*UPDATE – See this post about our new eating habits.(7/10/11)
Biscuits. Biscuits and gravy. Biscuits and jam. Biscuits, bacon, and eggs. Biscuits and BUTTER! I’m about to take you to a land of ecstasy. I’m going to teach you to make biscuits. Yes, you can do it! It’s really not hard. It’ll make your whole family love you and shower you with gifts. Serve them biscuits and gravy and you’ve got them wrapped around your finger. Biscuits can bring world peace! Let’s go!
To make these world peace solvers, you’ll need all purpose flour, shortening, milk, baking powder, salt, and melted butter. If you want to make buttermilk biscuits, you’d use buttermilk instead of regular milk. I didn’t have any buttermilk, so we had regular biscuits. It doesn’t have to be skim milk – it can be whole milk, 2 %, or 1%. Heck, you could even use Lactaid if you wanted. I wouldn’t use chocolate milk…….but it might work. Chocolate biscuits!? How could that be wrong?
Measure your flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. You’re going to drop your shortening into it in small clumps. See this tool? It makes biscuit making easy as pie! Normally I don’t tell you to buy frivolous things, but this is NOT one of those. Buy one. You’ll love it. It’ll have a spot at the dinner table. Plus, it’s great for making pie dough too! I use mine for all sorts of things, but I’m eccentric. However, if you don’t have one you can use your fingertips.
Take your fingers or pastry cutter and work the shortening into the flour until the flour looks coarse, like this. Recipes always say “until pieces are the size of peas.” They must not have seen country sized peas, because they get huge! That’s not what we’re looking for here. Just wanted to tell you that so you wouldn’t spend all day working this shortening, trying to get pea sized bits.
Gradually add your milk or buttermilk. Add only enough to moisten the flour and get it to stick together. It should be stiff, not runny. If it’s runny, you’ve done something wrong. Stop here and go to Hardees.
Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it only a few times. If you knead it too much, it will get tough. Trust me….not even gravy can help a tough biscuit. You could use it for a hockey puck. Pat or roll the dough out to about a ½ inch thickness. Using a biscuit cutter, cut out your biscuits. Leave as little room between the cuts as you can. Gather remaining dough and re-roll and cut once more. Don’t do it more than that…….remember the tough biscuits? Hardees was made for people who roll their dough 3 times. Oh, and if you don’t have a biscuit cutter you can use a floured drinking glass or even a tin can that the top has been cut off.
You’ll have leftover dough from the second roll-out. Don’t throw it out! Do what I do and make ugly biscuits. My mom always made an ugly biscuit and it was my favorite. Pat out the leftover dough into whatever shape you want. It just tastes better. Misfit biscuit. All it needs is some butter or jelly. I fed this one to Annie. I wanted it, but I am willing to make sacrifices.
Place your biscuits on a baking sheet. DO NOT GREASE THE SHEET. Thank you. Brush the top of the biscuits with melted butter. It makes them bake up all golden looking….yum! Oh, and please use a nasty looking, old baking sheet. It gives character to the biscuits – and it makes me feel better about having nasty old baking sheets. If you want the biscuits to be crispy on the edges, make sure they’re not touching on the pan. But if you want them to be nice and soft then place them close together. I like mine crispy. I didn’t take a household vote, so that was how I baked them. Only my vote counts anyway.
Bake in a preheated oven until browned on top. Brush with butter again as soon as they come out of the oven. Don’t skimp on the butter. No one likes a dry biscuit. You can eat them immediately, you don’t have to wait! Most bread needs to sit a little before you can eat it but this doesn’t fall into that category! Yay! We ate ours with sausage gravy. Yeah, it’s ok to be jealous.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup shortening
- 2/3 to ¾ cup milk or buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
- Measure flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
- Divide shortening into small pieces and scatter over flour. Work shortening into flour until pieces are the size of peas (or just until flour looks coarse).
- Gradually stir in milk or buttermilk, only until dough is moist enough to hold together.
- Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead gently 2-3 times. Roll or pat dough to ½ inch thickness.
- Cut with floured biscuit cutter, leaving as little dough between cuts as possible.
- Gather remaining dough and re-roll one time.
- Place biscuits on a baking sheet (ungreased), with sides touching for soft biscuits or not touching for crispier sides.
- Brush tops with melted butter.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until tops of biscuits are golden brown. Brush with butter again. Serve hot!