Some of y'all might remember reading my post last week about my trip to Nashville for the Southern Baking Retreat. It was such an amazing trip in so many ways. But one of the best parts of the trips was we got to make biscuits. I mean, who doesn't love a good homemade biscuit? There's nothing like 'em!
One of the things we learned is how many ways there are to make biscuits. Using just a few ingredients, you can change up the shape and flavor of the humble biscuit. One of my favorite biscuits that we made that day is the one I'm going to share with you today. This is the biscuit that me and my baking buddy, Brenda from A Farm Girl's Dabbles, were given as our biscuit task for that day. Brenda had never made biscuits before. But you would never know it. She couldn't believe how good these turned out - on her first attempt ever! That's how easy and amazingly delicious these biscuits are.
Biscuits are intimidating to make for many folks, but they really shouldn't be This recipe along with White Lily Self-Rising flour make it a lot less intimidating for the new or frustrated biscuit maker. Baking does not come naturally to me, so I tell you this, if I can do it, anyone can do it. This is what makes this biscuit turn out perfect every time.
"So, what's the difference between self-rising and all-purpose flour?"
Self-Rising flour already has the leavening agent (baking powder) and salt added in the flour mixture. First off, let's start with the most common complaint any new biscuit maker has.
"Every time I make biscuits, they turn out as hard as bricks."
I hear this one a lot! We all know biscuits shouldn't be hard. So, what could possibly be the problem?
You forgot to add a leavening agent (like baking powder).
When using all-purpose flour to make biscuits, you have to add some sort of leavening agent to get your dough to rise when baking. But, when you use self-rising flour, it already has the leavening added so you don't have to worry about adding in baking powder or salt. And I'm telling you, this White Lily Self-Rising flour is better than any other Self-Rising flour on the market (and I'm not getting paid to say that either). It makes all the difference!
Your baking powder has expired.
If you are using a recipe that calls for all-purpose flour and baking powder, then perhaps it's the baking powder that is the problem. This is actually pretty common. Always check the expiration date on your can or box before baking. You'd be surprised how long that stuff sits in your pantry. Also, put a small bit on your tongue. It should taste metallic and almost "zing" your tongue. But once again, if using self-rising flour, it already has baking powder added so no need to worry about this.
You messed with the dough way too much.
We ain't making bread here. Biscuit dough (unlike bread dough) does not like to be handled and kneaded a lot. A couple of folds and then cut them out. That's it. You do not knead the dough until smooth and elastic, like you would bread.
You measured too much flour without realizing it.
Some folks pack their measuring cups when measuring flour. I used to do this too. It's a common mistake. And then you wonder why the mixture isn't coming together like it should. Do. Not. Pack. This goes for any kind of baking you are doing. This isn't like measuring brown sugar. You do not pack the cup. And it's for this reason, I do not measure directly from the flour bag.
When you scoop directly from the flour bag, you tend to pack the flour in the cup and that will result in too much flour in your batter. The best way to measure flour is to have the flour in a bowl or a flour canister where there is plenty of room to work. I give the flour a good stir first with a fork. This loosens it up a bit and helps stir a little bit of air in there. Then I dip my measuring cup in the flour and scoop off any excess flour. No packing. Just dip and scoop off excess. Either using your finger or a butter knife.
You are using the wrong cup to measure.
There are cups for measuring dry ingredients and there are ones for measuring liquid ingredients. Don't try to scoop flour into a liquid measuring cup. And don't try to measure liquid in a dry ingredient cup. It just doesn't measure the same. Experienced biscuit makers know what a good biscuit dough should feel like.So many of them know if they have too much flour or too little flour in a dough and can add more until it's the right consistency. But until you get to that point, make sure you are using the right cups. This tip goes for all your baking recipes.
You tried to change the fat content.
Changing out ingredients could mess up the recipe entirely. If a recipe calls specifically for butter - use real butter. Not margarine. Not oil.If a recipe calls for heavy cream, use heavy cream, not milk. If a baking recipe calls for milk, don't use skim milk. 2% or higher milk fat is always best. If a recipe calls for buttermilk, use real buttermilk.
You can make a buttermilk substitute most times with a bit of whole milk and lemon juice or vinegar (here's another case where you should never use skim or low fat milk). Buttermilk is thick. And some recipes require that thickness. So if your buttermilk substitute is not thickened, it may not work in your recipe. There is a buttermilk powder on the market. It works fine, but honestly, nothing tastes quite like good, real buttermilk to me. But the powder usually works in a pinch. Fat is needed in most baking recipes for a reason so keep it there unless the recipe creator has given instructions that a substitute can be used.
And another mention of note when making biscuits:
DO NOT TWIST YOUR BISCUIT CUTTER.
When you press into the biscuit dough, push straight down and pull up. Do not twist the biscuit cutter in the dough. Twisting it seals the edges off and will keep your biscuit from rising. Resist the twist!!
Ok, so having gone through all that, let's make some biscuits. I promise, you got this. Your family will go nuts for these! And only 2 ingredients. Yep, just 2 (and a little melted butter).Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups White Lily Self-Rising flour
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup melted butter (for tops of biscuits)
Preheat oven to 500F degrees (yes, that is the correct temperature) Spray a baking sheet with a little nonstick spray. Measure out flour (using technique above) into a large bowl.Gradually stir in cream, adding enough to moisten flour to a sticky dough.
Mix gently then turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface (use the self-rising flour).
If it is too sticky to handle, add just a sprinkling of self-rising flour to the top.
Fold the dough two times to form a ball.
Pat or roll dough gently to a 1/2 inch thickness.
You'll notice, it's not rolled out into a big sheet.
Take your biscuit cutter and dip it in a bit of the self-rising flour (this will keep it from sticking to the dough as it cuts). Then begin to cut out biscuits as close together as possible. Do not twist your biscuit cutter when cutting them out. Just press down, and pull up.
I got about 3 biscuits from this first cutting. I probably could have cut out 4. Then I rolled the dough back up and spread it out again. Then did a second cutting. Don't cut the dough more than twice. The dough starts to get tough after that and it changes the texture. So two cuttings will be the maximum for these biscuits. I get 6 biscuits from this recipe. Place biscuits on your prepared cookie sheet.
Note: Place biscuits close to each other (with sides touching) for soft biscuit sides. Separate biscuits if you want a biscuit with slightly crisper sides.
Brush the tops of the biscuits with a bit of melted butter.
Note: Little hands love to help make biscuits!
Then place biscuits (one sheet at a time, in the middle rack) in preheated oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
I love how these biscuits separate just a bit in the middle. It makes them easy to split. Brush tops of biscuits with a little more melted butter and serve while warm.
And then put a little more butter on the insides if you'd like too.
I'm telling ya, these biscuits are so fluffy and beautiful. No one can resist them! I gotta say, there is something so relaxing and pleasing about making a good biscuit. Just looking at the counter I made those biscuits on makes me happy.
If you follow these few suggestions here, I promise you will have a beautiful, fluffy and amazing tasting biscuit. If you can get your hands on some White Lily Self-Rising flour, then I know you will never go back to using anything else again because everyone will be so impressed by your soft and fluffy biscuits. Southern bakers swear by this flour for a reason.
Here are some additional tips from White Lily:
|TIP||Biscuit dough does not need to be kneaded except just to form a ball. A few gentle folds is enough. It is a common mistake in biscuit making to overhandle the dough.|
|TIP||TO STORE: Cool biscuits completely. Wrap in plastic wrap or place in freezer storage containers. Biscuits can be frozen for up to one month. To reheat: Place biscuits on baking pan and bake 5 to 10 minutes at 400°F. Refrigeration is not recommended.|