Sunday, February 6, 2011

Biscuits, White Flour


Biscuits are easy to make and a staple for breakfast and camping food made from simple ingredients we should have on hand.

As with all recipes I’ve found on the internet, cookbooks or cooking shows there seems to be dozens of variations to choose from and I wonder if these people ever actually make and eat what they write about?. On my quest to make great biscuits I have tried many of these recipes with poor taste results. Mostly the amount of baking powder and sugar were the culprits. Too much baking powder tastes bitter and leaves an after taste for hours and not enough sugar they taste like plain flour and water. Biscuits should be easy, fun and taste great. Recently I finally came up with a recipe that I think is a winner and would like to share it with you.

Makes about 16-20 Bisquits
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup milk (or hydrated powdered milk)

Directions:
Preheat the oven as you want to get the dough cooking as soon as it is made.

Place flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl and thoroughly blend.

Add and cut in shortening until the mixture looks like crumbly like the size of small peas.

Now blend in the milk until it just combines, about one minute.

If using a mixer use the flat beater attachment.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and pat or roll to about a ½ inch thickness and cut into 2 inch diameters or squares.

Place on a greased baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 13 minutes or until golden brown.

7 comments:

  1. I make my own bread from scratch. But sometimes I don't feel like waiting for breads to rise and such and biscuits are great for this and make great coffee cakes and muffins off the base mix. I just make the mix pour in a loaf pan then using a spatula to split the batter, sprinkle in a brown sugar and cinnamon mix and bake about 30 minutes. Makes an awesome coffee cake.

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  2. I also make bisquits, we love them I don't use sugar in mine and also use buttermilk. Yours look so good! Bisquits are surprisingly easy to make and take almost no time to prepare. Blessings jane

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  3. Adventures, the coffee cake sounds good. I'll give that a try soon.

    Jane, I find the little sugar makes the bisquits outright addictive!

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  4. Yukon Mike, I make my biscuits like yours except instead of the milk I use one cup of warm water to which I've added 1/2 teaspoon of soda and 1/4 cup of my sourdough starter.

    Mountain Rifleman

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  5. Mountain Rifleman,
    Thanks. This is my first version of biscuits and it uses all purpose flour and milk is almost always an option in baking so you’re right about using water. Most of my recipes I focus on using my stored bulk dry food only like wheat. My next version will be fresh milled wheat flour with baking powder and my third version will be like yours using sourdough starter. Starter is the ultimate survival leavener because I can always make it and it’s easy to make.
    Could you send me your recipe? It would save me a lot of trial and error.

    Again thanks,
    Mike

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  6. Yukon Mike,

    I began my sourdough starter during the late 1960s. I've kept it going ever since. At first I kept it in a crock on the kitchen counter, but it was always so active that I have kept in in the refrigerator. If you want the starter more active just set out the portion you want to use overnight in a warm place. You don't have to warm it up for these biscuits. I use a wide mouthed glass jar and I had punched several holes in the top. I never add anything to the starter except flour and water. If I haven't used the starter in a while I remove about half and add flour and water. When I first started it about fifty years ago I added a tablespoon of yeast, but no added yeast since. That original starter is like my axe, "best axe I ever owned, wore out two heads and three handles."

    Sourdough Biscuits

    2 cups flour
    1 tsp salt
    2 tsps baking powder
    1/4 tsp soda
    1/2 cup shortening, butter, or lard
    2/3 cup sourdough starter
    1/2 cup cold water

    Sift flour, salt, baking powder and soda together. Blend the shortening with them and hollow out the center of the mix. Pour in the sourdough and cold water. Mix. Work the dough flat to about 3/4 inches thick on a floured board, I just use my hands, no rolling pin. Dough should not be sticky, if it is dust it with more flour. I cut the biscuits out with whatever is handy. In elk camp I use a tin can for cutting. Bake on an ungreased sheet at 450 degrees F. until brown, or around 10-15 minutes, watch 'em close. In elk camp I get a 375 degree oven on my Yukon (1950 Army) wood stove; it takes a lot longer in a slow oven. A long time ago my son made me a sheet metal oven that takes a 9 inch pie plate that's just right for pies and biscuits. Hotter is better, but they're still good.

    I try to get a deer down first day or two for camp meat. Pard and I pack in with our horses and are gone for a couple of weeks. Take along a lot of flour, and bacon for the grease and flavor, and tins of evaporated milk for the gravy. Now that's livin'.

    Mountain Rifleman

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  7. Mountain Rifleman,
    Thanks for the recipe and the detail. I'll be trying them soon!

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Your thoughts are welcome!