After all, how much homier can you get than fresh biscuits, oozing with butter and dripping with honey?
Back in September, when our dear Missy was recovering from a bout with the crud, she posted "This and That". In her post, she mentions biscuits, and in the comments I learned something shocking! There are people who don't make homemade biscuits! I had no idea so many of my friends were deprived in this area!
Well, we're fixing that today!
Believe me: You'll love these, and your family will thank you! You may even get better Christmas presents from them because of these biscuits, but I'm not promising anything.
Biscuits Supreme (from the 1980 Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook)
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup milk
There is one important principle you need to remember when making biscuits:
♥ The butter needs to be cold - before adding it to the flour, while mixing it, and while rolling and cutting the dough. That means you need to make sure you don't handle the dough too much. If the butter gets warm before you put the biscuits in the oven, the flour will start absorbing it too early and then your biscuits won't be flaky.
Okay! Let's get started.
1) Preheat your oven to 450°.
2) Mix your dry ingredients. Measure the flour, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar and salt into a large bowl and stir.
♥ By the way, Cream of Tartar is a natural substance - a byproduct of wine making. It makes a difference in this recipe - the biscuits turn out lighter and fluffier than without it.
3) Cut in the butter. There are several ways to do this - use your food processor, a pastry cutter, two knives, or use your fingers. But remember: don't let the butter get warm. Whatever method you use, do it quickly and work the dough as little as possible.
4) Add the milk. Whole milk is best, but skim will do. I often mix skim milk with a bit of cream to mimic whole milk.
5) Stir just until the milk is mixed into the flour.
6) Turn the dough onto your bread board or counter and knead quickly...1...2...3. Remember! Don't let the butter get warm!
7) Roll out to about 3/4" thickness and cut. I like to use my great-grandmother's biscuit cutter
Or, if you don't have a biscuit cutter, you can cut the dough into triangles.
8) Place the biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet - I like to use my insulated pan to help the biscuits bake evenly.
9) Bake at 450° for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
See those flaky layers? Now that's a biscuit :)
I've played around with this recipe a bit, using whole-wheat flour, or a mixture of wheat and spelt. The whole grains absorb the butter differently, so the biscuits aren't quite as light, but the flavor is fabulous.
You can serve your biscuits with butter, honey, and/or jam. They're great with sausage gravy, too.
So, who is going to be brave and try making homemade biscuits? It's a skill worth learning, believe me!
In other news, we're having "fun" at our house....
On Saturday we ripped out the carpeting in our living room, down to the bare floor.
Thatcher isn't too sure about this strange stuff that took the place of his carpet. Wynter took refuge in her bed.
But here's a preview of what the new floor will look like. I think I'm in love :)