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Diary of an Inconsistent Cook #51: No Fail (American) Biscuits (#homecooking)

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Made using the fancy, flaky tri-fold and roll method.

Ever wanted an impossibly high, flaky, biscuit to come right out of your oven?  Want one recipe that can be quick and rustic or really fancy for the holidays?    I found my new favorite over at Orgasmic Chef.    This dough has come through even with my notorious recipe fiddling and substituting.

There were none left after Thanksgiving because one of my three-and-a-half-year-old nieces hoarded the last six in a baggie and took them home.  She declared:  YUM

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Dough is just coming together; there will be visible flecks of butter. This is desirable. If after a light kneading it still doesn’t look incorporated enough, don’t be tempted to over work. Wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge. This will allow the liquid and flour to mingle.

Orgasmic Chef recipe with some minor additions and addenums:

2 cups all purpose flour, cold, sifted
3½ tsp baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cream of tartar (this is a stabilizer it makes a difference if you leave it out)
1 tablespoon honey
1 stick (½ cup) butter, cold, grated
⅔ cup milk, cold (milk substitutes like almond milk work fine)

I have made Orgasmic Chef’s recipe many times.    My Tip:   Everything should be cold. Go ahead and refrigerate your flour if you have a hot house. If you have hot hands, try not to touch the dough too much.  If you are a cold handed white walker like me, then you were born for biscuit making.

Preheat oven to 450F (230C).  This blast of heat is very important for the loftiness.

If your oven tends to cycle down in temperature, you can preheat to 425F then raise it to 450F once you put the biscuits in to ensure that you get a high heat.

Grating the butter is my special technique when a food processor isn’t available.

Grate the butter and combine with the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or fork until the crumbles are fine and no bigger than a pea.  You can instead combine the butter and dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse to the right texture.  Or you can cut the butter into small cubes and use a fork or your hands.

Add the cold milk and honey and mix to combine.  Knead on a floured surface very lightly — just enough to bring it together; don’t over work the dough.   Over kneading will produce a biscuit that you can use to build a brick patio.

If you want quick, rustic biscuits (and you can’t wait) and the dough is still cold, pat out to about 3/4 of an inch.  Cut into squares with a sharp knife (or use a biscuit cutter or glass).  Cut straight down; one motion.   Do not twist the cutter or rock the knife.  Twisting will seal the edges and interfere with rising.  Place an inch apart for soft edges (you can bake them close too).  Brush with butter if you like (optional).  Bake about 10-20 minutes (or until golden brown);  time depends on your oven and how big you made them so watch them closely.

If you want a biscuit that’s more tender (or your dough is getting warm).  Let the dough rest in the fridge first for 10 to 30 minutes (or freezer for five to ten).    You may brush the tops with melted butter before baking if desired.

If you want a flaky, layer biscuit, then roll out as a rectangle and tri-fold.  Roll out again.  tri-fold and roll.   Let the dough rest thirty minutes in the fridge.   Roll and fold two more times.  Let rest thirty minutes in the fridge again.   Roll out the last time to 3/4 of an inch (an inch if you want giant leaning towers of flakiness), cut, let rest about twenty minutes in the fridge and bake as above.

*Note: You can substitute all or some of the butter with cold shortening.  This will make a softer and lighter biscuit.  However, the more shortening you substitute the more the flavor is changed.    If you like buttery biscuits err on the butter side.  If you like a more Bob Evans style (low butter flavor or no butter flavor) use shortening.

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Rustic and round batch. I prefer the ease of squares myself for a quick,no waste no-fuss biscuit.

Same recipe ... four styles!

Same recipe … many styles!   The bigger ones rise higher!

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4 comments on “Diary of an Inconsistent Cook #51: No Fail (American) Biscuits (#homecooking)

  1. A Joy
    December 6, 2016

    These look so good!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. BeaFreitas
    December 6, 2016

    These look amazing !!

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on December 6, 2016 by in bread, breakfast, cooking and tagged , , , , , .

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