Let’s discuss biscuits. No matter whether you make cut-out biscuits, drop biscuits or a biscuit that highlights a special ingredient such as cornmeal or whole grains the following tips will take some of the mystery out of making a good biscuit.
Use Cold Butter for Biscuits
For flaky layers, use cold butter. When you cut in the butter, you have coarse crumbs of butter coated with flour. When the biscuit bakes, the butter will melt, releasing steam and creating pockets of air this makes the biscuits airy and flaky on the inside. We default to our Land O Lakes® Salted Butter when baking biscuits.
Measure Ingredients Accurately
Measuring accurately is important. For flour we recommend using a spoon to fluff up the flour within the container. Use a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup and use a knife to level the flour across the measuring cup.
Use Fresh Baking Powder
Baking powder is the leavening agent in biscuits it is often referred to as a “double-acting baking powder”. This means its first release action is when the liquid is mixed in, and then when the biscuits are placed in the oven at a high heat. Three things to remember preheat oven, shaping the biscuits immediately after preparing dough, and always bake biscuits immediately after forming. Baking powder is an ingredient that may sit in our pantry for months, it is important to check the expiration date. You can easily test the freshness by mixing a small spoonful of baking powder with ¼ cup of hot water, it should bubble vigorously. If it does not, you need to replace the can.
Buttermilk and Biscuits
Make sure the buttermilk is cold. Buttermilk adds tenderness as well as a tangy flavor.If you do not have buttermilk available, you can make your own by starting with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar and enough milk to equal 1 cup. Let stand 5 minutes.
Rolling or Patting Biscuit Dough
The biscuit dough can either be rolled with a rolling pin or you can pat the dough to the size and shape given in the recipe. If the dough is patted into shape, the top of the dough may have an uneven surface and not be perfectly smooth. That is just fine—when tops are slightly uneven, they are more interesting.
Do not Overwork Biscuit Dough
Handle the dough as little as possible every time you touch, knead, and fold, you are developing the gluten. The more you develop the gluten, the tougher the biscuit. As stated in our recipe we have you knead the dough 10 times, this will make a cohesive dough you will see pieces of butter and sprinkles of flour. When kneading very lightly flour your hands or rolling pin, use flour sparingly. A smooth, homogenous dough is not what you want.
Do not Twist the Biscuit Cutter
When cutting out the biscuits, use a strong, sharp metal biscuit cutter to make it easy to cut through the dough. To cut, press straight down do not twist the cutter as you cut the dough, or the biscuits will be sloped and not bake evenly on top. If you do not have a biscuit cutter you can use a sharp knife or bench scraper to cut your biscuits into squares.
Best Baking Sheet
Metal baking sheets without sides is best, if your pan has sides the biscuits may not bake as evenly. There is no need to grease your baking sheet when making biscuits.
Consider Placement on Baking Sheet
If you want the biscuits to be browned on all sides, place them 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Otherwise, place them 1/2 inch apart, the sides will not be golden brown, but the biscuits will rise nice and tall when they bake together.
Leftover biscuits (if there is such a thing) can be stored in a resealable plastic bag and when stored in refrigerator they will keep about 4 days. Baked biscuits can be frozen up to a month in the freezer, after that they will dry out. Unbaked cut-out biscuits can be frozen up to 1 month. Freeze biscuits individually on a baking sheet and, when frozen, wrap them in aluminum foil and transfer to resealable freezer bag. When ready to bake, do not thaw, but simple double the baking time of fresh biscuits.
Biscuits are easy to make at home and always result in warm, buttery, flaky deliciousness. We love them at breakfast spread with our Honey Butter Spread and jam, or at served at Sunday (or Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday...) supper instead of dinner rolls.
Here are some recipes to try: