How do YOU make biscuits?

I’ve been making biscuits lately. I’ve got a recipe, I follow it.

(You’re supposed to do that with baking stuff. With other cooking stuff it’s OK to improvise)

Here’s the recipe I’ve been using:

2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup cold whole milk

Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients. Mix together, quickly, to form dough.
Shape into biscuits, Bake in 475 oven 10-12 minutes.

I’ve improvised a bit - used whole wheat flour to make myself feel ‘healthier’ - since these usually get covered with berries and ice cream, any ‘healthy’ that comes into it is appreciated, if over-rationalized.

And yet, the biscuits seem to be lacking a certain vital something. I make them with a friend, and this is my friend’s mom’s recipe. So the lack is not mother’s love, we’ve got that covered.

We have messed up this recipe a number of ways (the only unrecoverable thing we ever did was failing to mix the wet ingredients together before mixing everything together - go figure) and they seem to come out pretty much the same anyway.

I’m not trying to promote this recipe - I’m looking for a better one.

How do YOU make biscuits? Are they really, really good? Would they be good with berries and ice cream on them …

I sorta follow the drop biscuit recipe on the back of the Bisquick box, then add a bunch of pulverized red pepper flakes, a whole bunch of shredded cheese and, sometimes, cooked ham/sausage/bacon. Breakfast in a biscuit. :slight_smile:

My biscuits are delectable. Took years to perfect them. Light, fluffy, and perfect in every way. :wink: Here, try 'em:

Stasia’s Biscuits:

2 cups white flour
1 tbsp white sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (I like butter flavoured) shortening (or margerine)
2/3 cup milk
1 beaten egg

Combine first four ingredients. Cut in your shortening (or margerine). Add milk and egg and mix well. Gently knead the dough, roll out an inch thick and cut out rounds (I use a regular sized drinking glass for this, but you can use cookie cutters or whatever is handy). Put a dab of butter on each biscuit before baking. Bake for 10 minutes at 425.

These. Biscuits. Rock. They are so light and delicious.

I’ve tried other recipes, but I always come back to Bisquick.

Dear god. I think I just wrote an ad campaign. :smack:

The main thing missing from your biscuits is some sort of solid fat–either butter, shortening, or lard. You really can’t make a proper biscuit (specifically, what we in the south of the US would refer to as a biscuit) without it.

I use half butter and half shortening. Keep the butter in the freezer and grate it into the flour/salt/baking powder mix (don’t have proportions handy). Press the (refrigerated) shortening through the big holes in the box grater. Then mix it all with your hands (I like latex gloves for this–they’re free if you work in a hospital :slight_smile: ) until it looks like coarse crumbs. (You can do this in the food processor, but it tends to generate some heat, which is not good for the process.)

Then you add your milk, or buttermilk. (Alton Brown now suggests a mixture of regular milk and plain yogurt.) Stir until it just comes together. Turn it out onto a heavily floured surface and using very light hands, fold it over and press it out a couple of times. (This creates “flaky” layers.) Cut biscuits, press out the remaining dough, and cut more biscuits. Make a little dimple in the top of each one and bake them until they’re done.

That’s a rough description; I’ve been obsessed with the biscuit process for a while, and I’ve gotten pretty damn good at it. The important things are cold fat, light hands, and rolling out in layers.

Doctor J nailed it. I prefer all-butter biscuits, and have decided I like the texture of drop biscuits better than rolled biscuits, though they’re not as pretty. If you do the food processor (which I always do, being lazy), do quick pulses rather than steady power, and err on the side of slightly undermixing it.


I press on the seam of the can until it goes <pop>, then put the biscuits on a cookie sheet. Fifteen minutes in the oven and I have delicious hot biscuits. :smiley:

Seriously, I used to make Bisquick biscuits but eventually got too lazy. The ones out of the can are pretty good these days (the big “Country Style” type, not the little ones- those are nasty)

Usually I say “Mom make some biscuits!”

Either that or I invite Sitting Bull over.

Before the Brits get here:

With chocolate chips.

While there are some food things that the southern U.S. completely butchers; tea and vegetables, for example, there are other things that they absolutely own. Among these things are barbeque and biscuits. Real biscuits should be crusty on the outside and cakelike inside. Here’s how you make them.

2 cups flour
3 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 Tbs baking powder
dash of salt

Mix these together in a bowl, then add
1 stick softened butter

Blend by hand or with a pastry blender until it is the consistency of cornmeal, then stop. Add

up to 1 cup milk, slowly, just until the the dry mix sticks together, then stop mixing. Spoon the mixture into muffin tins or just plonk big spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.


I’m curious about “softened.” My understanding is that softened butter will lead to doughy biscuits–the fat mixes too much with the starches instead of just coating them, or something like that. Every recipe I’ve read that calls for butter, calls for cold butter and warns against letting it warm up during the mixing.


I don’t know the physics of it, but in my experience cold butter is used to make “flaky”, like croissants, while softened is used for a “cakey” texture.

Ah, makes sense. Thanks!

1 wallet
3 dollar bills
1 car
1 Popeye’s Chicken Nearby

You get the idea.

Admittedly, I don’t cook.

But I had biscuits at least once a week, every week while I was growing up, and saw a lot being made - even through my parents’ health food phases.

Among the things I learned, generally, are that it isn’t as much that you have to mix them together quickly - but that you can’t handle the dough that much. The more you fuss with it, the worse the biscuits. Also, when you substitute in whole wheat flour, you can’t do a straight substitution. Otherwise, you get biscuit shaped rocks. It has to be a mix of whole wheat and white in place of the white.

Also, canola oil doesn’t seem right. (Lard is too much, but is shortening out of the question?)

A biscuit baker from Atlanta weighs in.

I’ve read over the recipes here and mostly all I got to say is if that makes you happy, all right then.

The real deal Southern-style biscuit is best made with a soft winter wheat, such as White Lily flour. (Most other flour sold throughout the U.S. of A. is harder wheat.)

White Lily is available mostly in the south. When I lived in New York, I had it shipped in on the underground railway, (along with Louisianne family sized ice tea bags, the best for iced tea by the gallon, not available in Yankeeland), but you could also find it for ridiculous prices at Dean and DeLuca.

You can now find it online as well. White Lily Flour

The rest of the classic recipe is a solid fat – lard is best, though shortening is okay – and buttermilk. Best mixed and formed with the best tools in the kitchen, your own clean hands, though biscuits are best handled as little as possible.

Some people down here swear by baking them in a cast iron pan, which will make the outsides more crunchy, but it’s a matter of personal taste.

If you add a little sugar to your biscuit dough and use cream instead of buttermilk it’s shortcake, but that’s another whole thread altogether.

your humble TubaDiva

I’ve had great results from a mixture of 2/3 King Arthur AP flour and 1/3 cake flour. The cake flour makes a huge difference in the texture of the biscuit. (This was another Alton Brown tip.)

Thanks everyone!

I’ve got berries in the fridge and a stick of butter in the freezer at this very moment. I can’t wait to experiment.

Please, keep the biscuit love coming.

Does anyone here use Bakewell Cream? My family (New England and Canada origins) won’t make biscuits without it. In fact, visits north to the relatives in Canada involve throwing a case of it in the trunk for distribution.

See my note above re shortcake.

I like to use a less refined sugar, Demerara or “sugar in the raw;” it seems to caramelize better. And heavy cream instead of the buttermilk.

Sometimes I make one big one; sliced in half and filled with strawberries macerated with a little sugar (and sometimes some Framboise), whipped cream all over, that’s a dessert to end a good dinner. If you don’t want to use booze, a tiny bit of vanilla extract and an even tinier bit of almond extract is good too.

I’ve never had any complaints when I brought this in and set it on the table. I’ve also served it with (homemade/hand-cranked) ice cream and no one objected much.

You can also make little individual ones and people can do them to suit themselves; sometimes a little pool of cream anglaise, while not strictly southern, is a nice touch as well.

your humble TubaDiva
Hmm . . . strawberries in the kitchen right now . . .