In North America a "Biscuit" refers to a small quick bread
that is made with flour, a fat (butter, lard or shortening),
chemical leavening (baking
powder or baking soda), a liquid (milk or buttermilk), and sometimes eggs and a little granulated white sugar. A
good Biscuit, in my mind,
should have a golden brown crust
and when you split it in half, it should be soft, flaky
and moist enough to absorb a pat of butter.
American Biscuit is very similar to the British Scone. To make a good
Biscuit, the correct mixing of the ingredients is
crucial. Although you could use an electric mixer, I prefer to mix the
dough by hand using either a pastry blender or just my
fingertips. Mixing by hand helps to prevent over mixing of the
dough. To begin, the dry ingredients are
mixed together in a large bowl. Next, the butter is cut into the
flour until it looks like coarse crumbs. It is important that the butter
cold so when it is worked into the flour mixture it becomes
small, flour-coated crumbs, not a smooth dough. This method is similar to
how a pie pastry is made and gives the Biscuits a wonderful delicate and
flaky texture. The wet ingredients are then added to the flour mixture.
Mix the dough just until it comes together.
Biscuits need to be baked in a hot oven so the dough sets quickly thereby
producing a light Biscuit with a golden brown top and bottom with white
sides. The texture of
the interior should be light and soft, and white in color. If you want crusty Biscuits, cool them uncovered. If a softer
crust is desired, then wrap the hot Biscuits in a clean dish towel.
Biscuits are also excellent for making another American favorite, the Strawberry Shortcake.
Continue to the
Biscuits recipe page.....
Stay safe and let's get baking!!