Rich biscuits are tender baking powder biscuits in the style of the American South. Serve them with butter, honey, or jam, alongside a hearty breakfast, or next to meats and vegetables. If you want a biscuit that is better suited for making sandwiches, consider the sturdier biscuits recipe. For a more economical biscuit using vegetable shortening, consider the baking powder biscuit recipe.
|All-purpose flour||-||2 cups||250 g|
|Baking powder||-||4 tsp (20 ml)|
|Cream of tartar (optional)||-||¼ tsp (1.25 ml)|
|Sugar||-||2 tsp (10 ml)|
|Salt||-||½ tsp (2.5 ml)|
|Butter||-||½ cup||115 g|
|Milk||-||⅔ cup (160 ml)|
- Preheat oven to 450 °F (230°C, gas mark 8—very hot).
- Sift all dry ingredients into bowl.
- Use a pastry blender or a dinner knife to slice the butter into butter pats.
- Put the butter pieces into the bowl with the dry ingredients and toss it so that flour covers the pieces of butter.
- Use a pastry blender (or a pair of dinner knives grasped side-by-side in the same hand) to cut the flour-coated butter into the dry ingredients. Stop when all the butter is smaller than a green pea (about 1 cm in diameter), but you can still see lumps of butter.
- Add the milk to dry ingredients and mix gently until dough holds together.
- Turn out onto the counter or a flat board and form into a thick disk.
- If you are working on a counter or board, sprinkle a large spoonful of flour on the surface before taking the dough out of the mixing bowl, and then another spoonful on top. Use just enough flour to keep the dough from sticking too much.
- If you cover your work area with plastic cling wrap, you do not need to put any flour on the surface. Cover the top of the dough with another layer of plastic wrap to keep your hands or rolling pin clean.
- Roll the dough out to ⅓ inch (1 cm) thick. Cut dough in half or in thirds and stack the large pieces. Roll the stack out until it is about ¾ inch (2 cm) thick. This stacking process produces the layers.
- Cut into squares with a pizza cutter or into shapes with an open cookie cutter. If using a round cutter, press straight down without twisting, as twisting produces shorter biscuits. Any remaining dough can be gently formed into a disk and cut again.
- Place on plain, ungreased baking sheet. The biscuits should not touch each other. For a browner top, brush the top with a little bit of milk.
- Bake at 450°F (230°C) for about 12 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.
Notes, tips, and variations Edit
- You can use gluten-free flour substitutes. Avoid high-gluten bread flours.
- American-style baking powder is double-acting, which works better in this recipe than European-style single-acting baking powder.
- Cream of tartar will make the biscuits rise taller in the oven, but it will also add a slight bitter flavor if you eat them the next day.
- White granulated sugar is the most typical, but any type of sugar and most sugar substitutes will work.
- Unsweetened milk substitutes will work, but will slightly change the flavor.