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Old 03-23-2008, 11:29 AM   #1
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Buttermilk Biscuits Gone Awry

I have recently been trying to make biscuits and I just can't seem it hit the mark. I have tried twice with two different recipes and two different flours. The results both times were nearly the same, with slight flavor differences. The biscuits look right, but the flavor, texture, and smell is off. The texture of the biscuits is crumbly instead of flakey. The texture is more cake like than biscuit like. The taste is slightly bitter with a noticeable wheaty taste.
And the smell is also wheaty. Below are the two recipes I've tried.

2 C. Flour (Unbleaced, Unenriched All Purpose Hodgson Mill Brand)
4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
3/4 tsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Crisco
1 C. Buttermilk

450 15-20min.

2 C. Flour (Bleached All Purpose Gold Medal Brand)
2 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1/2 C. Crisco
3/4 C. Buttermilk

500 8-10min.

With both of these I first throughly mix the dry ingredients. Then I add the crisco/butter which I work together with my hands until it is nearly worked together. Then I add the buttermilk and work together just until I can from the batter (maybe 20-30secs.) After that I throw that batter on my floured countertop and push it together for maybe 30-45 secs. I don't knead it I just push it into a big ball then I roll it out to about an inch thick. Then I cut the biscuits out and throw them in the oven.


Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks,
K.

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Old 03-23-2008, 11:42 AM   #2
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I too have been learning to try and make biscuits from scratch. So far my attempts have failed because my biscuits turn out flat. They taste good and have the right texture, but flat. Perhaps we both can learn something from the biscuit experts! Sorry that I am of no help to you, but do intend to watch this thread for tips!
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Old 03-23-2008, 11:43 AM   #3
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Is your Crisco/butter cold when you cut it into the mixture?
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Old 03-23-2008, 11:47 AM   #4
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The butter is cold but the crisco is not
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Old 03-23-2008, 11:50 AM   #5
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I could be wrong (like I stated, I'm still learning the techniques myself) but I do believe you want the Crisco to be cold as well. That may be the problem with your biscuits. Is your Crisco the stick type or actual oil? If you are using the stick type, try freezing or chilling it before cutting it into your dry mixture. That is the only thing I can think of that may be going wrong for you.
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Old 03-23-2008, 12:05 PM   #6
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I've got the 2 pound tub variety of crisco
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Old 03-23-2008, 12:17 PM   #7
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(I was hoping someone would chime in here, I could be leading you down the wrong path!) I would take out the amount of Crisco that you need for your recipe and chill it. Cut it into your dry mixture and see if that helps. (I would even try making mini batches of biscuits and experiment.) That is something I need to try and do myself until I get my biscuits coming out right.

I think you have inspired me to try and make biscuits again this morning!
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Old 03-23-2008, 12:20 PM   #8
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the last biscuits I made a couple of weeks ago were dry and hockey puckish. I too am in the search of perfect biscuits. I've run into wonderful ones at a local breakfast restaurant we've gone into for years, and an old friend of mine's husband worked there, if I could find her, as it's been years, I'd ask her to get that recipe out of him and pass it on to me.
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Old 03-23-2008, 02:07 PM   #9
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I will give you a few suggestions based on my experience.

First, I don't think it matters if the Crisco is cold. The butter must be cold to prevent melting. Crisco melts at a higher temp so it isn't a problem.

The idea is to have small pieces (pea size) of butter/Crisco mixed in with the flour/dry ingredients. Working with your hands will often result in melting the butter and not result in the peas sized blobs.

I would suggest a pastry cutter or a fork instead of your hands.

When adding the liquid, again using one's hands will often lead to "over-working" that may result in the butter and Crisco losing their "blob". This is what makes biscuits tender.

Stir with a fork for about 10 seconds until it just comes together. Then turn it out on a floured surface and work in lightly with flour until it loses its sticky feel.

At that point, I just flatten mine out with my hand and cut. Then re-flatten the scraps and cut again.

I like mine a little over an inch high.

On cutting; use a biscuit cutter and push straight down without turning at the end. Turning seals the sides and the biscuits will not rise as well and may turn out flat.

I like using White Lily self rising flour. It looks like your "cakey" texture may be due to too much liquid/and or too soft butter in the end product.

1/4 cup butter and 2/3 to 3/4 cup buttermilk in 2 cups flour are the amounts I use with good success.
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Old 03-23-2008, 02:23 PM   #10
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Is the dry ingredients measured by weight or by volume?
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