dough out with your palms until it's about a half inch thick.
10. Cut out your biscuits using a round pastry cutter or biscuit cutter.
11. Lay your biscuits out on a baking sheet so the edges are just touching.
12. Using your index finger, gently make an indention in the center of each biscuit (to promote even rising).
13. Bake 10-12 minutes (this may vary depending on the size of biscuits you cut) at 450 until golden brown.

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