Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Recipe: Homemade Biscuits

This Recipe for Biscuits originally came from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook which Richard had gotten me the 1st Fall (1967) after we were married. If you are of the same vintage as me, you might smile just thinking about its Cheery Red Plaid cover. I surely have smiled when I have looked at this Cookbook for a lot of years and I surely do now. That trusty Cookbook has been a Long Time Friend.

I have made this recipe a lot. You can tell that by the food samples on the page and the fact the looseleaf page has lost its 5 hole punches. Over the years, I have modified this Recipe a bit so it has taken on more of the tastes and preferences of my family and me.

This is a perfect Recipe to support a taste trial for Molasses. Fresh and hot out of the oven, these Biscuits also provide proper support and a "fine carrier" for an assortment of Homemade Jams and Jellies.

2 Cups White Flour
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
A shake or 2 of Salt
1/3 Cup Shortening or Butter
2/3-3/4 Cup Milk

Sift Flour, Baking Powder and Salt. Place in large bowl. Grate Shortening or Butter using large side of Grater. Place in Dry Ingredients a little at a time until complete. Gently turn with a spoon. Use Pastry Blender to cut the Fat into the Dry Ingredients. Continue until mixture is the consistency of coarse Cornmeal. Gently add liquid a bit at a time. Stir until the dough is evenly moist and easy to work without becoming sticky. Place flour on clean flat work surface and knead dough for 1-2 minutes. Roll into a circle. Cut in 12 wedges. Place wedges on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes. Biscuits are done when they are evenly light brown on top and they spring back to the touch. Eat immediately. Enjoy.

  • We prefer to use Organic Flour.
  • I sometimes substitute 1/2 Cup Whole Wheat for the same amount of White. The taste is heartier.
  • We always use Aluminum-free Baking Powder which we purchase at the Health Food Store. We are trying to reduce Aluminum exposure in our foods.
  • We use Sea Salt rather than White Salt. Sea Salt includes naturally occurring Minerals.
  • For Shortening, we use a product free of Trans-Fats (Brand: Earth Balance Natural Shortening) which I find in the Health Food Section of our grocery store. I sometimes use Butter, but since we try to restrict our use of Dairy due to allergies, I usually use Earth Balance Natural Shortening instead.
  • I find that Earth Balance Natural Shortening and Butter work best if stored in the Freezer. Otherwise they become soft. Those little pockets of fat make the end product tender and flaky.
  • For Milk, I usually use Almond or Hazelnut Milk, again, when I desire to reduce Dairy in our diet.
  • I no longer have my 3-way Sifter and have been looking for 1, but to no avail. I run the dry ingredients through a large Sieve.
  • Adding too much liquid and overkneading can cause a tough product.
  • Biscuits get better with practice. So get to practicing!
  • You could call these Biscuits or Scones. Biscuits are typically round cut-outs. Scones are more apt to be "pie wedges". I just call these Biscuits or Scones depending on my mood. If I am feeling Down Home and Country, they are Biscuits. If I am feeling a bit of my English ancestry, they become Scones.

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