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Biscuits - Bake-Off XIV


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22 replies to this topic

#1 Kerry Beal

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 10:35 AM

I love making biscuits - my go to recipe is a nice buttery cheese biscuit, using the oldest, vilest cheddar I can get my hands on. I use the same recipe, with a little extra sugar and some plumped raisins to make a very respectable raisin biscuit.

Today I was experimenting with some White Lilly flour that I picked up in the States on my way home from Chicago - and attempted to make beaten biscuits - that was a bit of a failure I must say. Didn't realize I was really making a cracker instead of a biscuit.

Ann T has a lovely looking recipe for Country Biscuits here in recipegullet, and Chufi has one also for a Gouda Cheese Biscuit. There are actually a total of 7 recipes for biscuits there, another for a baby biscuit - that would more properly be a cookie.

When you bake biscuits do you use all purpose, or the low gluten flours such as White Lilly? Do you use self rising or regular?

Don't forget to put recipes in recipegullet if you are willing to share.


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Cheese biscuits cooling, just to whet your appetite.

#2 MelissaH

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 10:53 AM

Kerry,

What is your cheese biscuit recipe?

MelissaH
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#3 andiesenji

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 11:19 AM

Yeah, let's have it. No dilly-dallying now!

I am not very happy with the "new" White Lily flour.

I have resorted to ordering Odlums cream flour.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#4 CaliPoutine

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 11:47 AM

Yeah, let's have it.  No dilly-dallying now!

I am not very happy with the "new" White Lily flour. 

I have resorted to ordering Odlums cream flour.

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I believe Kerry bought the White Lily that was made in TN( I checked the package because before she bought it).

I usually always make CI's Tall and Fluffy Buttermilk biscuits.

Here's a pic I dug out of my archives. I subbed some WW flour for the white.

Posted Image

Edited by CaliPoutine, 20 August 2008 - 12:06 PM.


#5 Kerry Beal

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 04:22 PM

Cheese biscuit recipe here.

#6 andiesenji

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 04:49 PM

Thank you! Kerry.

Reads like a gem.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#7 Kerry Beal

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 04:52 PM

Thank you!  Kerry. 

Reads like a gem.

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Particularly good slathered with butter and some red pepper jelly.

#8 andiesenji

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 06:19 PM

Thank you!  Kerry. 

Reads like a gem.

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Particularly good slathered with butter and some red pepper jelly.

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I bought a crate of local peaches at Littlerock last weekend. I have been making peach preserves and one batch was "brightened" with the addition of some chiles - just enough to give it a bit of "bite" but not overpowering.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#9 maggiethecat

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 06:50 PM

This could not be more apropos! I made biscuits last night and was thinking of starting a topic, but Kerry the Kool has done it better than I ever could.

I adore Angel Biscuits with their yeast boost, but it being yeast and all, it takes more time than I had. The dinner plan was a big plate of homegrown tomato and basil salad, some local corn, and a plate of amazing Canadian cheese -- thanks Kerry.

I pulled out Old Faithful -- "Joy"--which opens to the biscuit recipe. I used half and half AP and King Arthur Cake and Pastry flour. Crisco, of course -- biscuits are why its shameless self is in the fridge. I gathered some thyme from the garden and stripped leaves into the batter. I changed out some of the milk for yogurt for the hell of it.

It took, like, five minutes, including the minute I wasted looking for the biscuit cutter. And with this particular dinner they were perfection: slather with butter and triple creme stinky cheese, inhale and chomp some local corn.

The biscuit recipe in "Joy" was one of the first things I ever baked --maybe I was eight? There are other great recipes out there, but it's the one I come back to.

(Beaten Biscuits: what a fraud! I made them in the late 70s from a recipe in "Pleasures of Cooking", beating them with a meat tenderizer. Go buy a package of Carr's.)

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#10 Lisa Shock

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 07:08 PM

I use the recipe from Professional Baking, my old P&B school textbook.

I use cake flour, butter and buttermilk.

The big thing to me is technique. I cut in the hard/cold butter, leaving chunks in the dry mixture then add the buttermilk. I then lightly roll the dough out and fold it over and repeat few times. I learned this in school, but my mother also did it.

The visible chunks of butter along with the folding creates flaky layers, almost as if it were a roughly laminated dough. Of course, you must use a cutter to portion these out, and you need to use a swift up and down motion (no twisting!) to keep the layers from sticking together.

Edited by Lisa Shock, 20 August 2008 - 07:23 PM.


#11 Mayhaw Man

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 06:20 AM

I make biscuits pretty regularly.

Like this:

2 cups a.p. flour
1 tbls. baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbls. sugar (you can skip it, but I like it)
1/3 cup FROZEN, SALTED butter (you can also use lard, or shortening, but better is better
1 cup buttermilk (I use 1/2 milk, 1/2 yogurt, as often as not)

SIFT dry ingredients into a large bowl (sifting makes them much lighter and mixes the ingredients-which is important, as after this, the less handling the better)

GRATE the frozen butter through the large holes on a grater (do a little at a time and mix into the flour for good, even distribution). Cold is good. It also helps if your flour came out of the freezer.

Add 1/2 the milk and mix

Add the other 1/2 of the milk and mix til it's all sticking together

Dump onto a floured surface (I use one of these, that is probably 50 years old-I love this thing. Can't reccomend it highly enough) and roll until it will form a ball-just enough-less smooshing is better.

At this point, you can roll out (I usually do them a bit thin, like 3/4 of an inch, but these make great giant biscuits, as well), but I normally put the doughball into a stainless bowl, cover loosely with saran wrap, and refrigerate for an hour or so. I get a much fluffier biscuit that way.

Cut with biscuit cutter straight down-DO NOT TWIST CUTTER-and bake for 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness, at 425F.

Eat.

I'll try and take some pictures of the process tonight, but it's pretty straighforward, I think. After a few go rounds, they get to be second nature and take all of 5 minutes to put together.
Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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#12 trekflyer

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 10:11 AM

Any body try Alton's biscuit recipe? .... I want to i just don't know where one can purchase Shortening in Israel? anyone know?

#13 andiesenji

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 04:05 PM

Any body try Alton's biscuit recipe? ....  I want to i just don't know where one can purchase Shortening in Israel?  anyone know?

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One of my friends visited Israel last year and found a canned product "Vegetable Ghee" which she used to make scones that turned out quite nice, according to her husband (a Georgia boy). So you might look for that.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#14 Kouign Aman

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 04:47 PM

another for a baby biscuit - that would more properly be a cookie

Might this be a cultural thing? In England, biscuits are what we would call cookies.

I've fallen in love with Joy of Cooking's cream biscuits. They are as easy as can be, tender, tasty, FAST, and with Costco selling quarts of cream for a little of $2, they're quite reasonable. I made them a bit thick, and they took about 2x as long to cook as the recipe claimed.

I've made the basic Joy recipe before and its good too. Takes a bit more patience at the mixing end, and I get more variable results.
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#15 sheetz

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 08:53 PM

What's the best way to freeze biscuits, baked or unbaked? I've heard conflicting advice.

#16 Marlene

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 05:03 AM

Kerry, you forgot to ask whether one falls into the flaky or cakey category. :raz:

I tend to fall into the flaky category, and I use either the Fine cooking recipe or Ann T's. When I use Ann's, I still follow Fine Cooking's method of folding over the dough several times before cutting to get those flaky layers.
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#17 Kerry Beal

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 05:31 AM

Kerry, you forgot to ask whether one falls into the flaky or cakey category. :raz:

I tend to fall into the flaky category, and I use either the Fine cooking recipe or Ann T's.  When I use Ann's, I still follow Fine Cooking's method of folding over the dough several times before cutting to get those flaky layers.

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I'm not really sure how to catagorize, I don't bother with the folding, but I do find the biscuit more flaky than cakey if it's not overmixed.

#18 MelissaH

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 06:10 AM

Thanks for posting your recipe, Kerry. I have some cheese that's appropriately old and stinky, and look forward to trying it out.

The problem I always seem to have with biscuits, no matter whose recipe I try, is that they look great going into the oven, but while they bake they spill butter (or whatever other fat I used). When the pan comes out, the biscuits are generally cooked all the way through, not burned, but the bottoms are more or less fried because they've been sitting in a layer of melted butter.

What am I doing wrong? Is my butter not cold enough to start with, and I can solve my whole problem simply by making sure the butter's colder?

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#19 alanamoana

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 07:39 PM

Thanks for posting your recipe, Kerry. I have some cheese that's appropriately old and stinky, and look forward to trying it out.

The problem I always seem to have with biscuits, no matter whose recipe I try, is that they look great going into the oven, but while they bake they spill butter (or whatever other fat I used). When the pan comes out, the biscuits are generally cooked all the way through, not burned, but the bottoms are more or less fried because they've been sitting in a layer of melted butter.

What am I doing wrong? Is my butter not cold enough to start with, and I can solve my whole problem simply by making sure the butter's colder?

MelissaH

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probably a combination of the butter being a little warm to start with and the oven not being hot enough to start. you can always turn the oven down a bit once they rise and take on a touch of color. take a look at the recipes you're using as well and get a rough idea for the percentage of fat to flour. maybe you're using particularly high fat recipes?

#20 Lisa Shock

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 08:53 PM

I'd like to point out that what we in the flaky camp are referring to is actual layers that come apart almost like those layered dinner rolls. You can usually split one of these biscuits into 4-5 horizontal layers. -Unlike, say, cream biscuits, which are squarely in the cakey camp.

#21 Mayhaw Man

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 04:57 PM

Ok, so here's the thing.

Tonight, because of a car in the shop, a miraculous victory for the Saints, and alot of yard work, I didn't make it to the grocery.

No big deal, you say? Well, maybe not to you. But, for me, it was huge.

I had a giant pile of leg quarters, some onions, bell peppers, and some celery, and not much else. Especially no BUTTER.

What I wanted for dinner was simple. Stewed chicken with biscuits. Now, this might have been easily attainable, excepting the butter shortage. I looked in the icebox and found a GIANT can of chicken fat left over from some former project. I decided that "fat was fat" and went ahead on with the biscuits.

Turns out, I might have been making a mistake all of these years. Chicken fat makes swell biscuits. As I type, I am mowing through a plate of them and they are light and delicious. Stunningly so. Just look at the recipe above, replace the butter with chicken fat, and you're on your way.

SO, disregard previous instructions and freeze some chicken fat. You'll be glad you did.
Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

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#22 maggiethecat

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 08:44 PM

Brooksie: Congratulations on your fast fat footwork -- the biscuits sound dreamy. It reminded me about stories my mother told about fat rationing during the depression and WWII. My grandmother made terrific biscuits from a dab of bacon grease stored in a coffee can.

I'll top my necxt chicken and dumplings with biscuits made with chicken fat.

Margaret McArthur

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#23 Marmish

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Posted 08 December 2008 - 10:36 AM

Brooksie: Congratulations on your fast fat footwork -- the biscuits sound dreamy. It reminded me about stories my mother told about fat rationing during the depression and WWII. My grandmother made terrific biscuits from a dab of bacon grease stored in a coffee can.

I'll top my necxt chicken and dumplings with biscuits made with chicken fat.

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Hmm. I have a jar of bacon grease in the fridge and a hankering for biscuits.