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Shel_B

Drop Biscuits

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I believe I understand what a "drop biscuit" is, and they seem to be perfect for my temperament and baking abilities.  However, never having made any, I am completely ignorant as to what ingredients or techniques makes a good, or even great, drop biscuit. What suggestions do you have for this biscuit newbie to make some good biscuits?


 ... Shel

"... ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself "

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Drop biscuits are just biscuit dough that is spooned out or portioned out (I use an ice cream scoop) as opposed to rolled biscuits that are rolled and cut.

 

The same dough can be used for both - some people believe that the less a dough is "worked" the more tender the biscuit and I have found this so.

 

My recipe is very simple.

Preheat oven to 400° F. 

 

One cup heavy cream

Two cups  self-rising flour - and I add about half a teaspoon of salt.  If you like just a hint of sweetness add one tablespoon of sugar.

 

Mix just till the dough is blended - allow it to hydrate for 20 minutes - scoop or spoon onto a baking sheet leaving at least an inch+ space between.

Dip your fingers in water and flatten the mounds.

 

Bake for 18 minutes.  Remove from oven, leave on baking sheet for 10 minutes and transfer to cooling rack or to a serving plate for immediate consumption.

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"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

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Shel_B, when you talk about a drop biscuit, are you talking about something like an English Muffin? If so, I found this recipe a time back and it works brilliantly: http://shesimmers.com/2009/03/homemade-english-muffins-complete-with-nooks-and-crannies.html

 

No, drop biscuits use a different dough and are just spooned onto a baking tray.  I'm familiar with the English muffin recipe you posted, as EMs are my next project.  As I type, my first batch of biscuits are in the oven.  The dough tasted pretty good - buttery and with a nice, buttermilk tang to it.  I'm anxious to see how they turn out.


 ... Shel

"... ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself "

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Shel_B, is that Andie's recipe you made?

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Shel_B, is that Andie's recipe you made?

 

No, the recipe I made came from Cook's Illustrated.  I'd be happy to send it to you if you don't have a CI subscription.  If you do, here's the link: http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/3913-best-drop-biscuits

 

Never having made biscuits before, and probably never having eaten any, I can only say they tasted pretty good to my uneducated palate.  They were reasonably light, very buttery, and, as suggested in my earlier post, had a nice tang to them.  I cooked them just a scosh too long, going with the outside range of the times suggested in the recipe.  Next time I'll bake 'em a minute or two less. 

 

I did use a full fat buttermilk, which I understand is not too easy to find.  I let the dough rest a bit before putting the biscuits into the oven, but next time I'll go the full 20-minutes as Andie suggests.


Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel

"... ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself "

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I agree with Andie.  Drop biscuits are just biscuit dough that you don't feel like rolling out  :smile: .  They are perfect for having beside eggs and for ladling gravy over, but I find them a little 'unstructured' for sausage biscuits.  I have a CI subscription, but can't view the page - are they similar to this ATK recipe: http://www.recipecircus.com/recipes/Kimberlyn/QuickBreads/Cat_Head_Biscuits.html

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My OCD refuses to allow me to make drop biscuits unless they are in the form of dumplings on stew. 

 

I agree that they taste very good, they just offend my sense of tidiness.

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My "regular" biscuit recipe  is exactly the same as the one I posted above - I just sprinkle some extra flour on the board, knead three or four times, roll the dough out then FOLD it in half and roll again, cut either with a biscuit cutter (must be sharp) into rounds or with a pizza cutter into squares and bake for 20 minutes.

 

The slightly denser dough requires that extra 2 minutes in the oven.

 

The difference is that these split right through the middle - making it easier to apply butter and jam or "scumble" soft butter mashed into molasses or honey.

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"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

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No, the recipe I made came from Cook's Illustrated.  I'd be happy to send it to you if you don't have a CI subscription.  If you do, here's the link: http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/3913-best-drop-biscuits

 

Never having made biscuits before, and probably never having eaten any, I can only say they tasted pretty good to my uneducated palate.  They were reasonably light, very buttery, and, as suggested in my earlier post, had a nice tang to them.  I cooked them just a scosh too long, going with the outside range of the times suggested in the recipe.  Next time I'll bake 'em a minute or two less. 

 

I did use a full fat buttermilk, which I understand is not too easy to find.  I let the dough rest a bit before putting the biscuits into the oven, but next time I'll go the full 20-minutes as Andie suggests.

I made these this morning and got 10 biscuits. All gone already. We had them for breakfast and for lunch as ham biscuits and a couple of them went to the guys installing vanities in the bathrooms. They were indeed very light and buttery but I think I got lucky on the light part. I did not cool the butter sufficiently and so it turned I to one big clump when it hit the cold liquid. Which, of course, meant that I had to smear it into the dough rather than do it as instructed. I baked them for 12 minutes. The recipe does not instruct one to let the dough hydrate for 20 minutes (as Andie does with her recipe) so Shel_B, I am wondering why you would? I'm curious because if it makes a positive difference, I will do the same the next time I make them.

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I made these this morning and got 10 biscuits. All gone already. We had them for breakfast and for lunch as ham biscuits and a couple of them went to the guys installing vanities in the bathrooms. They were indeed very light and buttery but I think I got lucky on the light part. I did not cool the butter sufficiently and so it turned I to one big clump when it hit the cold liquid. Which, of course, meant that I had to smear it into the dough rather than do it as instructed. I baked them for 12 minutes. The recipe does not instruct one to let the dough hydrate for 20 minutes (as Andie does with her recipe) so Shel_B, I am wondering why you would? I'm curious because if it makes a positive difference, I will do the same the next time I make them.

I allow the dough to hydrate because I am using only heavy cream for both the liquid and the FAT and from long experience I have found that this works better than baking them immediately after mixing.

There is none of the business of cutting fat into the dry ingredients - or trying to mix an extremely thick  buttermilk/butter mixture  which always seems to "seize up" when the melted butter is added to the buttermilk.

 

Everyone has a "favorite" recipe and method and if you try a number of recipes you will find one that works perfectly for you.   I always start truly novice bakers out with the self-rising flour and heavy cream  biscuit because it is virtually foolproof, even if overmixed a little.

I taught this method to a class at the local shelter for abused women and children because some of them had NEVER baked anything from scratch and thought opening a can of refrigerator biscuits was "baking" ... 

They were so astonished that the mixing went so rapidly and the oven preheated while the dough was "resting" - giving me a chance to explain why. 

And it is so versatile.  I showed them that with the addition of a little sugar and some raisins (or cranberries or even chocolate chips)  the "biscuits" could become scones. 

When I went back the following week, I found they had experimented on their own and the director told me that the cost of the heavy cream (from Smart & Final) was pretty much equal to buying butter and milk or buttermilk, which were part of the alternate recipe suggested by another volunteer. 

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"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

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Thank you, Andie. I just checked and I have a cup of whipping cream in the fridge and will try your biscuits as drop biscuits. I don't have any self-rising flour but the internet can help me with that. I'll post my results.

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Andie, I made your biscuits using 2 cups of flour, I tablespoon baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons sugar, mixed it all up and added 1 cup of whipping cream (35%fat). it was so dry I had to add more cream so they ended up more like a regular biscuit as there was no way they could be "dropped". Instead I cut them. They were tasty little things but heavier than the recipe Shel_B quoted above from CI.

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I baked them for 12 minutes. The recipe does not instruct one to let the dough hydrate for 20 minutes (as Andie does with her recipe) so Shel_B, I am wondering why you would? I'm curious because if it makes a positive difference, I will do the same the next time I make them.

 

I'm  just a novice wrt baking, and certainly no expert making drop biscuits.  However, over the past year or so, I've read that letting the dough or batter sit for a while develops some additional flavor, although this has been related to other types of baked goods, not biscuits.  So, my thinking is that maybe it will help increase flavor or improve texture.  The reality is that I'm just taking a shot in the dark - experimenting, as it were - and looking to see what happens.

 

Also, Andie mentioned using cream, which has a high fat content, and the buttermilk that I use is a full-fat variety, so maybe the rest will be beneficial in that case.


Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel

"... ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself "

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Thank you, Andie. I just checked and I have a cup of whipping cream in the fridge and will try your biscuits as drop biscuits. I don't have any self-rising flour but the internet can help me with that. I'll post my results.

I think the difference is that self-rising flour has much less gluten and also less protein so the biscuits will be lighter.  Also, that is about twice as much baking powder as I would use.

 

my formula for homemade self-rising flour  is for each cup of  flour (soft wheat, low gluten or pastry flour) I add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. 

 

I never used all-purpose flour for biscuits or scones.  If I have none on hand I use 2/3 all-purpose and 1/3 cake flour to "lighten" it but the results are never satisfactory for my taste. 

 

Currently I have King Arthur unbleached self-rising flour - 5 lbs,  Odlums (Irish) self raising flour - 2 kg,  Homepride (British) self raising flour - 1 kg.  (the latter was recommended to me by an ex-pat Brit friend.  I have been using the Odlums ever since FoodIreland added it about 15 years ago.  These are all much better than Gold Medal, Pillsbury or the "new" White Lily.  I used to use While Lily but after Smuckers bought the company and moved the milling from the original place, it is just not the same.  They claim it is now "improved" but I do not like it at all.


"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

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Andie,

 

Thanks for posting your recipe, I just took the first batch of biscuits I've made that are what I'd call really good out of the oven.

 

Like Elsie I added a bit more cream.

 

I used Blue Bird flour which is a 7-8% protein flour milled in Cortez CO whos main purpose in life is Navaho fry bread.

 

I've always been too lazy to do the butter cutting thing, this was so easy and so good. I've eaten two already and don't have the gravy done yet.

 

Happy camper here this morning.

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This is the recipe I have used that my kids love. Regular self rising flour works too. 

Georgia Touch of Grace biscuits. 10 biscuits light and fluffy

 

Cream is the KEY to flaky biscuits. This recipe makes a feather light biscuit.

 

Non-stick cooking spray

2 C. Southern self-rising flour (Or 1 1/2 C national self rising flour plus 1/2 C Wondra

-or 1/2 C. cake flour- plus 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4C. sugar

4 Tbs. shortening

2/3 C. heavy cream or whipping cream

approximately 1 C. buttermilk, or until dough resembles cottage cheese

1 C. bleached all purpose flour for shaping

2 Tbs. melted butter

 

1. pre heat oven to 425ºF. and spray 8 or 9-inch round cake pan with non stick spray

2. Combine the self rising flour, salt and sugar in a small mixing bowl. With fingers or pastry cutter, work shortening into flour until there are no lumps larger than a large pea.

3. Stir in the cream and buttermilk and let stand 2 or 3 minutes. This dough is so wet that you can not shape it in the usual manner. It will look like cottage cheese. (YOU do NOT want it to be stiff enough to shape)

4. Pour the cup of all purpose flour onto a plate or pie tin. flour your hands OR spray a 2-inch ice cream scoop with non stick spray and gather a biscuit sized lump of dough and place it the flour. Roll to coat. shake off excess flour. The dough is so soft it will not hold it's shape so place them tightly side by side so they will rise up, not out as they bake. Continue until all dough is used up.

 

5. Bake just above the center of the oven until lightly browned. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes, then brush with melted butter. Cool 1 or 2 minutes in the pan, then dump them out, cut them apart, split and butter while hot. Eat!

 

Note: you do not want to make a biscuit with self rising flour that you can shape because the outside of the biscuit will likely be bitter from the leavening used.

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I cannot second enough (third?) andie's and Norm's suggestions to use an ice cream scoop for drop biscuits.

 

I packed the scoop with dough with a silicone spatula, dropped them on the baking sheet and flattened slightly with the spatula and my fingers. Then baked as usual.

 

The resulting biscuits are much more like cut out biscuits and rise higher from the same recipe.

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One of the major reasons I often make drop biscuits, instead of rolled and cut biscuits, is for the craggy, brown and crisp bumps and edges.

No ice cream scoop for me.

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Drop biscuits are just biscuit dough that is spooned out or portioned out (I use an ice cream scoop) as opposed to rolled biscuits that are rolled and cut.

 

The same dough can be used for both - some people believe that the less a dough is "worked" the more tender the biscuit and I have found this so.

 

My recipe is very simple.

Preheat oven to 400° F. 

 

One cup heavy cream

Two cups  self-rising flour - and I add about half a teaspoon of salt.  If you like just a hint of sweetness add one tablespoon of sugar.

 

Mix just till the dough is blended - allow it to hydrate for 20 minutes - scoop or spoon onto a baking sheet leaving at least an inch+ space between.

Dip your fingers in water and flatten the mounds.

 

Bake for 18 minutes.  Remove from oven, leave on baking sheet for 10 minutes and transfer to cooling rack or to a serving plate for immediate consumption.

 

I'd like to try making these next week, and I have a question about the "heavy cream."  There's the  typical whipping cream, which is, I believe, about 35% fat, and then there's manufacturers cream, which is about 42% fat.  Which cream do you use for these biscuits?  Do you think there'd be much difference in the results depending on the cream used?  Would crème fraiche work?

 

I like the taste of butter in my biscuits.  Would substituting some (25%) melted butter for the cream work? 

 

Finally, what is a self rising flour?  Perhaps you can suggest a brand or a source for it.  Thanks!


 ... Shel

"... ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself "

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I'd like to try making these next week, and I have a question about the "heavy cream."  There's the  typical whipping cream, which is, I believe, about 35% fat, and then there's manufacturers cream, which is about 42% fat.  Which cream do you use for these biscuits?  Do you think there'd be much difference in the results depending on the cream used?  Would crème fraiche work?

 

I like the taste of butter in my biscuits.  Would substituting some (25%) melted butter for the cream work? 

 

Finally, what is a self rising flour?  Perhaps you can suggest a brand or a source for it.  Thanks!

First:  Self-rising flour is a lower protein/gluten flour to which has been added salt, baking powder and it has a finite shelf life - unlike regular flour without the additives. 

Any supermarket will have at least one brand -  the Walmart supercenter near me has King Arthur, Pillsbury, Gold Medal and Bob's Red Mill brands.

Heavy whipping cream or heavy cream has by law 30-35% butterfat.  I have AltaDena heavy whipping cream and it says 36%. Sometimes I use the Manufacturers cream - also Alta Dena, 42% butterfat and there is not much difference in the way it behaves in baking quick breads, like biscuits or scones.

I don't add extra butter to "drop" biscuits.  For regular cut biscuits you can roll out the dough to a bit less than 1/2 inch thick, spread half of it with soft butter, fold and roll till 3/4 inch thick, cut and chill for 20 minutes then bake.

The biscuits will split naturally along the butter border and you will have the flavor. 

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"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

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there's as many biscuit recipes as . . . .

 

here's our three generation twist - adapted to weights

 

preheat oven to 425'F

240 grams AP flour

1 tbsp double acting baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

stir flour + BP + salt with wooden spoon

cut 85 grams / 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter into flour

spray/butter/oil cookie sheet

add 1 cup milk to flour mix

stir

use the wooden spoon to drop onto cookie sheet

one bowl, one spoon, one cookie sheet.

 

into oven directly - don't "hold" the mix for more than 5-10 minutes

 

takes 12-14 minutes; makes 4-6 biscuits depending on size

 

looks like:

 

DSC_1968s.jpg


Edited by AlaMoi (log)

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First:  Self-rising flour is a lower protein/gluten flour to which has been added salt, baking powder and it has a finite shelf life - unlike regular flour without the additives. 

 

KA says (if I recall correctly) that a cup of their self rising flour is 4-oz.  Is that the weight that you use?  Thanks!


 ... Shel

"... ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself "

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