Biscuits not rising

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legend_018

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I made this wonderful turkey pot pie and instead of pie crust, made biscuits and placed on top. Got the idea from a recipe. It had a picture of nice thick looking biscuits and said something about the dough rising in the oven while cooking. Mine was good, but didn't exactly rise. They became more like dumplings. Do you think it was because of the squished space they were in? It originally stated to place biscuit rounds on top of a pie mixture that is in a big baking dish.

BISCUITS:
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt. sift all three ingredients into a large chilled bowl.

Add 2 tablespoons of butter, cut into bits and 2 tablespoons of lard, cut into bits. I used crisco instead of lard. With your finger tips, rub the flour mixture and fat together until they look like flakes of coarse meal.

Pour in 1/2 cup cold milk and beat with a wooden spoon until the dough is smooth and can be gathered into a fairly dry, compact ball. If the dough is moist and sticky - add flour one tablespoon at a time.

roll dough, cut dough into 2 inch rounds. You can use the bottom of a glass to make the rounds if you want.

Brush tops with butter. Place them all on top of the chicken pot pie mixture. Bake for 25 minutes 400 degrees.
 

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philso

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the difference between biscuits and dumplings is that biscuits are baked dry and dumpling cooked in boiling liquid. what you need to do is to increase the ratio of biscuit exposed to the dryheat as opposed to that in the liquid.

just looking at your picture it's hard to be positive but they looked rather thinly rolled. then i counted them and looked at the amounts in your recipe. you rolled out 15 biscuits, but i usually get about 17 or 18 biscuits with a recipe double your size (4 c flour, etc.). so, yours were roughly 1/2 the thickness. even if you had just baked them on a sheet pan, they would probably not have been particularly thick, and given that all but the surface was cooked in the liquid, the results were probably to be expected.

try rolling or patting out your dough to about 3/4 inch or so next time and see how it works.

another thing about biscuit dough is that to achieve the lightest and fluffiest biscuits, you want to use as much liquid as possible but still be able to roll them out. off the top of my head, i think my biscuits run like this: 4 c flour, 2 T baking powder, a hefty pinch of salt, 1/2 c butter, 1 1/2 c milk(which i increase to 1 3/4 c milk, a little difficult to handle). so about 1/2 again as much milk as yours.

lastly, 1 hint would be to put your meat and vegies into the baking dish first, and then add only enough sauce to bring it just to the top , so the the surface of the meat and vegies are just visible. this will allow the biscuit dough to sit on top without sinking down into the liquid.

good luck next time. ;)
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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I agree mostly with what Philso said. And what I would change is simply semantics an is probably just a matter of opinion. I do use t tsp. double acting baking powder per cup of flour in my buscuits along with three tbs. of fat (cookin oil, butter, or whatever you prefer to use). When I put them on something that has a sauce, gravy, or broth, I make drop bisuits rather than roll them out. It's more dramatic looking and you get those wonderfully browned peaks. Dumplings are cooked mostly by steam in a covered pan, where the bottom of the dough rests in the water and the steam cooks the part that floats above the broth. If you cook without a lid on your caserole, or stew, then you have a biscuit topping. If you roll them out, follow Philso's advice for thickness. And remember, biscuit dough is made from flour, so don't overwork it. Mix until everything is blended and no more. You don't want to develop the gluten. You will need the oven to be at about 375 or so to cook the biscuits and brown them properly. And remember, they don't take all that long to bake, 20 minutes or so. So time your meal accordingly, that is, make sure that the time required to cook the whole thing isn't going to overcook the biscuits because you placed them on top too soon, or that you don't overcook the casserole by waiting for the biscuits to cook through. Your next try will probably come out really good. And depending on what you're putting the biscuits over, you can substitute soup broth or boullion for the salt to give the biscuits more character and to compliment the dish. Hope this helps.

Oh, and I use double acting baking powder as it begins to do its leavening when liquid is added to make the dough. A second set of ingredients is activated when heat is applied. It produces a lighter, fluffier end result.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
 

LPBeier

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I would probably bake the biscuits separately on baking sheets and they add them to the dishes of stew. I have never heard of baking them on liquid. But it does sound interesting!

Hope that helps!
 

bakechef

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Most people will tell you not to handle the dough any more than you have to and not develop any gluten. Well all I can say is HOGWASH! When I did my biscuits this way I had wonderfully tender biscuits, but they were always flat!

I started kneading the dough a few kneads, just until the dough came together nicely, this activated the gluten, but didn't develop it too much. This gluten gave the biscuit just enough structure to be able to support itself to rise instead of spread, giving me nice tall biscuits for the first time!

I also feel that biscuits need a good hot oven to start and give them the jump that they need. Having them sit in the gravy of the pot pie doesn't give them the shot of heat that they need to rise to their full potential.

I would bake the biscuits on a pan and place them on top of the pie after baking.

The way I do pot pie now is I make the filling (Ida Garten, the barefoot contessa's recipe is fabulous) and serve it over baked biscuits, this is my favorite way to do pot pie!
 

philso

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japan
have to concur with goodweed about the drop biscuits. the varied surface gives you a lot of really crispy parts which makes for a good contrast with the sauce. increase the milk in your recipe and drop spoon- or forkfuls on top sometime. ;)
 

ChefJune

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I would probably bake the biscuits separately on baking sheets and they add them to the dishes of stew. I have never heard of baking them on liquid. But it does sound interesting!

Hope that helps!

I do that, too, Laurie.

Could it be something as simple as your baking powder was out of date?

I'm also with Kayelle. It could be that simple, but from the looks of things, you rolled your biscuits too thin. Rule of thumb for biscuit height is 1/2 to 3/4-inch of thickness. Then you should get a decent rise.
 
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