Everyone has a perfect recipe for biscuits. Each household has a meal that would not be a meal without a biscuit. While relatively simple, some of the best biscuits are achieved with little more than flour and finesse.
Biscuits have different regional meanings around the world. In the oldest known usage, the bis in biscuit pertains to ‘twice baked’ as in biscotti or Beschuit in Dutch. Also think of things like crackers & hard tack, the sailors biscuit. The meaning of the word has evolved as the techniques and ingredients became more refined. Many around the world (mostly those influenced by the British Empire) use biscuit to describe what Americans may call a ‘cookie.’ This difference might just be an act of defiance from the Colonists.
I am personally a fan of all biscuits and my favorite happens to be the Southern biscuit. The ‘you complete my meal’ biscuit. A good and true biscuit recipe should have no fancy flours or things like egg whites and mayonnaise (even the egg is pushing it here!), just old school ingredients from the average kitchen. Biscuits, after all, are an everyday food. The recipe below is my favorite dessert version. Lightly sweet and slightly more cakey than the average biscuit, perfect for shortcakes.
Sweet Biscuits: Makes 6-8 biscuits.
These are fool proof. They rise high, split pretty, are tender and tasty. Best served with fruit and cream.
- 2c ap flour
- 4ts bp
- 1/2ts salt
- 1T sugar (yup, this counts as a dry this time.)
rub (or cut) into the flour,
- 1/2c butter flavored shortening
beat together Wet and then add to dough,
- 2/3c milk
- 1 egg
Mix with fork till sticky, stir with wooden spoon or rubber scraper to form ball. Turn onto floured surface. I work in a large bowl and ‘knead’ against the bowl, pressing and folding a couple of times before I turn it out.
Knead maybe 10 times, pat out to ¾-1” thick and cut with 2” round biscuit cutter. Over kneading will produce a chewy instead of tender biscuit. Do not twist cutter, as tempting as it may be. This will affect the rise-high quality of the biscuit.
Place touching, into skillet, on stoneware, or greased baking sheet (preference in that order)
Bake 8-12 minutes until golden brown.
Serve with anything that sounds reasonable to you. Try as strawberry shortcake, with honey, or bake on top of berries coated with sugar to make Berry Baked Biscuits