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Old 07-23-2015, 03:02 PM   #1
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Building a better biscuit!

For years I've been making a standard biscuit recipe from the betty crocker book and every single time I've been disappointed. Last week I decided enough was enough - it was time to learn to make really good biscuits. I tried all sorts of recipes, some with sugar, self rising flour, shortening, etc.

After lots of recipe searching and about 20 batches I have one that works and tastes as good as it looks. Here's my final recipe and some tips.


2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
½ C salted butter, iced & cubed
1 C cold buttermilk
2 T buttermilk or cream (for tops)


Oven 425 | Baking sheet lined with parchment or sprinkled with corn meal
  1. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl.
  2. Cut butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles small peas.
  3. Make a well in the center of butter and flour mixture. Pour in buttermilk; stir until just barely combined.
  4. Turn dough onto a floured surface, pat together into a rectangle. Don’t worry about errant crumbs and chunks. Dough will come together as you work.
  5. Fold the rectangle in thirds. Turn dough a half turn, gather any crumbs, and flatten back into a rectangle. Repeat twice more, folding and pressing dough a total of three times. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.
  6. Roll dough on a floured surface to about 1/2 inch thick.
  7. Cut out 12 biscuits using a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter.
  8. Transfer biscuits to the baking sheet. Press an indent into the top of each biscuit with your thumb. (aides even rise)
  9. Brush the tops of biscuits with 2 tablespoons buttermilk or cream.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven until browned, about 15 minutes.


Behold - biscuit glory!

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Flaky biscuit tips:
  • Make sure your baking powder is fresh.
  • Chill flour if possible
  • Consider grating frozen butter into flour mix, alternatively slice it thinly and stick it in the freezer for a few minutes.
  • The folding step is the key to that layered flaky texture - don't skip but work quickly.
  • Cut biscuits straight down - do not twist cutter as it seal the sides and they don't rise as well. Use a real biscuit cutter or something with sharp edges - no glasses. A soup can with lip cut off works well.
  • Avoid over handling dough. The key to awesome biscuits is COLD ingredients and minimally handled dough.

Buttermilk substitute (not as good but in a pinch...): 2 T lemon juice or cider vinegar and milk to make 1 C total

Freeze em: Uncooked biscuits can be frozen and cooked frozen in a 450 oven. 8 minutes @ 450 and then another 7 or 8 mins with the oven turned off (do not open door).

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Old 07-23-2015, 03:47 PM   #2
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Those are gorgeous. That sounds like simplified version of a rough puff pastry dough.
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Old 07-23-2015, 03:57 PM   #3
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Those biscuits look perfect!
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Old 07-23-2015, 05:06 PM   #4
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Janet, those look so good. All those flaky layers. Yum. Bet they taste great too.

I have several recipes I use, but no particular favorite. Certainly will try your recipe.

One of the things I found is I switched to an aluminum sulfate free baking powder. Rumford brand is one.

Some people pick up on the flavor and personally, I don't care to ingest trace elements of aluminum.

I sometimes just cut biscuits in squares rather than take the time to cut with a biscuit cutter. But you know, round ones look and I think, taste batter.
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:37 PM   #5
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Oh my goodness, those look so good, Janet. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I need to buy a biscuit cutter (yes, I don't have one ), and give those a try!
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Old 07-23-2015, 08:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskadoodle View Post
Some people pick up on the flavor and personally, I don't care to ingest trace elements of aluminum.
Aluminum and aluminum sulfate are not the same thing.

http://www.chemistryexplained.com/el.../Aluminum.html
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Old 07-23-2015, 08:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
...
  1. Fold the rectangle in thirds. Turn dough a half turn, gather any crumbs, and flatten back into a rectangle. Repeat twice more, folding and pressing dough a total of three times. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.
...
Those look fantastic!

This is interesting. I've never seen a biscuit recipe that involved folding the dough. Are these intended to be different from the traditional biscuit from the South or is this just another way to get a great product?
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Old 07-23-2015, 09:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Those look fantastic!

This is interesting. I've never seen a biscuit recipe that involved folding the dough. Are these intended to be different from the traditional biscuit from the South or is this just another way to get a great product?
I've never seen a biscuit recipe call for this but I used to live in North Carolina and the best biscuits I ever had were at a tiny mom and pop place. 'Mom' would make biscuits on a giant board that she put on one of the few tables in the front room of the old house that served as their restaurant. She used to do this folding thing. Her slab of dough was a raggy, crumbly mess, but it would come together nicely and tasted so good... made sense to me, sort of like puff pastry.
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Old 07-23-2015, 09:58 PM   #9
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You need White Lily flour...
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janet H View Post
I've never seen a biscuit recipe call for this but I used to live in North Carolina and the best biscuits I ever had were at a tiny mom and pop place. 'Mom' would make biscuits on a giant board that she put on one of the few tables in the front room of the old house that served as their restaurant. She used to do this folding thing. Her slab of dough was a raggy, crumbly mess, but it would come together nicely and tasted so good... made sense to me, sort of like puff pastry.
Thanks, Janet.
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