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The Perfect Biscuit - what are your secrets to make it happen?

I don't care if it is buttermilk, sour cream, baking powder or what, I just want to eat a perfect biscuit.

Can't you just smell them now...all warm & slathered in hot butter, dripping with homemade preserves, homemade sausage patties & a bright sunny egg just waiting while you take one more sip of coffee before partaking of the perfect combination?

The ingredients are few, but the techniques are many.....it is time to reveal your secrets.

Is it the flour....is it the liquid....is it the pan...is it the oven temp? Is it Grandpa's favorite recipe? The world needs to know these things. Life is much better after eating a perfect biscuit.

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  1. You'll get dozens of answers..... so I'll be brief.....

    For me it's White Lily Flour or I don't eat/make biscuits!

    Have Fun!

    18 Replies
    1. re: Uncle Bob

      White Lily Flour...I have read a lot about using that flour to bake with...unfortunately I do not have access to it in my area...sure wish I did though...sounds like that it may be one ot the "secrets" to a good biscuit.

        1. re: Uncle Bob

          Smucker's link...thanks. Many years ago I was given a gift box from Knott's Berry Farm..it had a package of biscuit mix that was to die for...ever since I ate those I have been on the quest for a recipe I could make from scratch that tasted like them. Well, from your link, looks like Knott's is owned by Smucker's & White Lily....yep, it is the flour...have ordered some of that flour so I can have a fighting chance to make those babies.

          1. re: cstout

            Making decent biscuits has been a goal of mine for years.

            I’ve arrived, in my humble opinion, at “decent”.

            I’m now of the opinion that White Lily is the required ingredient to take things to the next level.

            This despite the use of mixed AP and cake flours, at the suggestion of “Southern Biscuits” by Nathalie Dupree.

            What held me back, as a Northern Boy, was the perception that I’d be paying through the nose to mail-order from Smuckers.

            I was WRONG! To get four 5-pound packages delivered calculates to only 40 cents per ounce. This compares to 50 to 60 cents per ounce in the local stores.

            I’m sure our supply/demand curve, for self-rising flour, is different up here.

            Here’s hoping that this is a biscuit epiphany!

            1. re: Monch

              Monch, yes, I sure hope the White Lily flour will be the answer. Do you use WL to bake other things with?

              1. re: cstout

                I have not ever used WL for anything...alas.

                I first heard of them during the Smuckers takeover and the hand-wringing about the change in the location of the mill.

                Never did anything about it...because I'm cheap...thought the cost was going to be prohibitive.

                NOW know it's a bargain, it gets delivered right to my door, and this mis-born Southern boy gets to try a culinary icon....

                Just for fun, I'm going to put Duke's mayo on my first WL biscuit...listen to my arteries harden...and curse my northern birth! (Mail order the Duke's, also.)

                1. re: Monch

                  Monch, yes it is best to save that WL flour just for those biscuits...can't wait to receive mine in the mail.

                  I am wanting to conquer a few food items in my life & biscuits are right there at the top of the list.

                  Wondering if WL would improve the making of these items..just in case I ever have an abundant supply of WL...

                  quick breads
                  pie crust

                2. re: cstout

                  < Do you use WL to bake other things with?>

                  Absolutely! cakes, pie crust, rugulach, hamantaschen... anything requiring a tender dough.

                  1. re: ChefJune

                    20 pounds of White Lily Self-Rising flour sitting on the desk.

                    Just delivered to Madison, Wisconsin!

                    It is bicuit time tomorrow morning!!!!

                    1. re: Monch

                      OK, gang.

                      Made my first batch, with White Lily, and I have to say I'm a believer. These are the best, lighest, most tender biscuits I've ever turned out. Made them just as per the recipe on the bag and didn't alter my handling techniques one bit.

                      There will be White Lily in the house from now on!

                      1. re: Monch

                        Monch....absolutely gorgeous...but there is only one problem....you didn't make enough for everybody!!! Did the recipe yield 6 biscuits? Did you bake them on a cast iron skillet or what??? Every detail please, so we can do that too. Congratulations!

                        1. re: cstout


                          I doubled the recipe and got exactly twelve biscuits. Had to roll out the scraps to get the last five, but I by-God got the twelve I was promised.

                          I HAVE to remember to religiously flour the cutter and NOT twist the damn thing! I just tossed them on commercial grade half sheet cookie sheets lined with Silpats. I also use an oversized Silpat as my bench. Gotta remember to keep that bad-boy well floured.

                          Cut the frozen...yup, I keep my Crisco sticks in the freezer..Crisco into the flour. Hit the mixture with 1 1/3 cup of buttermilk, quickly mixed with spoonula. It needed more milk, so hit it with probably another 1/4 cup....eyeballed that.

                          Then quickly onto the floured Silpat. Dust the old hands well, with AP flour and hit the ball with a bit, also. Just hand-patted out to probably 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick and started cutting.

                          Ten minutes at 500 and viola. Should have spread the racks, vertically, more though. The bottom pan was too close to the rack above....those were the scrap-made biscuits and I did NOT photograph them.

                          A little butter, and my tastebuds were humming!

                          Honestly, I was NOT expecting the significant difference...hoping...but was skeptical. I should not have been...and should have been buying White Lily from the beginning!

                          Let's keep these traditions alive, folks!

                          1. re: Monch

                            Lovely! Wow--so WL really does make a big difference!

                        2. re: Monch

                          One more tip from yer Old Uncle...Melt some butter to brush on the tops when you take them out of the oven...Don't be stingy! lay it on!!

                          1. re: Uncle Bob

                            I saw them do that in the side window of a Popeye's years ago. But I suspect my homemade biscuits are a lot healthier than the ones I used to get from them.

                            1. re: paulj

                              Healthy?....What the hell is that when you/re eating biscuits???? Hahahahaha!!

                              Have Fun & Enjoy!

                              1. re: paulj

                                gives 240 calories for 60gm biscuit, 14g of fat, half the calories.

                                biscuits 'from recipe', 212 calories, 9.8 gm fat (also lower sodium).
                                The difference is quite as significant as I thought, but it's still there. Of course the fat level in recipes varies.

              2. re: cstout

                costco has pastry flour... it's what you want

            2. Love. It's all about the love.
              Thant, and minimal handling, butter, and a good flour.

              9 Replies
              1. re: wyogal

                About love, wyogal...I have kissed my biscuits, sang to them & prayed to the biscuit gods to just give me one batch of good biscuits..used KA flour & gently coaxed them into the pan...but biscuits be dam****got any other ideas???.

                1. re: cstout

                  Just barely mix them, that's about it. and it's not about loving the biscuits.

                  1. re: wyogal

                    Ya know it really does involve a certain "touch"...one that can't be taught, and is hard to explain....By the time the OP is on the third hundred pounds of flour...they will be mo betta!

                    1. re: Uncle Bob

                      Yep, can't really explain it. One does go through lots of tough biscuits to begin with!

                      1. re: wyogal

                        Wyogal and Uncle Bob, I'm going to begin with Biscuit Experimentation 2012 myself soon. Are biscuits similar to muffins in handling i.e. more handling = denser biscuits and vice-versa? Thanks!

                        1. re: gbleddynn

                          gbleddynn: the less you handle the biscuit dough the lighter the biscuits. You don't want to knead heavily.

                      2. re: Uncle Bob

                        OK folks, I sure hope I don't have to go through all 8 bags of the WL flour (when it finally gets here) to make some decent biscuits. I am making notes on all these tidbits of advice from everyone, so I feel pretty confident I will be able to post my own show & tell & puff up with pride like one of those biscuits!!

                      3. re: wyogal

                        Yep, barely mixing is the trick I learned from my Nana over here as well - and good butter. But the barely mixing and not touching much is the thing that makes the texture perfect.

                    2. re: wyogal

                      And a moist dough. Not too much flour!

                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                        loved the link to food52...never visited that site before...again White Lily flour was mentioned. Where has this product been all my life?

                        Do you the the book Bakewise or Cookwise..sounds like those would be great books?

                        1. re: cstout

                          Generally in the South, I think.

                          I have Cookwise, and I think it's a wonderful book: SC explains the science behind a lot of cooking, but in a very approachable way, and offers solutions to many common cooking "problems"--and shares many good recipes.

                          The food52 site is another great resource, with fabulous recipes.

                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                            food52, definately a place where I shall visit often, thanks to you. Cookwise is in the cart as we speak. Thanks.

                        2. re: nomadchowwoman

                          that's a fun read and photo display.
                          the idea seems fun too to take a wet glob and toss it in flour and let the flour run between your fingers.
                          may be a good experiment to see how it works, as to me, I am still of the school that gramma's hands always did best

                          1. re: iL Divo

                            The dough is really wet and therefore somewhat tricky, but the biscuits come out great. I had never made good biscuits, only really leaden ones. But I'm sure my grandmother's touch was more "gracefu" too!

                          2. re: nomadchowwoman

                            I have 2 coveted bags of White Lily flour and 2 bags of White Lily self rising flour so tonight I'll try this one and one of the recipes I find for Cat Head biscuits also.. love doing comparisons, one'll go in top oven while the other'll go in bottom. we'll see who wins according to hubby and son. I'll have son make the SC's grace biscuits, he's good with being a gentle handler.

                            since he's here and away from home, after dinner he can take home the leftover biscuits for later.


                            1. re: iL Divo

                              Cat Head biscuits...this biscuit mania is making me swoon with starvation. thanks for the links...OMG!

                          3. With many opinions regarding flour & butter, I have found that practice & lots of it makes a huge difference. You'll find which ingredients you prefer. And if you practice making them at least 2 times each week, you'll discover how to just whip them up & have them on the table in 20 minutes & love them every time.

                            FWIW, I love White Lily flour & find it makes excellent cakes & biscuits. I don't always have it, so I use King Arthur with great results.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: tall sarah

                              Yes, making something regularly is key in all baking....wish I had a bunch of people to make things for so I could get a lot of practice. Can the biscuits be flash frozen before baking? Perhaps they would not taste as good that way. Besides, as you said 20 minutes & you have biscuits...I am so hungry for one right now. Thanks.

                              1. re: tall sarah

                                the only way I can get White Lily is by doing some serious driving. we've been fortunate to find it in markets on our jaunts, but it's not a southern California staple. another way to put it is it's impossible to get here, unless someone can share a source. ordering by mail is the only option for me unless again, hubby takes the wife on a journey.

                                1. re: iL Divo

                                  Il Divo: also in so. CA--what serious driving location is closest for WL (ex-KY girl here who sorely misses WL)? Heck , we drive 300+ miles to Yuma just for a Cracker Barrel meal, so I'm willing to drive further for WL.

                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                    If you ever make to to culver city. Surfas is not carrying White Lily

                                  2. re: tall sarah

                                    All this flour talk is making me crazy because they all seem to be self-raising flours which I have never seen for sale in Canada. We just add a ton of levening.

                                    1. re: dianne0712

                                      If you can't get white lilly, try using pastry flour. I don't think self rising is necessary, I'd rather add my own levening.

                                      1. re: dianne0712

                                        No need for self rising flour, there are plenty of recipes out there that do not call for self rising flour. Just go for it & make some biscuits. The sooner you get your hands covered with the flour, the sooner you will be tasting that biscuit!!

                                        1. re: cstout

                                          I use "regular" White Lily. Not self-rising. would rather add my own salt and leavening. Plus, then I don't need another flour for cakes etc.

                                    2. White Lily flour or, failing that, a 3-1 ratio of pastry flour to all purpose. 50-50 ratio of butter & shortening, or 100% lard if its good and fresh. Cut so the diameter is no more than 4X the thickness (i prefer 3x ratio)

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: rjbh20

                                        rjbh20...ratios....geez..where is the "love" in this recipe...just kidding...Thank you so much for the ratio concept...100per cent lard would be wonderful. Do you make them with lard??

                                          1. re: cstout

                                            I use lard occasionally, but am not wild about the commercially rendered hydrogenated stuff (Armour or Hormel i think -- comes in a green package) and don't often have the good fresh variety around. Usually i go the butter + Crisco route.

                                            As to the ratios, cooking is art, baking is science (though biscuit is about as forgiving as anything).

                                        1. I reported on my best results in this thread on scones with a perfect crumb
                                          These are slightly sweetened, and include an egg, but otherwise are just biscuits. I used AP flour, but cut it with a bit of oat flour, which both reduced the gluten proportion and added a bit of its own flavor.

                                          But I agree with others that technique, care in handling the dough, is key, and only comes with practice.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: paulj

                                            I actually prefer biscuits that have been lightly kneaded. Figured this out from eating my mom's because that last one she made out of the scraps after cutting out the rest was always the best one.

                                            I prefer mine not to have any egg or sugar in them nor for the outside to be oily. I like a powdery dusting of flour on top when they come out of the oven.

                                            I grew up on White Lily flour but when I started baking yeast bread seriously I discovered that King Arthur AP flour made a pretty dang good biscuit.

                                            One grandmother made biscuits that were 2 1/2" thick. The other made them about the size and thickness of two ritz crackers stacked together. Both were delicious. My mom kind of hit a middle ground.

                                            My point is, don't be afraid to experiment and figure out how to make your own perfect biscuit. Don't blindly accept biscuit dogma. : )

                                            Oh and screw the love, I think cold hard anger in your heart makes for the tastiest biscuit. :kidding:

                                            Just remembered another thing. I think biscuits are improved if you let them sit on the counter (after cutting) for a good twenty minutes or so before baking.

                                            1. re: kengk

                                              Biscuit dogma....I must accept some dogma since my own experiments were pitiful at best. And yes, I have slapped my biscuits a time or two & said certain curse words no self respecting gentle woman should say to anyone, especially biscuits!

                                              Yes, I find most doughs need a rest before being slammed into that inferno. No mercy for you, get in there & act like a biscuit, you know what to do, so why in the he** don't you do it? There, see I told you I was mean to them & it still didn't work.

                                            2. re: paulj

                                              The scones topic was very interesting...thanks for sharing. And I thought this was going to be an easy pursuit.

                                              I always wondered why the Loveless Cafe biscuits was such a "secret"...well, looks to me like there is no secret...much too elusive for that...this is bordering on a higher plane from whence the occasional biscuit maker will never experience until he/she puts in a huge share of working with the flour & liquid ratio & pixie dust. Oh well, thanks for sharing.

                                            3. You know I feel about biscuits the way I feel about homemade pies. Just make some. I'll eat one, even if it isn't on my diet. Homemade biscuits are rare as hen's teeth, and if you are making them, as far as i am concerned, yours are great. However, I confess that I now use white whole wheat flour to make them when I do, and I like them puffy, but not doughy.

                                              I think your perfect biscuit will depend on personal likes and dislikes.

                                              But the important thing is--just make some.

                                              21 Replies
                                              1. re: sueatmo

                                                To encourage the baking of biscuits.

                                                Make enough to have for two meals and then some left over.

                                                Those cold dry next day biscuits? Cut them in half, butter generously with softened butter and toast, cut side down, in a skillet on top of the stove.

                                                The ones that are still left over? They will make the best bread pudding you ever ate.

                                                The key to this is you can't eat all the biscuits at once!

                                                1. re: kengk

                                                  + 1 ~~~~~ Toasted biscuits are awesome...done just as you say!!!

                                                  1. re: kengk

                                                    Who knew you could toast old biscuits?

                                                    1. re: sueatmo

                                                      Leftover biscuits are something I like better than fresh, all things considered. Just toasted and buttered they're about as delicious as a quick bread can get (though toasted old cornbread comes close!). Toasted ones are also better, I think, as a base for creamed chipped beef or creamed chicken than either toast or fresh biscuits, and as a topping for chicken or beef stew, or the second round of a tuna casserole. I always make a full family-of-five recipe of biscuits for the two of us, just to have some on hand - bagged and refrigerated, they'll keep until I think of something!

                                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                                        I have been re reading these posts & see you mentioned toasting cornbread...do you turn them upside down too?

                                                        Wonder if I could mix up a batch of biscuit mix of my own with the dry ingredients just to have on hand. That way I could have a good start instead of pulling out the flour & other dry ingredients. I could keep flat packages in the freezer...wonder if the ingredients must come to room temp before mixing in the liquids?

                                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                                          Yes! to the toasted cornbread. Man I sometimes hate eating low carb!

                                                          I split day old cornbread, and put it split side down on a cast iron grill pan. Butter it first. You could use a CI skillit as well.

                                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                                            buttered and toasted in a pan is the only way I eat hot cross buns.

                                                        2. re: kengk

                                                          Waste not want not...wonderful ideas for leftover biscuits...never did think to toast them upside down in a skillet..thank you.

                                                          1. re: cstout

                                                            I layer 'em, sliced, in an egg strata, too.

                                                            1. re: pine time

                                                              egg strata & sliced biscuits...oh yes...

                                                            2. re: cstout

                                                              My wife and I will cut and freeze enough biscuit dough during the weekend to last us through the week.

                                                              If we have any biscuits or dough left over, we'll usually tear old biscuits apart for bread pudding, use them as filler for sausages and meatloaf, dry them out and grind them up to use as thickener for stews, use the uncooked dough for dumplings, or I'll have my son roll the old biscuits into little balls to use them as fishing bait for crappies and bluegills....

                                                              Room temperature Crisco or lard, buttermilk or milk, and self rising flour are all you need for ingredients; but in order to achieve the perfect biscuits, you'll need experience.

                                                              1. re: deet13

                                                                Even easier: self-rising flour and heavy cream. ta-da.

                                                                1. re: wyogal


                                                                  I'm going to whip up a batch of this to take hog hunting on Sunday morning. We'll see if anyone notices a difference.

                                                                2. re: deet13

                                                                  deet13, your family is certainly resourceful...that is a wonderful thing...even the last bit for fish bait. I bet your grocery bill is pretty small, wish I could be imaginative, but I am learning after reading all the posts on Chowhound...thanks for some great biscuit leftover ideas!

                                                                  1. re: cstout

                                                                    I was lovingly raised by my Depression era Southern grandparents, who were very hardcore about using EVERY last scrap that was in the pantry, especially leftover biscuits and cornbread.

                                                                    Some of their thriftiness stuck, much to my son's utter chagrin... ;)

                                                                    As for our grocery bills, they can be fairly small; but any cash we've saved in our general grocery budget tends to be passed onto other items such as good cheese, good liquor, camping, fishing, and hunting with my boy and pops, and most importantly, the little gifts I like to get for my wife.

                                                                    1. re: deet13

                                                                      deet13, This is off topic I know, but can you start a thread about your hog hunt, processing the carcass, and whatever dishes you make out of it? I'm not a hunter but I'd love to read about that stuff.

                                                                      1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                                        Sure, but it'll have to wait until the next hunting trip we take; probably around the last weekend of April, or the first weekend of May. I need to buy a new camera.

                                                                        Also I owe a favor to our Mennonite neighbors for keeping an eye on our animals & property while we were out of town last month. As such, they're getting most of the pig we bring in.

                                                                        Personally, I'd love to record my neighbor's family butchering and processing the game; but since they're old school Mennonites re: Amish-Lite, I seriously doubt that they'll be very hip to that idea.

                                                                  2. re: deet13

                                                                    "but in order to achieve the perfect biscuits, you'll need experience."
                                                                    ^^^+1 1/2^^^
                                                                    I tried a weird thing Wednesday night for dinner:
                                                                    SR flour & low fat Vanilla yogurt biscuits. so basically the Natalie Dupree method of SR flour and heavy cream.

                                                                    husband loved these biscuits with the hot red pepper jam as per David Rocco's tv episode. < that jam...> oh my goodness, soooo good.

                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                      Reminiscent of the old Bisquick and melted vanilla ice cream muffin recipe!

                                                              2. My tricks: White lily flour, rendered leaf lard, full fat buttermilk, home made baking powder, giving the dough 'turns' like puff pastry.

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: AAQjr

                                                                  Do you render your own lard or do you have a source for it?

                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                    I get leaf lard from Surfas here in L.A. and render it ( it melts easy with bit of water IME) It's cheap enough I keep extra in the freezer

                                                                  2. re: AAQjr

                                                                    Home made baking powder!? Do tell!

                                                                    1. re: AAQjr

                                                                      Is your homemade baking powder the single acting or double acting powder?

                                                                    2. Wow, I had given up and bought the little frozen ones that Pillsbury has in the bag....
                                                                      Nice because you can pull out as many as you need :-)
                                                                      (well, and I think they're GOOD, too!!! )

                                                                      Then, I found a local source for White Lily flour so now I am "forced" to
                                                                      make my own !!!!

                                                                      My family are willing guinea pigs :-D
                                                                      The toasted ones sound awesome, BTW

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: oooYUM

                                                                        Making your own biscuits...please visit again after you make your biscuits with White Lily flour. I just know they are going to turn out wonderful!!

                                                                        1. re: cstout

                                                                          I'm up for the challenge !!!!
                                                                          I'll use the recipe on the bag, so.....

                                                                      2. There is a shortcake recipe from Cook's Illustrated that is wonderful, I use the same recipe for regular biscuits, just reducing the amount of sugar. Cutting together the dry ingredients in the food processor makes putting them together very quick. These biscuits come out very buttery and flaky.

                                                                        That being said, I also like the Touch of Grace biscuits, but they are a very different style, super light and very, very tender. I've made them a few times and the bottoms of the biscuits come out a bit too pale for my liking, but it could just be the aluminum cake pan I'm using.

                                                                        12 Replies
                                                                        1. re: gmm

                                                                          Shortcake recipe...the one you mentioned calls for "bleached" flour...sounds interesting. Gosh, I don't know if my store even carries bleached flour, but if it does, I am certainly going to try your recipe. Thanks.

                                                                          Yes, from people's comments, the Touch of Grace biscuits sound almost like angel biscuits...almost like a roll. Both sound good to me! Thanks for sharing.

                                                                          1. re: cstout

                                                                            Bleached flour is regular, white flour. If it is unbleached, it will say so on the label, otherwise, if it is white flour, it is generally bleached flour.

                                                                            1. re: wyogal

                                                                              Bleached flour...I am so used to grabbing the King Arthur unbleached flour & the KA bread flour, I just don't pay any attention to what the others say. Thanks for pointing that out to me.

                                                                              1. re: cstout

                                                                                cstout, I was looking at the KA bread and AP flour bags at the store today, and they both had the same # of grams of protein. This is contrary to what I know about these flours - the bread flour should have a higher protein content....I'm confused. These two flours look exactly the same on their labels. Do your flour bags have these same matching numbers, or are the ones in my part of the country a fluke?

                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                  I've been told the protein on the nutrition label isn't very useful for evaluating flour

                                                                                  1. re: AAQjr

                                                                                    In what way? Does that mean that the number is unreliable?

                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                      Let me excerpt from: http://www.theartisan.net/flour_summa...

                                                                                      "Under the new regulations, however, the serving size is 1/4 cup or about 30 grams. With rounding, any flour containing 2.50 to 3.49 grams of protein per 1/4 cup can be labeled as containing 3 grams of protein. This means both moderately low-protein Southern flour (about 9 grams per cup) and high-protein unbleached flour (about 14 grams per cup) can be labeled as 3 grams per 1/4 cup. In fact, most flour on the market now says 3 grams of protein, telling you almost nothing about the protein content so important to baking and to cooking."

                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                        Not unreliable, just too coarse. With rounding the nutritional label numbers don't capture the differences that matter when baking.

                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                          Ah...similar to the "0 grams of transfat per serving" travesty.

                                                                                    2. re: sandylc

                                                                                      same # of grams...gosh don't know since I put both my flours in plastic containers & throw away the bags...that would be a good question to email the KA people...I understand they are so helpful. You are very observant!!

                                                                                2. re: cstout

                                                                                  I tried the Cook's Illustrated recipe for Cat Head biscuits, and I have to say, I think I actually prefer them to the Touch of Grace biscuits. The Touch of Grace biscuits are a bit too tender, to the point of falling apart, the Cat Head are a bit denser, but still very light, with the added flavor of butter. I'd love to try White Lily flour, but I live in the western states, and I'm just not commmited enough to order it online.

                                                                                  1. re: gmm

                                                                                    gmm, CI cat head biscuits, sounds like I would go with that recipe too.

                                                                                    Actually, when you think about it, folks from all over the US do not have access to WL flour & still very good biscuits are being baked from what they have on hand.

                                                                                    Also, it just comes down to what your preference in a biscuit is. Let's face it, a biscuit that is homemade is going to be darn good, no matter what. After all, it is made with love, the "secret" ingredient. I do intend to make some of those catheads...
                                                                                    Thanks for posting....yes butter in there for sure.

                                                                              2. My favorite are called Cat Head Biscuits from Cooks Illustrated. Easy and come out great every time.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Mother of four

                                                                                  The CI Cat Head Biscuits are similar to the Touch of Grace ones. The dough might not be quite as wet. Instead of forming balls with well floured hands, they scoop it with an ice cream scoop. But both are baked side-by-side in a rimmed pan.

                                                                                  Biscuits made with a stiffer dough that is flattened and cut can also be good. They'll just have a different character.

                                                                                2. Even though Smucker's screwed up White Lily really bad, bad White Lily beats about anything else. Another thing: I've mentioned this elsewhere, but any brand of self-rising flour is made from lower-gluten wheat than the same brand of AP flour. That is in itself reason enough to me to use SR instead of AP. I've read about old Southern grannies who'd just plop a glob of lard in the flour barrel, pour in some buttermilk, fool around with it some and pull out a flour-covered wad of biscuit dough, but I did not start young enough to ever get there. I even started too late to have much hope of ever baking an extraordinarily GOOD biscuit, much less a perfect one, especially since our self-imposed dietary restrictions (otherwise known as Staying Alive) preclude their consumption more than two or three times a year. All I can say is that I follow a good recipe using self-rising flour and one kind of fat or another, both chilled, cut it all in together, stir in the buttermilk and keep stirring gently until it's a coherent dough, then scrape it out onto a well-floured surface. I fold it and press it gently rather than truly kneading it, roll out very lightly, cut straight down and put them into a rimmed pan close together (Shirley Corriher said to do that). Bake and eat. Never perfect, but more than okay.

                                                                                  22 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                    Will Owen, Self Rising....are you saying that baking should be done with that instead of regular AP? Maybe that will improve my other baked goods.

                                                                                    Yes, things like biscuits are definitely on the "on occasion" list. so sad that all my life I have made mediocre foods because of a lack of experience & now with Internet accessible for just about anything, my cooking has improved vastly (thanks to you Chow friends), but now I must limit myself on all these tasty treats...seems bass ackwards if you ask me...OK so nobody asked me, I just had to gripe, that's all.

                                                                                    1. re: cstout

                                                                                      "SHOULD be done" is a bit stronger than I'd want to say. I want to have it for biscuits, and it's good for dumplings too. The Nashville chef Martha Stamps uses it to bread her fried chicken in her book "The New Southern Basics", which strikes me as a very good idea. But sometimes you want gluten and/or you don't want that kind of leavening, like for cookies or yeast breads. Just think about what you want your dough to be like and proceed accordingly.

                                                                                      Yes, it's damned unfair that just as I'm getting good at frying chicken and baking, I'm catching hell from my PCP about cholesterol and carbs! Back when I could absorb those things and not even gain weight, I had to depend on someone else to feed me, mostly; it was in fact just after I'd signed on as a serious James Beard disciple that a physician first expressed concern about my triglycerides. Poot.

                                                                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                        As an FYI They now have quite a few of white lilly productsat Surfa's in CC. AP, Self rising, Bread and corn meal mix

                                                                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                          Self Rising Flour, I read that you could make your own self rising flour..example is to add 3 tablespoons baking powder & 1 tablespoon of salt to 6 cups of AP flour. I am wondering if I am ending up with an "inferior" product. Same thing for making your own buttermilk...adding lemon juice or vinegar. What is any one's opinion on that? I guess I could store the "real" self rising flour in the freezer as well as the buttermilk, but somehow frozen buttermilk just does not sound like it would do biscuits good if used.

                                                                                          James Beard disciple...did you go to classes or just devoured all his books?

                                                                                          1. re: cstout

                                                                                            The whole point of using self rising flour in biscuits is that all purpose flour is higher in protein than self rising flour of the same brand. This is because they use a softer wheat in the self rising. If you make your own self rising flour, it will have the same protein content as the all purpose.

                                                                                            1. re: Plano Rose

                                                                                              When people talk about using self rising flour for biscuits they usually have White Lily (or other Southern brand) in mind. I don't recall anyone else claiming that WL self rising is softer than their regular AP. Nor have I seen the claim that a national brand (e.g. General Mills) uses softer flour in their self rising.

                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                Well, I use Gold Medal self rising. I used to use Gold Medal all purpose. My biscuits are better now. Just saying.

                                                                                                1. re: Plano Rose

                                                                                                  this flour test focused on bread making, but gives some idea of the difficulties in getting gluten information, and possible variations in national brands. So it is possible that the Gold Medal self rising flour (in Texas) is close in character to the fabled White Lily, even there isn't anything on the label to indicate otherwise.

                                                                                                  1. re: Plano Rose

                                                                                                    Were you using Gold Medal bleached or unbleached?

                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                      Bleached. That's what I've always used. No particular reason.

                                                                                                      1. re: Plano Rose

                                                                                                        The bleached has slightly less protein, which would make a more tender biscuit than the unbleached. The bleached is close, from what I read, to being the same as their self-rising, aside from the baking powder/salt in the latter. So the improvement in your biscuits between the two might be more a result of a difference in the type or quantity of baking powder in your recipe vs. the self-rising bag.

                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                          My first guess is that Gold Medal (General MIlls) makes the self-rising by just adding baking powder and salt to their regular bleached white flour. But it is possible, with large corporations like this, that the self-rising comes from a different mill, or at least is made from a different batch of wheat. And knowing that self-rising flour is mostly used in the South for biscuits, they might deliberately use a softer wheat - though why they don't advertise that is a mystery.

                                                                                                          They might even contract with Smuckers to put their WL in GM bags. Store brand flour must use some of the same wheat and mills that name brands do.

                                                                                                          Midstate Mills is an example of a smaller regional mill. Last year S. Corriher was doing a promo thing with them, though I'm not sure that is still going.

                                                                                                          1. re: paulj

                                                                                                            That's really interesting and makes sense.

                                                                                                            I do think that baking powder type and amount needs more attention here regarding biscuits - don't you?

                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                              I don't know about the baking powder issue.

                                                                                                              A rule of thumb that I've seen for making self-rising substitutes, is 1 tsp of bp per cup of flour. And a lot of recipes follow that, e.g. 2 tsp in a 2c pancake recipe. But some recent ones (e.g. 1997 Joy of Cooking) use 1 Tbs (3tsp) for 2 c.

                                                                                                              I haven't read credible claims as to whether one type of bp gives a better rise than another. There seem to be 3 types: single acting, double acting using only one acid component (Rumford), and double acting with 2 acids (one of which may contain aluminum). Currently I'm using Argo, which is aluminum free, but I've bought it more because I like the container.

                                                                                                              The other option is baking soda plus buttermilk. However I'm tending to skip the baking soda, use baking powder for the lift, and let the buttermilk be the unadorned acid and flavor ingredient.

                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                I typically use BP and also BS/buttermilk. I REALLY hate the metallic taste of the aluminium BP. My choice in recent years has been Rumford. I don't know if Argo is readily available in my area, but I'll look for it!

                                                                                                                You point out well the differences in BP amounts recommended in recipes. This has to have an effect on the outcome of the biscuits!! Note: Need to look into this.....

                                                                                                                Also, I worry that self-rising flour might loose some of its BP punch after being on the shelf for a while?

                                                                                                            2. re: paulj

                                                                                                              She's still with Mid-State Mills, and their flour is superb.

                                                                                                2. re: cstout

                                                                                                  cstout: the acid in milk (& let it stand about 15 min.) works well, but I still prefer buttermilk. Have also subbed yogurt thinned w/ a little milk. I've had no luck w/ that powdered b'milk stuff.

                                                                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                                                                    powdered buttermilk...that just seems wrong - bought some one time & could not even scoop some powder out...was all hard...Yuk & Yuk!

                                                                                                    1. re: cstout

                                                                                                      Moisture got to the powder that you bought. A sealed container, or one that has been properly stored, should not be hard. Plenty of posters have been happy with this product. I used to use it (and still have part of a container in the fridge) when I mostly used it for pancakes. Now I am using enough to justify buying quart containers of buttermilk (about $1.50 at Trader Joes).

                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                        OK, powdered buttermilk is back in my good graces again..but I feel fresh is always better if it is feasible. Thanks.

                                                                                                  2. re: cstout

                                                                                                    "but somehow frozen buttermilk just does not sound like it would do biscuits good if used."

                                                                                                    The biscuits I made last night were made with frozen buttermilk. It was frozen when I got home from work, put the bottle in some tap water and enough had thawed to make what I needed by the time I was ready for it. Put the rest back in the freezer.

                                                                                                    I have had absolutely no problem with freezing milk or buttermilk for baking purposes.

                                                                                                    1. re: kengk

                                                                                                      Freezing buttermilk...glad to hear that frozen will work...just hated to see the rest of the carton go bad...thanks for letting us know.

                                                                                            2. Ohhhhhh, MAMA !!!!!!

                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: oooYUM

                                                                                                White Lily made ME a believer !!!!!!

                                                                                                1. re: oooYUM

                                                                                                  Did you do that??? Did you REALLY do that yourself? Listen here, those pictures are plain obscene...kiss that bag of flour & make it your life long partner...did you use the recipe on the back? My My...it don't get any better than that. Congratulations...those pictures made me a believer too!!!!!!!!!! Holy Shat

                                                                                                  1. re: cstout

                                                                                                    Gosh, they were unbelievable !!!!
                                                                                                    Sooo Good, Honestly !!!!!
                                                                                                    I can kick that bag of frozen Pillsbury to the roadside now !!!

                                                                                                    Yes, used the recipe on the back of the bag, used a tablespoon of
                                                                                                    margarine and the rest Crisco. Used Buttermilk, actually need just a touch more than the recipe called for, but I was eyeballing it. . Didn't need to roll it out,
                                                                                                    just patted it, cut them about 2" thick. Parchment paper on baking sheet.

                                                                                                    The last batch I had made a few months back is the reason I started buying the frozen ones.
                                                                                                    That was before WL....... my new BFF.....
                                                                                                    Honestly, so Delicious !!!

                                                                                                    1. re: oooYUM

                                                                                                      Try it using all unsalted butter and you will really swoon...

                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                        Has anyone tried using clarified butter? Getting rid of the moisture and milk solids would seem to be a good thing for baking …

                                                                                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                          Great idea! How about browned butter? Or it that going too far.....?

                                                                                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                                            Not clarified butter, but ghee (because I have it and am too lazy to use a pastry blender if I can get away with liquid fat). Caveat: Northerner, never eaten White Lily or other southern biscuits, unless the ones at Cracker Barrel restaurants in New England count. With a hankering for Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay biscuits, I bought a box of 12 bags of Marie Callender cheese biscuit mix online. Not the same though what I eventually arrived at it is better, IMO.

                                                                                                            I've been using ghee for the fat, and plain Greek yogurt mixed with water instead of the milk called for in the package directions (I don't often buy milk). Then I add chopped scallion and a handful of whatever shredded cheese I have on hand. I make the batter a bit wetter than called for, mixing it minimally with a rubber spatula and portioning onto parchment with an ice cream scoop. I follow the temp directions - 400F - but bake for around 15 min rather than their 9-12. This gives them a golden brown exterior with a tender, moist interior. Probably the cheese helps as regards the latter, but I suspect the higher baking temp causes the exterior to solidify quickly, trapping the moisture inside. I am very slap-dash about the procedure. I eyeball everything but somehow always get the same result. Once the MC bags are gone I will try it with Trader Joe's multigrain baking mix because I really do prefer the flavoe of whole grain/whole wheat to white wheat, and I care more about flavor than texture..

                                                                                                            1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                              greygarious: late in responding, but I have a copycat recipe for those Red Lobster cheddar biscuits, if you'd like. I've never eaten at Red Lobster, tho, so not sure of the recipe's authenticity, but they are good biscuits.

                                                                                                  2. re: oooYUM

                                                                                                    stop and let me off the train to your house :)

                                                                                                  3. Decided to follow my own advice about eschewing biscuit dogma. Made these using the King Arthur, Bakewell Cream recipe. Cut the recipe in half and used White Lily flour instead of King Arthur and added an egg. My hens are producing eggs faster than we can eat, sell or give them away, need to use some up. They were quite good I thought.

                                                                                                    I "invented" cutting biscuits this way 30 years ago. You can mash a divot in the round center biscuit with your thumb and fill it up with jelly before baking for added amusement.

                                                                                                    57 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: kengk

                                                                                                      You have me beat on the 'cutting biscuits'. I've only been doing it for 5 years. Today baked biscuits (using 3c of flour) on a 10" comal (Mexican carbon steel griddle). Rather than cut the center biscuit, I scored the round into squares.

                                                                                                      This time I followed (roughly) as cornmeal biscuit recipe in the 2010 Cooks Illustrated book. The distinctives are:
                                                                                                      1 c cornmeal soaked in 1c of buttermilk
                                                                                                      2c flour (I used half white, half white whole wheat)
                                                                                                      The rest was the typical salt, bp, shortening or butter.

                                                                                                      They recommended kneading the dough a bit, so it comes together well. Their opinion was that with the relatively high proportion of non-gluten cornmeal, some kneading won't develop the gluten too much. The buttermilk acidity also inhibits gluten development. But you still need a bit of gluten to give structure.

                                                                                                      The result was a cross between biscuits and cornbread. Maybe not as light as one made with straight white flour, but with added texture and flavor of the cornmeal. Soaking the cornmeal gives a nice balance between too much and too little corn texture.

                                                                                                      1. re: kengk

                                                                                                        Have homemade jelly & some garlic sausage...do you have an extra biscuit to spare?

                                                                                                        What is "Bakewell Cream"? Is it strictly a KA product?

                                                                                                        Your biscuits are a work of art!!!! NOT fair to us mere mortals who do not have White Lily. Thanks so much for sharing...I want that one in the middle.

                                                                                                        1. re: kengk

                                                                                                          Well, I flopped. Somebody please help. Made the recipe exactly as stated on the WL all purpose bag. Used 3/4 c whole milk. Said to roll dough out to 1/2 in thickness..right off the bat I thought that was way too thin, but I was determined to follow directions as specified the first time around. Said to place 1 in apart for crisp sides. Well, they rose just a little bit..pitiful looking at best.

                                                                                                          Did another batch, but this time patted the dough pretty thick & cut out only 6 from that instead of the specified 12 biscuits. Placed them in a small cast iron skillet side by side. They rose & looked quite tasty, but the flavor was very strong of baking powder & quite dry...not at all acceptable.

                                                                                                          The only thing I can think of was I used milk straight from the fridge & bought a new can of Wally World baking powder that had aluminum in it...did not know that until I got home.

                                                                                                          Next time I shall use buttermilk at room temp & get another can of baking powder.

                                                                                                          On a good note, I made the pie crust that I posted here with WL & I was very surprised at the pillowly feel of the dough...a little left over ball is still sitting here & it is still very soft. Have not had a chance to taste the pie...still cooling. So, I am glad I invested in 8 bags of the flour, but very disenchanted about the biscuit thing.

                                                                                                          Oh yes, I handled the biscuit dough like I was holding a butterfly...gentle stirring, rolling & patting. Any suggestions as to why I flopped, other than I have a biscuit stigma on me??????

                                                                                                          1. re: cstout

                                                                                                            Cold milk is fine. You are on target with the aluminum in the baking powder - it doesn't taste good. If you use buttermilk, use baking soda AND baking powder. Also, biscuit dough is not quite as fragile as it may seem - a light touch is good, but don't be afraid of it. It needs strength to hold itself up after the baking powder boosts it!

                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                              WL recipe called for 2 c flour...how much baking soda should I use? Baking powder was listed as 1T baking powder. Thank you.

                                                                                                              1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                My recipe is:

                                                                                                                2 cups unbleached AP flour
                                                                                                                3 t. baking powder
                                                                                                                1/2 t. baking soda
                                                                                                                1/2 t. salt
                                                                                                                1/4 cup unsalted butter
                                                                                                                1 c. buttermilk (I have used 1/4 c. cream and 3/4 c. buttermilk)*

                                                                                                                *Amount of liquid will vary according to the moisture content of your flour.

                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                  sandylc...I will have another go at it & try your recipe, I see it has baking soda in it too. I will not give up until I make a tasty biscuit. With good folks like you it is bound to happen. Thank you.

                                                                                                              2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                I've haven't detected an adverse flavor with bp that contains an aluminum acid (though my current powder does not have it). WL self rising flour has it


                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                  Does baking soda get old?? I have had mine for quite a long time in a little jar, so don't know if baking soda boxes come with an expiration date or not...could this have been the reason for my failure?

                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                    Oh, boy, the metallic tang of aluminium baking powder is really strong to me!

                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                      Do you know that sodium and calcium are also metals?

                                                                                                                      Apparently the sodium aluminum phosphate/sulfates are used to give a stronger 'double acting' action, that is the addition of aluminum slows down the initial mixing action, moving more of the interaction with the sodium bicarbonate to the oven phase.

                                                                                                                      compares various baking powders, noting the differences in rise as well as flavor

                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                        I'll risk sounding rude, but what's your point? Of course they are minerals. I just detest the taste of aluminium baking powder. That's all. It takes away from the other pleasant flavors of baked goods made with it.

                                                                                                                        Did you have braces on your teeth? And did you ever bite on aluminium foil when you had them? There you go.....

                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                          Thanks for the link, BTW....I think I'll try Argo or Bob's Red Mill.....!

                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                            Bought the Argo yesterday and just threw together some biscuits.....quite a bit lighter and fluffier than the Rumford ones....

                                                                                                                            They taste different, as well. I'm still trying to decide if I like the new flavor or not...

                                                                                                                            Great info and interesting experiment. Twenty years ago I never would have thought that baking powders could taste and perform so differently.

                                                                                                                            Thanks for the BP info, paul.

                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                              OK sandylc & paulj....you are making me crazy, I threw out the Wally World brand BP with aluminum, bought some Rumford, have not tried it, & now there is an Argo discussion. I can't handle the technical stuff...I just read to the end & see what brand to buy of what.

                                                                                                                              I have nailed down the White Lily thing...no turning back with 8 bags staring me in the face. But now you guys have opened the BP pit...what's a wanna be biscuit maker to do with all this talk?

                                                                                                                              1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                Sandy: I brought up the Argo bp several posts ago even saying where I buy mine in Vegas. also mentioned WalMarchay and their $.98 cent no name brand of bp that contains no aluminum.
                                                                                                                                years and years and years ago aluminum in food products or hygiene products was touted as possibly being harmful. we started looking up products containing it: anti perspirant /deodorant for one baking powder for another and became concerned.
                                                                                                                                there were links to Alzheimers and/or dementia.
                                                                                                                                that's what got us started on the no aluminum idea, we were plain scared.

                                                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                  Well, the day I was at Wally World, I did not have my glasses on & could not read all that fine print, so I just took a plunge & hoped it would not have aluminum...now I have Rumford, which says "all natural" & Argo, which says aluminum free. I will try both & see if I can tell the difference. Thank you so much for helping us understand these things...I was only joking in my previous post..your replies are always welcome & I am learning a bunch of things. Thank you!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                    no prob cstout...I know I first brought up Argo over a year ago it may be 2 years now. the no name WalMarchay brand is no aluminum and no decor to the container either, very bland.
                                                                                                                                    I brought up the links-thoughts about Alzheimer's + dementia because they both run in the the maternal side of my family.

                                                                                                                                    my big sister and I are paramount thinkers regarding the obvious pitfalls that may cause either, therefore we stay clear of knowing offenders. haven't used anti perspirant for decades.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                      My Wally World brand BP said it had aluminum...so I tossed it when I read the label.

                                                                                                                                      Yes, Alzheimer's & dementia are terrible things....don't blame you for being overly cautious. Gosh, it is a wonder those folks are still being allowed to put aluminum in things....the average lay person has to act as their own doctor nowadays, & also be an expert at reading all that junk on labels.

                                                                                                                                      If we knew as much as paulj does about what those labels say, we probably would not buy a single thing!!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                        I don't know as much as Harold McGee (Keys to Good Cooking, p 421)
                                                                                                                                        "Despite some popular suspicion, there's no evidence that a common one [baking cycle acids], SAS, is unhealthful."

                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                          Yup, I don't worry about the health risks of Alu but I do think that biscuits are one application where you can taste it. Which is why I just make my own (using the Scott Peacock recipe as my base.) Or use Dr. Oetker packets that I keep in the freezer (I like their Baking Powder and Yeast)

                                                                                                                                        2. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                          well you're right cstout about not wanting to buy anything if we knew better.
                                                                                                                                          i like the idea of making your own bp though if one can't find alum free.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                            The really tough thing is finding aluminum free restaurants.

                                                                                                                                            For what it's worth, all self-rising flour (in the USA at least) uses SAP. This is key to 'Martha White Self-Rising Flour is blended with just the right amount of our famous "Hot Rize®" leavening and salt to make tender flaky biscuits every time. '

                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                              paulj, you've just crumbled my thoughts on SRF.
                                                                                                                                              who knew? not I.
                                                                                                                                              I can donate the flour to a mission or whatever when I receive the new bag from girlfriend. crud, SAP in SRF. wonder how many other food items also have hidden agenda's.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                Grand Ole Opry and Martha White, conspiring for 60 years to destroy our minds???

                                                                                                                                      2. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                        I was in WalMarchay yesterday and purposely went in the baking aisle for the name or brand of their [I thought, 'their'] baking powder that is sans aluminum.
                                                                                                                                        I even took a few pics of it on the shelf, it 'is' Rumford, never saw the name first time I saw it there. anyway, for price and fact that it's without aluminum and also because they have no Argo baking powder, glad you found it. the little one was $.98 and the bigger size is $1.88 for anyone looking for it there.

                                                                                                                              2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                Will the chemist step in & answer a question about baking soda? I buy the very large bag of baking soda that is sold in the pool supply section at Walmarchy...do you think it is the same thing that Arm & Hammer sells in those little yellow boxes in the baking isle?? The large bag says Arm & Hammer also. Looks like the same ingredients to me...don't have the large bag any more...dumped everything into large jars for storage. Just tossing a wild question to you or anyone else who might know about this. I would just like to use some baking soda from that bag to cook with too.

                                                                                                                                1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                  do you mean this 'largest bag'. It says 'pure baking soda'. As long as there isn't a 'not for human consumption' warning, it should be identical. Some things like rock salt are sold in a less refined form, but I don't see any indication that this is the case here.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                    Yes, I mean the "largest bag" . I have not used any of it to bake with, but I got to thinking, "why buy those little boxes when I have a huge bag of the stuff anyway?" Thanks for looking into it.

                                                                                                                                    This large bag is sure economical & when stored in jars with tight fitting lids, it lasts forever.

                                                                                                                                    Now I am not so scared to dip in there to get a couple of spoonfuls to bake with. The only thing that concerned me was that bag never said anything about it being good for baking...just house hold uses...kinda left a person hanging...I know several people who were wondering if this is the same as the little baking boxes. Thanks a bunch!!!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                      Ha! At one time there was a product called "cleaning vinegar" - it had some sort of lemony scent added to it and goodness knows what else. I had decided to make and can homemade ketchup and had gotten some beautiful ripe tomatoes (rare around here) for it.

                                                                                                                                      Mom was visiting, and while I was at work, she decided to kidnap my project and made the ketchup with....you guessed it! Cleaning vinegar! It was vile and had to be thrown away. We called the company first to see if it was still edible and they said that it probably wouldn't hurt us but they didn't advise it.

                                                                                                                                      !!!:-) !!!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                        Yes, I saw that product & wondered how it was better than regular vinegar. Well, I think I will stick to the little yellow box just to be on the super safe side, even though I trust paulj's judgement.

                                                                                                                        2. re: cstout

                                                                                                                          cstout- it doesn't sound like there was anything wrong with your technique, but there is a video for "baking perfect biscuits" on the White Lily website along with a plethora of recipes if you need ideas to use up those eight bags.
                                                                                                                          I do agree that 1/2 inch seems a bit thin though, I usually roll or pat mine out to closer to 1 inch.


                                                                                                                          1. re: gmm

                                                                                                                            WL video, I had previously try to look at it & it freezes up & cannot see the video..my internet service is not the best, but thank you anyway. I still have my little WL pie dough ball & the little biscuit dough ball from yesterday. The pie dough is still pillowy soft. In the pie dough it was equal parts Lard & butter & biscuit dough was just shortening (not lard). The biscuit dough is very hard. I will keep trying.

                                                                                                                            By the way, the pie crust was delicious...could really tell the difference between KA & WL...WL was such a soft dough.

                                                                                                                            Thanks for the help!!

                                                                                                                          2. re: cstout

                                                                                                                            The next time you make biscuits try this experiment. Use the little ball of dough left over from cutting and gather them into a ball and knead them lightly for about 30 seconds. Form into a biscuit with your hands and bake with the others.

                                                                                                                            I always use milk straight out of the refrigerator.

                                                                                                                            I think the admonitions about over working the dough maybe exaggerated No, you shouldn't knead biscuit dough like french bread but handling like a "butterfly" is a bit much..

                                                                                                                            1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                              If on the first try with just milk, you used both baking powder, and baking soda (1/2t), I suspect you tasted the baking soda, not the aluminum acid in the baking powder.

                                                                                                                              2 c flour
                                                                                                                              2-3 t bp
                                                                                                                              1/2 t salt
                                                                                                                              1/4 c fat
                                                                                                                              1 c liquid (milk)
                                                                                                                              is a perfectly good biscuit ingredient list.

                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                paulj, you are right about this recipe being perfectly good. Also, maybe we biscuit makers on this thread should have been more specific, so I'll do it here:

                                                                                                                                If you use regular (known as "sweet" in the south) milk or cream, DO NOT INCLUDE baking soda.

                                                                                                                                If you include a cultured ("sour") product such as buttermilk in your biscuit dough, YES include baking soda.

                                                                                                                                Now, as for the aluminum flavor, it is strong and clear for me in baked goods which include a baking powder such as Clabber Girl. No doubts.

                                                                                                                              2. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                Look for Rumford baking powder. It has no aluminum. The only widely distributed one that doesn't.

                                                                                                                                1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                  " It has no aluminum. The only widely distributed one that doesn't."
                                                                                                                                  Argo is widely distributed as well.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                    Found a nice little bit on baking powder at: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/1299...

                                                                                                                                    What is the word on Clabber Girl....those look like some NICE biscuits.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Monch

                                                                                                                                      Clabber Girl has aluminium in it. It is, however made by the same company as Rumford.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc


                                                                                                                                        With my genetics, I'd rather change my baking powder than increase the probability that I'll soon be hiding my OWN Easter eggs.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                          The same formulation is sold as Royal Baking Powder. This brand is so common in Latin America, that 'Royal' is synonymous with baking powder.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Monch

                                                                                                                                          Monch, that was a great read.
                                                                                                                                          No wonder when I found the Argo the first time ever, in Vegas of all places, I bought 2 for me and 3 more for the kiddleboos.
                                                                                                                                          It's the only one with all 4 results based on that grid on the site.
                                                                                                                                          Good job, great investigating.
                                                                                                                                          Yes, those biscuits look a-maz-ing

                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                              Whoa....Paul...You have your props, did not mean to mess with you....sorry!

                                                                                                                                              The Fresh Loaf is a great resource and I feel, as a bread baker, incredibly inferior every time I poke around there. I should take it off my Favorites bar!

                                                                                                                                        3. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                          Rumford BP it is then.....aluminum really tastes BAD!!!!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                            Somewhere in this mess of a thread ! I reported that I recently bought some Argo BP and the rise is higher than with Rumford - you might want to get Argo!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                              Apparently argo is not as common in the stores - but as it has no aluminum, I've e'd them to see where I can get it locally. Fingers crossed!

                                                                                                                                          2. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                            Just got the Rumford at "Whole Paycheck"...

                                                                                                                                            Now to the bad-news....the White Lily Self-Rising has aluminum.

                                                                                                                                            Screw it. I'll use Rumford in everything else and use the WLSR for biscuits.

                                                                                                                                            WLSR will be the bullet in my "Alzheimer's Roulette" pistol!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Monch

                                                                                                                                              This is terrible news....White Lily Self Rising is no longer the white lily. I am beginning to think there is aluminum in many more products than we suspect, as someone else has pointed out here.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                I'm sorry...have we met?

                                                                                                                                                I don't seem to remember you.

                                                                                                                                                Please pass the biscuits.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Monch

                                                                                                                                                  I've been eating biscuits made out of White Lily self rising flour for better than fifty years.. I'm very happy to find that I now have somebody to blame for the fact that I can't remember anything. Anybody with me on the class action lawsuit?

                                                                                                                                                  I would not be surprised if they aren't somewhat culpable for me being "portly". Bastards.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Monch

                                                                                                                                                    Biscuits??? What makes you think I have any biscuits to pass?

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                    White Lily Self Rising probably has had SAS for decades. The competing Southern brand Martha White has been advertising its Hot Rize for 60 years.

                                                                                                                                                    Rumford claims to be double acting, but its heat activated action is not nearly as strong as that provided by SAS.

                                                                                                                                                    Flatt and Scruggs Hot Rize song

                                                                                                                                            2. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                              kengk, your pic reminds me of the spoonbread my grandmother used to make...

                                                                                                                                              1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                " You can mash a divot in the round center biscuit with your thumb and fill it up with jelly before baking for added amusement."
                                                                                                                                                yes you could and then it would look like a flower and taste great too!

                                                                                                                                              2. I married into a Southern family 34 years ago and the first thing I was asked was if I knew how to make biscuits . I didn't have a clue - rolls and biscuits in our house came out of a tube. But, my husband's family often spoke of the legendary biscuits their Aunt Ann made; light, fluffy and melt -in-your-mouth things that were proclaimed heaven on earth. Apparently, no one was late to the table for fear of missing out on their fair share. And was there a recipe I could use? Of course not, because Aunt Ann never measured anything. After lots of practice, I came up with the recipe below. They're not quite as good as Aunt Ann's but I've had a lot of people over the years eat gobs of them and ask for the recipe. And my Southern relatives definitely approve. Ingredients are simple: flour, baking powder, salt, butter and milk. A few tips: use White Lily flour if you can. It's not available in my area so I use Gold Medal white unbleached flour. The moisture content of flour can vary, so if you live in a dry climate like I do, you may need to use a bit more milk. And spoon the flour into your measuring cup - don't scoop it out of the bag or the canister with the measuring cup. Use a good quality unsalted butter - it should be cold. There is no substitute unless you want to use lard. Milk can be buttermilk, whole milk, 2% or skim. The richer the milk, the richer the biscuit but buttermilk adds tenderness and a nice tang. Don't use Kosher salt as it may not fully dissolve as the mixing is quick. A dough hook/blender (King Arthur sells them and they have a wooden handle and circualr sort of mixing apparatus) is the best way to blend ingredients. Handle the dough as little as possible and bake at a high temp. For dessert biscuits/shortcakes, just add sugar to sweeten things up...about 1/4 cup. Honestly, these are so easy and fast there's just no reason not to have fresh biscuits whenever you want them. Here's the recipe:

                                                                                                                                                2 cups white flour
                                                                                                                                                2 t.easpoons baking powder
                                                                                                                                                1 teaspoon table salt
                                                                                                                                                5 - 6 Tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch
                                                                                                                                                1 scant cup milk (you may need more)

                                                                                                                                                Blend the dry ingredients with the dough hook. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender until the butter pieces are no larger than the size of a pea. all Add the milk and using a dough hook, gently but quickly mix all the ingredients together. You will see lumps of butter and the mixture will look rough, but all the milk should be incorporated. Turn the mixture (it will be sticky) out onto a floured surface and knead just a few turns. Roll or pat out mixture to 1/2 thickness. Cut with a biscuit cutter and place on a lightly greased sheet 1 inch apart. Bake at 450 degrees until tops are golden brown. Split biscuits, insert a pat of butter and serve. Enjoy!!!

                                                                                                                                                19 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: nellybo

                                                                                                                                                  nellyboo, this sounds like something I could do,,I am just wondering if I should wait on my White Lily flour though just to make it "foolproof"...if I come up with one more batch of bad biscuits, I shall commit hari kari. Your instructions are so thorough, thank you for taking the time to type all that, sounds so simple. I do not even have Gold Medal flour, just that KA stuff,will not budge until I get some White Lily...

                                                                                                                                                  It is really intimidating to come into a family where they have all those Aunts, Grannies, & Uncles who are Kings & Queens of the kitchen & everyone expects you to follow suit immediately. Uncle Bob, are you listening to this???? Give us some slack here. What really slays me is when someone says, "I don't have a recipe"...

                                                                                                                                                  I remember my Grandpa making the best darn biscuits...no recipe mind you, but he did use Grannie's teacup (only one she had). He died, the tea cup got broken before anyone had sense enough to measure how much flour went in there, end of Grandpa's famous biscuits. Maybe that is as it should be.Oh yes, he also used the same cup to measure his sausage making spices, no more sausage in my family either. Close but not the same.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                    cstout, of course you can do this! Use whatever flour you have on hand for practice. If the biscuits turn out like hockey pucks, you'll still have the additional experience of another batch or two under your belt! I've used KA, GM Unbleached, and WL, all with great success. WL would be my flour of choice and I really should order some, but honestly, I haven't used it in years. And I hear you about the teacup, because that was the measuring cup of choice both with Aunt Ann and my MIL down in Mississippi. I also know they used lard and there's no question that lard makes the lightest, flakiest , and most tender biscuits, so it's not just the WL flour alone. But, I'm not a fan of lard, so what I lose in flakiness I make up in flavor with the use of butter. And with small, very cold butter pieces flecked throughout the dough, small steam pockets will form in the oven as the butter melts and the biscuits rise - that helps make for flakiness in the finished product. With practice and time, you'll learn to read the dough and you'll know when you're making a batch of superlative biscuits. When you turn the dough out onto your kneading surface, you may need to add a little additional flour if your dough is very wet, won't come together with knead or two, or is just too sticky. Then add just enough flour to make the dough manageable. Knead the flour in with another few turns but be gentle. Don't knead the dough with as much force as you would use with a yeast bread. Just fold the dough toward you then gently push it away, turning it as you go. You'll know you're ready to roll the dough because it will feel soft and slightly puffy, the dough will look much smoother, and it will hold its shape yet is still be somewhat relaxed - it will be a nice, soft mound. Look for the small pieces of butter that fleck the dough. If the butter disappears you've either over mixed, over kneaded, or the butter was too warm to begin with. Making biscuits is fun and fast and with a few simple rules, you can't go wrong. Have fun with it and tweak the recipe to make it your own.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: nellybo

                                                                                                                                                      nellybo, thanks for the additional hints...I am getting a little bit more courage to try again. Oh yes, please don't tell me to "tweak the recipe"...those are dangerous words to a non biscuit maker...hush your mouth. I need explicit instructions repeated several times before I even think about tweaking!!

                                                                                                                                                      Enjoyed your conversation, wish we were all sitting here eating biscuits. Yes, a biscuit tasting party! Or even better yet, a biscuit "exchange" party. My my.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                        Here is some biscuit heresy for you: go to the store and buy a box of Bisquick and a quart of whole milk. Follow the directions on the box. if you don't get a reasonably good biscuit with this, there is something flawed with your technique that fiddling with ingredients isn't going to fix.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                          kengk, please don't scare me like that, I really don't want to buy a box of that stuff to find out something is profoundly wrong with me. I am already stressed out enough without you making it so simple to find out. Gosh, wonder what else that box of Biscuick can reveal.....

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                            Don't buy bisquick. Please.

                                                                                                                                                            If you can't get white lilly - or a low protein pastry flour available at most health food stores by the pound - do the Cook's Illustrated trick - and add 1 T vodka to your 3/4 cup milk. It will make even your all purpose flour biscuits tender!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                                                                              "add 1 T vodka"

                                                                                                                                                              I am sure I'd never do that.
                                                                                                                                                              I once followed Robert Wagner's recipe for red sauce with vodka that he made on Tony Danza's show. It was awful and I've never done vodka in a food recipe again. Had to dump the whole thing, really awful.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                You blame me for Tony Danza?

                                                                                                                                                                So unfair.

                                                                                                                                                                Think of the vodka like the vinegar farmwives would add to their icewater for pie crusts - an acid, a tenderizer.

                                                                                                                                                                You sit there thinking "Man, it's going to curdle the milk". But whatever it does - it works!

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                                                                                  you gave me a good giggle happybaker...........no, it's not your fault that RJ's red sauce was hideous.
                                                                                                                                                                  vodka in pie crust, ok, I have no reason not to try it, and I also have vodka, the secret [shhhhh] ingredient :)

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: happybaker

                                                                                                                                                                Bisquick Complete Mix makes quite good biscuits. Easily as good rise as anything I've made from scratch. I don't use it much at home, but when camping and using the dutch oven, the simpler mixing (just add water) is convenient. A mix also means I don't have to pack all the separate components.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                                                                                  No wonder you are a happybaker...heh heh...vodka in the biscuits...hmmmm, now you have my attention....what does vodka do in there anyway??? Must do good things because CI has a pie crust recipe that calls for vodka....mine never worked, but that's just me.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                    cstout - it just seems to make them more tender.

                                                                                                                                                                    I only do it when I just have AP flour in the house, add 2 - 3 tsp. of vodka in the measuring cup before you pour in the milk. You still have to have your butter or shortening cold, and mix quickly - but it does give me a more delicate result than without.

                                                                                                                                                                    And speaking of piecrust - Nancy Silverton has a mixed berry croustada that is awesome - always a tender flakey crust when I make it (and pie crusts are still a challenge to me.) Now that we're chatting, I wonder if it is the large amount of vanilla i the crust? If the alcohol helps to keep it tender...?!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                                                                                      I am going to look up that berry croustada in just a minute...yep, lots of vanilla may be keeping it tender. Thanks for sharing!!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                        Hope this link works for you - here 'tis!


                                                                                                                                                                        FYI, in Los Angeles my flour tends be drier than when I am in the midwest, so I end up adding a bit more ice water than she says to get it workable. IT ends up being at least 1/4 c. ice water, sometimes 1/3rd.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, that mixed berry dessert sounds easy to make & I bet it is wonderful to eat. Thanks for pointing me right to the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                      Alcohol/acid prevent gluten formation when the protein in the flour gets all worked up. Gluten formation is what gives bread body and the ability to stay risen until it is baked. In things like biscuits, piecrust, and cakes, you want to avoid gluten formation by not overworking the dough - adding an acid provides some extra insurance against this.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                        Yay Sandy for the science!

                                                                                                                                                                        I knew it worked, but I never knew why.

                                                                                                                                                                        And it does explain why the croustade crust is such a dependable one. Thank you!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                          to add: gluten formation in biscuits, piecrust, and cakes is what makes them tough and actually inhibits the rise in these items.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                            Wow, that is interesing...I am enlightened!

                                                                                                                                                          2. ATTENTION EVERYONE!!! White Lily Flour can be ordered online at Walmart.com...8 5lb bags for $41.49..free shipping I believe(did not read the whole thing), but free site to store pickup for sure. Now don't you all go & buy everything out before my order gets in.....pretty please. My dear friend (non cook) just googled it & found all kinds of places to get it here in TX. I am going with Wal Mart though.

                                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                              I'm in TX, where are you ?? I found WL at an upscale food market (Hubbel and Hudson)
                                                                                                                                                              It is expensive.
                                                                                                                                                              Also, really get buttermilk
                                                                                                                                                              I mean if you are going for the WL, then get the buttermilk too :-)

                                                                                                                                                              I love ppl who just "throw things together"
                                                                                                                                                              That's how MY Bohemian granny cooked !!!!
                                                                                                                                                              She could make a DELICIOUS meal for 9 out of 2 old carrots and a potato, I swear :-D
                                                                                                                                                              One time, my Sister and I followed her around writing down how she made her famous
                                                                                                                                                              I remember my Sister saying "now how much of that did you just put in?"
                                                                                                                                                              because it was some of this and a handful of that, "until it looks right" Haa Haa

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: oooYUM

                                                                                                                                                                oooYUM, I posted on this thread about being able to order it online at walmart.com...have to buy 8 5lb bags though..think it was 2.99 shipping to your home. I am at a small town about 35 miles to San Antonio...but Walmart sounds the only way to go for me. Just search for White Lily flour on their website. Also had other bags of WL products too.

                                                                                                                                                                Yes, those dear relatives will drive a person crazy with their vague statements, but bless them, we've never had better food!

                                                                                                                                                                Did you all learn the Hoska recipe? I don't know what that is, but I bet it is wonderful.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                  Ahhh, Hoska is what my Granny called that large braided yeast bread with lots of candied fruits and some nuts. She decorated the tops with powdered sugar frosting and halved candied cherries, it was a beautiful yummy Holiday treat, best served sliced and toasted with lots of butter.....
                                                                                                                                                                  My Sister does have the recipe and makes one for every family member as a gift each Christmas..... It's an all-day process !!! And keeps the tradition alive !!!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: oooYUM

                                                                                                                                                                    Hoska, yes I do remember that luscious bread, but we called it something else in my family, was so many years ago that I do not remember the name.

                                                                                                                                                                    Sadly, that is one tradition that is gone on my German side, wonder how many other things have disappeared. Thanks for for a great memory!

                                                                                                                                                                    I have a family reunion next month, I surely will ask around about that yeast bread.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                      I love that bread! When I was growing up in Toronto it was called Chop Suey Loaf!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dianne0712

                                                                                                                                                                        Chop Suey Loaf....that is so funny!! Makes perfect sense to me for it to be called that.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Honestly, I make very good biscuits with unbleached Gold Medal, unsalted butter, BP, BS, salt, and buttermilk. White Lily is not available here, but I do remember my grandmother's southern biscuits, and while they were great, mine are very good also.

                                                                                                                                                              Something I haven't seen mentioned here is the quality/type of baking powder. Aluminum-based baking powders give a strong metallic taste to baked goods by my palate. Clabber girl has aluminum in it, Rumford does not - although they are made by the same company.

                                                                                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                sandylc - baking powder..have you ever tried making your own? Has anyone else tried it?

                                                                                                                                                                Edna Lewis talks about baking powder having so many chemicals in it from her book "The taste of Country Cooking". She suggests a recipe of 2 parts cream of tarter with 1 part baking soda to make your own. I have not tried it...had no idea that was all that is in BP.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                  The ingredients list on baking powder is pretty simple:
                                                                                                                                                                  baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
                                                                                                                                                                  1 or 2 powdered acids (e.g. Monocalcium Phosphate, Sodium Acid Pyrophostate)
                                                                                                                                                                  cornstarch (to absorb moisture)

                                                                                                                                                                  Cream of tarter is Potassium bitartrate is a byproduct of wine making.

                                                                                                                                                                  Many acids can be used with baking soda to produce CO2 - buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, lemon juice, vinegar, though most are liquid.

                                                                                                                                                                  One advantage of most commercial baking powder is that they are double acting. Some CO2 is produced as soon as liquid is added, but more is produced when heated (ie. during baking).

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                    I haven't tried making my own...mostly because there are good products out there....AND, because as Paul mentioned, Iike double-acting BP, which I don't think can be made easily at home....

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                      Making your own BP...ok, we'll forget that idea...

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                        The Bakewell Cream I referenced in an earlier reply is "Acid Sodium Pyrophosphate".

                                                                                                                                                                        The can says use 2/3 tsp of it and 1/3 tsp baking soda to equal baking powder. Substitute as is for Cream of Tartar.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                          Bakewell Cream...thank you for the info.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                            I just found a couple of packets (11g) of French Alsa baking powder. Ingredients are
                                                                                                                                                                            Sodium acid pyrophoasphate, sodium bicarbonate, wheat flour.

                                                                                                                                                                            Says it's for use with 500g of flour.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                        I buy Argo baking powder and get it so far from Glaziers in Vegas across the street from Von's on Warm Springs and Durango. It's aluminum free. Also, just saw today that WalMarchay has a no name aluminum free baking powder too @ $ .98.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. I love all these posts. It is great to know that some of us are preserving old fashioned American food. I don't know anyone who makes biscuits from scratch anymore, except me. And I don't do it very often. I use KA white whole wheat flour, and my biscuits are very good. I don't cut them. I make enough for 4 biscuits (I got the recipe online somewhere) and I pinch off 1/4 of the dough and form them into balls. I press the balls lightly into a small CI skillet, and bake them. They rise high and nudge each other in the pan, making very soft biscuits.

                                                                                                                                                                      I am relating this so you know you can use whatever you have, and get good biscuits. Just bake them for your family, or yourself. You are preserving something precious when you do.

                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                                                        Preserving old fashioned American food, Yes, I agree with you completely..I don't know anyone either who does scratch biscuits. And you are right, there are other flours out there that produce wonderful biscuits too. We just need to make them more often to keep the "touch". People are always happy to get something "homemade", thanks for a wonderful post.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sueatmo

                                                                                                                                                                            Suetomo - I'm happy to say I do know scratch cooks out there.

                                                                                                                                                                            Not all bakers (that's a different science) but good capable cooks. So we swap. I'm a fab baker and jam maker - so I always share extra. One of my dear friends cannot bake perfectly - but she can sew like you would not believe. So I bring her biscuits and rolls - and she helps me with making with xmas gifts.

                                                                                                                                                                            I think you are spot in n that - simple creating is important, doable, and good. Thank goodness for Chowhound that helps remind us of that!

                                                                                                                                                                            Shoot. That means i need to master my hamentaschens tomorrow. Belatedly.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. An essential technique (from Rombauer's fundamental "The Joy of Cooking"):

                                                                                                                                                                        When cutting out the biscuit, never twist the cutter; only cut straight down and up. Twisting the cutter tends to smooth over or seal the edge of the biscuit, interfering with the dough's rising and creation of flaky layers while baking.

                                                                                                                                                                        25 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Riccardo

                                                                                                                                                                          my CAI cookbook 1974 has 29 listings for biscuits. where does one start?

                                                                                                                                                                          page 158 has a recipe for 'beaten biscuits' and the instructions are as odd as I can imagine.
                                                                                                                                                                          "knead on lightly floured board until dough becomes soft&pliable. run dough through a meat grinder or biscuit machine" (what?) "using a coarse knife or beat steadily with a wooden potato masher 30 minutes or until dough blisters." (what?) like I have time to beat anything for 30 minutes...curious as I am I don't think I'll be making "beaten biscuits".

                                                                                                                                                                          Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedia Cookbook...
                                                                                                                                                                          what are they teaching there?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                            CAI cookbook, what do thos initials stand for???

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                              cstout.......check last 2 lines.................Culinary Arts Institue

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                              Older Joy of Cooking books have this recipe for beaten biscuits. This is an old recipe, from the days before baking powder.

                                                                                                                                                                              The word 'biscuit' comes from the Latin/Italian for 'twice baked' (biscoti), and has been used in English since around 1500. In current British usage it means cookie (an American term with German or Dutch origins). Ships biscuits are also called hardbread or hardtack (or in the modern incarnation pilot bread), and were the staple of sailors and solders (through the Civil War).

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                I have a CAI cookbook from wartime. I believe it has lost its index. I will have to do a little sleuthing about biscuits. JOC also has several sorts of biscuits.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                  Oops, CAI...I did not see the Culinary Arts Institute reference at the bottom of your post...sorry to ask a redundant question.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                    cstout, there will never be a need to apologize to me for anything like that cstout.
                                                                                                                                                                                    my gosh, my eyes are half the time closed when I read these posts. ;:-/

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                      Hey, eyes half closed....yep, I am falling asleep at the wheel here, but darn it, I'm always hungry...so I keep plowing along & planning my next meal...chicken & biscuits today...feathers tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                    The Beaten Biscuit is still a very MD thing. Often served with fried chicken and gravy.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chefj

                                                                                                                                                                                      chefj...thanks so much for posting tthe beaten biscuits video...do you live there & have you tasted those biscuits?? Wow, a lot of work into those biscuits!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                        In another video they use metal rollers, folding the dough on each pass. That's make it clearer that the 'beating' works air into the dough mechanically.

                                                                                                                                                                                        more on beaten biscuits at FoodTimeLine

                                                                                                                                                                                        That same page mentions that amonium bicarbonate, extracted from deer anglers, was an early form of chemical leavening.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                          No, I do not live in the area any more, but it was my home stomping grounds years ago.
                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes I have eaten beaten biscuits and I love them. Pretty different than baking powder biscuits. They hold up to gravy well.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chefj

                                                                                                                                                                                            How would you describe the texture? The descriptions that I've seen are not very consistent or detailed, but I get the impression they are like a hearty cracker (saltine), maybe pilot bread. Crisp on the outside, with just enough thickness to have a soft inside.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                              Kind of hard to explain.
                                                                                                                                                                                              They are crisp on the outside when fresh and kinda of chewy but tender (I know kind of a enigma) inside. Not fluffy like a B.P. one
                                                                                                                                                                                              I have seen people say they are like hard tack but the ones we ate were not hard and dry they way ships biscuits are.
                                                                                                                                                                                              There is variance in texture between makers also.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: chefj

                                                                                                                                                                                          chefj, I don't like that youtube video at all. sorry to say but like isn't the right word, I LOVE THAT VIDEO. thank you so much for finding that and sharing it with all of us here. his mom's hands, oh I love her hands. reminds me of my grandmothers hands that I used to marvel at and touch and hold, so seasoned, so precious, so lovely, soooo talented.
                                                                                                                                                                                          I will watch that again and again. I can't believe the work that goes into those little lepshens. My goodness all that work, they must be fabulous..............

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes, people's hands are a work of art, I had an aunt whose hands were so rough & weather beaten from all the outside farm chores & washing clothes in a black kettle of boiling water, but she came inside & made the most luscious loaf of bread with her homemade jelly, hands gently tossing her ingredients to make the lightest biscuits. Hands tell so much about a person. Glad you noticed that too!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                              "oh I love her hands. reminds me of my grandmothers hands that I used to marvel at and touch and hold, so seasoned, so precious, so lovely, soooo talented."

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, I feel exactly the same about my grandmother's hands. I wrote a poem about her hands. Beautiful!!!! It was her love and gentleness that made me love every part of her. As a child, I would touch, hold and marvel as well. She used those hands to serve her family in so many ways with such wonderful Love!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: joy68

                                                                                                                                                                                                joy, would you share the poem about grandma's hands please?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Oh my! I am so embarrassed. I read your original comment and was overcome with memories of my beautiful grandmother. Your description described my emotions when I was writing down my thoughts for her memorial service many years ago. It has been almost 10 years, and I mistakenly remembered writing a poem. I did write about her hands, it just wasn't a poem. Please forgive me for remembering incorrectly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Actually, I scribbled my memories down on a scrap piece of paper. I did not even think I would be able to find it (I was so embarrassed when I discovered it was not a poem). Amazing how a person who saves so much paper can find anything! Thank you for your lovely comments that made me think of my grandmother. Now I should type and save these memories, and maybe I will someday be inspired to actually write a poem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: joy68

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love poetry Joy....
                                                                                                                                                                                                    There is no apology needed, ever, I was only hoping to read something lovely regarding your grandmother and her hands. I know-such sweet thoughts and memories to share . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: chefj

                                                                                                                                                                                              Look more like rolls then biscuits.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Mother of four

                                                                                                                                                                                                These are the way biscuits were before baking powder and I assure you they are nothing like a roll.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chefj

                                                                                                                                                                                                  In the one video, from the commercial outfit, the biscuits are formed into balls, and then pricked, but not flattened. I think that is why the poster thought they were like rolls; the shape was rounded like a yeast roll.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Other videos show a flatter biscuit, more of a thick cracker.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rounded biscuit (1 tsp baking powder, but 6 c flour)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  biscuit and ham sandwich

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Actually that second photo shows the texture pretty well, it is a little moist and has a crumb not crisp like a cracker.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sounds like Mother just wants to be a hate on the beaten biscuit, so no need for you explain her possible motives.

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I use Nathatlie Dupree's recipe for beginner's biscuits. White Lily Self Rising Flour and heavy cream. I use my food processor, use equal amts of flour to cream. Dump in processor. Pulse several times. Take a look, if the dough can be gathered into a ball, turn it out onto floured board, dust with more flour. Using your hands pat it out to about 3/4" thick. Cut pressing straight down without twisting. Place in biscuit pan, sides should touch slightly. Bake at 450 10-12 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                            It took me longer to type that than to do.

                                                                                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                                                              Cream Biscuits...those are some dainty little biscuits..cannot wait to try all these recipes when my WL comes in. Thanks for adding another goodie to the plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                                                                That's an excellent quick recipe. Reminds me of the quick muffin recipe that uses Bisquick and melted ice cream!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Candy, that is the easiest sounding recipe ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Candy, I'll do this one tonight, bought the heavy cream and have the WL SRF already, so I'm set.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    I won't twist, I have heard that before but then I watch true bakers who do twist, so I'm twisted about the results or concerns. For today's experiment no twisting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Very often I'll substitute out buttermilk (whole fat) for some of the cream. It gives a nice buttermilk biscuit flavor that you don't get with the ones made with only cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Whole fat buttermilk is harder to find than white lily! I miss that from being in the South

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: AAQjr

                                                                                                                                                                                                          You could just use reduced fat. Or maybe make your own buttermilk sub by using whole milk and adding white vinegar in the ratio of a tablespoon to a cup of milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                        when you twist, it tends to seal the sides of the biscuit so your rise is not as high. Just a straight down cut is what is needed

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Candy, sorry to say, the prep part of the recipe didn't work. I used equal parts WLSRF and heavy cream. Unless this was supposed to turn out like spoon bread, there was no going into the processor, it was so liquid. So I parchment papered an 8" cast iron skillet and poured the wet mixture into it then into a preheated oven. End result > DELICIOUS!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Here's what I did. Set the oven for 8 minutes, took the skillet out, scored the mostly baked "round" let bake 3 more minutes and took out. They finished in there/are now in sections/the texture oh my goodness, so light and so delicate, they are fabulous. Thank you so much for sharing that. What a winner of a recipe. Who knew? Not I........... :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sorry it did not work for you. I've never had it fail. You might look into Nathalie Dupree's new book on biscuits. You may have needed to add a bit more flour. The book came out recently titled Southern Biscuits. In the processor it just takes a few pulses, maybe 5. Her recipe calls for making them in a bowl with a pastry blender. It was my own idea to use the processor, I e-mailed her on that and she liked the results.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I did have an oven disaster a little over a week ago, the heating element in my oven exploded. I hadn't gotten it fixed, and forgot. I had mixed up a batch of biscuits and went to turn on the oven. Damn! I forgot it was unusable. I greased an 8" cast iron skillet, heated it moderately and put in my biscuits, covered the pan and "baked them stove top." They did not rise quite as high but were tasty nonetheless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      4. What is everyone's expectation of a good biscuit? Mine has changed over the years. I used to try for the lightest, fluffiest, meltingly tender biscuit.....essentially the Wonder Bread of biscuits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fast forward several years, and now I want more substance and flavor in my bread products. I used unbleached and sometimes add some whole wheat to my biscuits now because of this change in my tastes. I won't go for the soft, low-protein, bleached flour product because it doesn't taste like anything!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Expectation of a good biscuit? You have opened up a can of worms there..hang on to your socks...I will put my 2 cents in right now before everybody pushes me out....I like a plump, golden brown one that I can split in half & drown it with some cream chipped beef gravy. I won't change my mind on that one either. A no frills biscuit, I should say!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Candy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sausage gravy OR butter and good jam OR butter and honey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ah, let's add apple butter to that list. Preferably cinnamon-y apple butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I also loved a nice creamed chicken and vegetable thing over biscuits - old-fashioned comfort food.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Chicken a la king over split biscuits! Heaven!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: happybaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  or split biscuits drizzled with amber maple syrup, grade b.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    split biscuits, buttered and toasted, drizzled with molasses... for the win!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My grandfather's "dessert" at breakfast: Sorghum molasses mixed with butter and spread on biscuits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Many a morning my granny & I would have Burr Rabbit syrup & bacon grease and biscuits or skillet toast. I am still alive & have no health problems to speak of.......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: happybaker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Haven't made Chicken a la king in years...do you have a recipe? If not I can always google it. Thanks for jogging my memory...one day next week's meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I tell you folks, I get more meal ideas from here...always nice to browse around & see what everyone else is eating. I swear the pounds just leap off the screen!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I like variety too much to stick with the lightest biscuits. The ones I made yesterday used equal parts of cornmeal, unbleached white, and white whole wheat. The previous batch used about 1/4 oat flour. I've also used rye and barley flours, and made scones with equal parts rolled oats and wheat flour. Fats also affect flavor, from the relatively tasteless shortening, to butter, cream, and even olive oil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I like your take on things paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  gp sandy

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  and I can see where you're coming from

                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Biscuit essentials: White Lily, Leaf lard, keep the dough moist.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. White Lily Flour and heavy cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Baking Powder (again)..."Southern Cooking" cookbook by Edna Lewis & Scott Peacock has another recipe....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/4 cup cream of tartar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 tablespoons baking soda

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sift all ingredients together 3 times & transfer to a clean, tight-sealing jar. Store at room temp, away from sunlight, for up to 6 weeks...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Just a FYI....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I decided to continue with my experimentation this morning. Had some Gold Medal bread flour on hand. Made a batch using the King Arthur Bakewell Cream recipe with the addition of an egg to half the recipe. They came out good. Served with sausage gravy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Also, the scraps left over after cutting out the biscuits make a good pie. This one is filled with a couple of tea spoons of orange marmalade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          kengk...my my just goes to show you that WL has a lot of competition!!. That little pie is a great idea....could fill it with other things & just warm it up later during the day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Those biscuits look about as perfect as you can get...you are getting GOOD at this biscuit making! I will have to pursue that bakewell cream stuff.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "you are getting GOOD at this biscuit making!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I would hope at least competent since I've been making them for 35 years or so. : )

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They have Bakewell Cream baking powder and original Bakewell Cream. What I have is the original. When I order yeast from King Arthur I look around through the catalog to see if I can find something different to try. I just bought this stuff on a whim but it works quite well.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh, so you have put in the years after all??? I thought you were a beginner at this...all makes sense now. Well, I have made biscuits off & on for quite some years myself & it was just a bad mistake each time...now I know why after reading all these tips & methods. I am holding off to make anymore until the WL flour comes in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, the KA catalog is mind boggling...all those "additives" to make a cake, pie, bread or whatever better...never have tried any of them myself...just looked & wondered if all those things really do enhance whatever is being made. What else have you tried from KA??

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh, just odds and ends. Their "special" dry bakers milk is a good product though I don't know that it's worth the cost. They have good baking pans. I don't really have any interest in mixes and enhancers either. Main reason I buy there is because I can't buy yeast by the pound locally and I figure I need to add something out of the ordinary to my order to make the shipping cost less painful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Those darn shipping costs really stop me from ordering a lot of stuff, especially when the shipping cost is higher than the product itself...geez. Wonder if anyone has the KA baking book.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Anyway, looks like you don't need much help in the baking department..bet your family enjoyed those biscuits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Just get on KA's e-mail list. They are forever offering free shipping deals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    kengk, I don't know where you live, but Sam's Club has 2-lb packages of yeast for about $8........ it's instant and very good. I keep it in the freezer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Which one do you use, kengk? The biscuits look great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Well, I am just going to post to myself...does anyone have a good sweet potato biscuit recipe? I tried a recipe once & the biscuits were not very tall at all & devoid of sweet potato flavor. Are these biscuits supposed to be tall?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My order for 40 pounds of White Lily flour came yesterday...now I am reading an earlier post by Monch & several people are speaking of WL self rising flour to make biscuits. Will making my own self rising flour from WL be as good as the real thing? Please tell me it will be because am committed to using up all that flour that is sitting here staring at me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              By the way Monch...great post you had about biscuits...I had no idea it was out there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              17 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think you would be better off to just add your salt and leavening as you go. If you do decide to convert a batch of your flour to SR be sure you are going to be happy with what you put in it. Double check the math and measurements.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I am definately going to just add leavening for a particular recipe...not the whole thing. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: cstout


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm pretty proud to say that I've, with the help of all here, taken "make a better biscuit" off my profile's "wish list"....now to those pesky pie crusts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The only advice I have, about "making SR flour", is to understand volume measurement of different salts - table vs kosher vs sea....very different.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I, for one, multiply by 1.5 to get from a recipe's "salt" measurement when using kosher.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, my order was for WL SR flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't have it at hand, but the Dupree book "Southern Biscuits" does a nice job of talking about various flour combinations to get to a good biscuit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Monch

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, you did some pretty exhausting experiments..which helped a whole bunch of others become better biscuit makers & hopefully it will me too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Will see if I can find "Southern Biscuits". Thanks for the tip about kosher salt, I use only kosher & sea salt & did not know that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Forgot to mention the pie making. I too have spent a great deal of time in the quest for a good pie crust. After finally taking a class, I am able to make a decent crust.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here is the 2 crust recipe we were taught very simple yet it works perfect:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 c AP flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 t salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/3 c shortening (leaf lard is much better, but....)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/3 c butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1/2 c ice water with ice cubes in it...use only a Tablespoon at a time..just until dough comes together

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mix only until ingredients come together. We used a pastry blender.Use your biscuit techniques about handling the dough...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ingredients & bowl should be cold

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Roll out on freezer paper with slick side up...tape at all 4 corners with duct tape or freezer tape. Dough rolls out easy on that plus makes for easy clean up. Don't need as much flour on board this way. Flour the pin too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Use those disposable pie tins you get at the grocery (9 inch is perfect for this recipe)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sometimes I reuse the tins if I have not punctured them. The tin just cooks the dough better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Invest in a long straight rolling pin without handles (can get online) Vic Furth brand. Be sure & go where there is free shipping...the pin is quite heavy!! (and beautiful)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Wrap dough in paper or plastic wrap & chill for a couple of hours

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The rolling pin seemed to open up all kinds of doors for me..helps keep the dough in a circle...oh yes, roll from center out only. That pin almost rolls the dough itself.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Good luck!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pie Crust !!!!!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hey cstout, I am workin on it !!!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My favorite is the Vodka pie crust, works every time !!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Off to check out that rolling pin......
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Got an apple-caramel pie in oven right now :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: oooYUM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          oooYUM...I misspelled the rolling pin maker...Vic Firth bakery rolling pin is the correct name...19 1/2in long...made in USA...found mine on Amazon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sounds like you don't need much help in the pie department...that apple-caramel pie sounds delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Different brands of kosher salt measure differently, as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Monch

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Salt is just there for the taste. I'd probably use more in a plain or savory flavored biscuit, than in a sweetened one. My impression from one small bag of SR White Lily was that it was saltier than my preference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I vaguely recall discussing sweet potato biscuits in another thread. While I have used sweet potatoes in pumpkin bread recipes, I haven't tried them in biscuits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fruit and vegetable purees work better in quickbreads and pancakes than biscuits. The puree replaces most of the liquid, and biscuits use just enough liquid to make a dough. So it is hard to use enough puree to taste without affecting texture. Purees are also moistening agents, as is evident in the denser, moist quality of banana and pumpkin bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Still the name 'sweet potato biscuit' is familiar enough; so there must be a good tradition of making them. But I suspect that even in the best, the sweet potato character will be under stated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      However it just occurred to me, that you could use diced cooked sweet potato instead of puree. These would have less effect on texture, and give little chunks of flavor. Biscuits take 'chunks' of foreign matter better than purees (e.g. raisins, diced ham, etc in scones).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I just tried this. I had already started to soak cornmeal for the CI cornmeal biscuits
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        so I cutup and cooked a sweet potato (the more savory Japanese variety). When tender I chopped about a cup, ending up with something closer to smashed potatoes than diced. I added this to the buttermilk and cornmeal mixture, and then to the dry ingredients (flour, bp, salt, shortening). The resulting dough was soft enough that I choose to form them cathead style.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm quite pleased with the results. They rose well, the cornmeal crunch is evident, but not too strong. The sweet potato taste is not strong, most evident when I bite into one of the larger pieces.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Excellent research! I wonder if the sweet potato flavor would be enhanced by the addition of expected sweet potato spices, such as one or more of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, cardamom, etc.....?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Often when people want pumpkin flavor, they really want those spices. I don't associate those as strongly with sweet potato, but then I've been using Japanese and Korean sweet potatoes for so long that I don't recall what American candied sweet potatoes taste like. I usually eat them plain, or braised with soy sauce and ginger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sweet Potato biscuits....hey thanks for making some...I just think they would go so good with Easter ham & thought I would make a couple of test runs on that so not to mess up at the last minute...I like things casual, buffet style, everybody just graze. Will visit your other posts a little later & get back with you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I took another stab at this, using diced purple yams, a variety found in Asian markets. For the dough I used 2/3 white, 1/3 white whole wheat, a couple of table spoons of sugar, bacon grease, and cream for the liquid. The dough was on the stiff side, which I patted out and cut into wedges (e.g. scone style).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I was quite pleased with the result. They aren't the lightest biscuits, but the rise was sufficient. The sweet potato stands out due to its color, though the texture is not that different from the biscuit itself (just a bit softer). That kind of thing could vary with how well the sweet potato was cooked in the first place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Search the recipe for Shaker Raised Squash Biscuits. These outstanding biscuits/rolls were the standard bread at the restaurant at the Canterbury NH Shaker Village, which also sold them (and sold out) retail on a daily basis. I see no reason why pureed sweet potato could not be used instead of the winter squash.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. My girlfriend who lives near Atlanta.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            She asked me what I wanted as a gift because she thought she owed me a favor. No favor needed as friendship is enough but she's into paying it back so I said White Lily Flour from the Publix by your house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            She is sending me 5lb of each one of these: All purpose, Self rising and Unbleached.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They are $2.49 each at Publix, I called and asked so I'd know how much to write the check for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            She said she's hiding the shipping cost. I am so excited. My WL self rising is 2/3rds gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Why is it that something that seems so blah is so good=flour?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I paid over 6$ for it :( sigh!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bread in general is kind of amazing that way. At it's most basic it's just flour, salt and water, add some kind of leavening and the result is something that many of us eat as a part of three meals a day for our entire life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I'm confused. Should I order WL all purpose OR self rising?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Where should I order from to get the best price?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just want full supply of all three, but that's my personal preference.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There's a lot of baking and kitchen use in this house so want to replenish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Where the best price is, not sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I don't think it's been covered yet in this thread but Am. Test Kitchen had a segment on biscuits. They made a "drop biscuit", dough is scooped out of the bowl and placed on the baking sheet. Melt the butter, pour it into cold butter milk and this form something lthat resembles loose cottage cheese. Mixture is added to the dry. My biskits took a huge leap when I started playing with this method, now they are fool proof. One key for me is adding barely enough liquid for the dough to hold together. I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup that is as high as it is wide, very hot oven 500 degrees, parchment paper. Regular AP flour, 1/4 of it bread flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I came across this recipe in some old magazine/newspaper files that were stuffed in a folder & just thought I would post it here for you all. I am going to make this up now. Yes, it sounds like those Angel biscuits & I know it is cheating to add yeast, but a girl has to do what she's gotta do to get some biscuits on the table. Eight bags of WL flour on the table, one down & seven more to go...that's a lot of biscuit practice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mo Ranch Biscuits
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 pkg yeast in 1 cup warm water

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 cups buttermilk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 cup cooking oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 cup sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 cups self-rising flour (I am going to make my own self rising)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 teaspoon soda
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 teaspoon salt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Knead well. Add more flour if needed (about 7 cups to make a stiff dough).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Store in airtight container in fridge for 12 hours before baking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This will keep for about 2 weeks in fridge. Pinch off amount needed & roll on floured board. Let rise 1 hour before baking.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Bake @400deg for 15 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I spent years trying to make buiscuits and had hockey pucks. Then, I'm aging myself, on Nathalie Dupree's show on PBS she showed me how. Keep them wet. Then I discovered angel biscuits and they're much easier and foolproof. You have to use White Lily flour either way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Floridagirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Is your angel biscuit recipe similar to the one I posted? I have seen dozens of recipes for them & wonder which is best???

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Floridagirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "You have to use White Lily flour either way."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm so thankful 5 different 5lb'ers are on their way to my house.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ^^^love good friends^^^

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. For those of you who have either of Shirley Corriher's books Cookwise or Bakewise, her Touch of Grace Biscuits are by far, hands down, no questions asked, the ABSOLUTE BEST biscuits I have ever had.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Her method (and one ingredient) is a bit unorthodox but the results are absolute biscuit PERFECTION.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          As soon as they come out of the oven, brush them with melted, unsalted butter then immediately season them with Maldon finishing salt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. To cstout:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This thread has gotten unwieldy. Have you made a perfect biscuit yet?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To everyone who has contributed to this thread...I have learned a lot & tried several of your recipes.. the "perfect biscuit" is still on the horizon, but at least by following all your suggestions, it has turned into a pleasurable experience. I am turning out a biscuit that a while back was an impossibility.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Sour cream, buttermilk & yeast biscuits are what I have made with success....thanks to all your wonderful tips.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am now searching for a good sweet potato biscuit recipe..so far those have been flat & pretty much how hum...but I guess that's another story. Thanks to everyone again!!!!.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've never seen a sweet potato biscuit that would rise the same way a regular biscuit does. Given that... I wonder what kind of results one would get if you add sweet potato powder as a component of biscuit dough. Hmmmmmm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You think this thread has become unwieldy - Ha, we have every right to be unwieldy...been eating all that self rising flour with aluminum.....whatta you expect????? Besides, I thought we were making muffins all this time, so to answer your question....no I have NOT made a perfect biscuit yet......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Was not trying to be snarky, I really find the format of this board hard to follow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dear kengk...I don't exactly know what "snarky" is, but I don't think it applies to you. This thread will only be harder to follow as we sit here & consume all this flour with aluminum in it, but at least we have something to blame it on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Try going over to the thread about "What are you baking these days?" Wow, I get so lost as to who is commenting or asking questions about what...now that is one hard thread to follow!! At least we are only making biscuits here...not fifty million different items. But we are all having fun & picking up some good recipes & ideas along the way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. just read your last response.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I too have gained much from this thread.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's a great read.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                now, where on here does it tell me how to make the ultra flaky mucho layered biscuits like come in the tin?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mucho layered biscuits like come in the tin? Great question....maybe it will be like the Loveless Cafe biscuit recipe..just can't be duplicated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I can just see kengk swooning at the thought of this thread resurrecting itself!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I just replied to the OP, but see it below... just butter, fold, chill. Roll, fold, chill, repeat several times to get your layers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: wyogal

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Like those multilayerd biscuits...well, how 'bout if you just rolled the biscuit dough very thin & placed maybe 3 layers to make a "stacked" biscuit & then bake?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Put butter between the layers. I don't chill the dough between turns all that long. Just enough to clean up the kitchen, maybe get something else done, then roll and turn again. It just takes a few folds (doing it in thirds) for there to be many layers as it grows exponentially with each turn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. You just roll out the dough, put on a thick layer of butter, fold. Chill, then roll, fold, chill. Do that several times and you will have lots of layers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. This months Southern Living magazine had a biscuit recipe that called for cutting in butter and cream cheese as shortening. It might be posted on their website. I'm going to have to give that a try.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks for the info. I do not get magazines anymore, so would not have known this.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. My latest take, prepared to go along with a salmon steak:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 tsp dried rosemary, 1/2c cut oats, chopped in coffee mill;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        soak with 1c buttermilk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1/2c whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 c white, 3 tsp bp, 1 tsp salt, 1/4c olive oil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        worked together
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 c shredded chease (Manchego like), kneaded into dough
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        knead about a minute
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        pat out, cut into disks, arrange on making sheet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This dough was oily enough that I didn't need extra flour to work it on a silicone mat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        brush with bacon drippings; let rest about 10 minutes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        bake at 400F about 15 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        While not super light, these had a good texture and flavor to go with the oily fish. even better soaking up the fish oils from the pan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Amazing....that sounds so good...thank you for sharing. Love the olive oil in there!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I know this thread has quietly been laying dormant, but just thought I would share one more thing about biscuits....never hurts to keep up to date on these things!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          26 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We found some whole buttermilk the other day and it really does make a better biscuit than the non fat kind that is normally on offer here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              How do you find whole buttermilk?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I sometimes have come across whole buttermilk at a convenience store...will be in the small bottles. Just look around every time you pop in one of those places. If you do come across it, buy a couple of cartons & freeze them. You will be looking for the cartons that do NOT say "non fat buttermilk"..look closely because the two cartons are almost alike.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But there's nothing traditional about whole fat buttermilk. The original was milk leftover from making butter - which was often sour due delays in processing. Of course now days nearly all buttermilk is cultured - regardless of whether they start with nonfat or whole milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Why should the use of whole fat buttermilk, or heavy cream be better than just using more solid fat (butter, lard or shortening)? They all are ways of increasing the fat content of your biscuits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    >Why should the use of whole fat buttermilk, or heavy cream be better than just using more solid fat (butter, lard or shortening)?<

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Good point. In this case I used the same amount of shortening that I usually do so these biscuits would have had more fat. But, I normally use whole "sweet" milk for biscuits, have just been on a buttermilk kick lately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I think this milk came from Publix. I was scouring the shelf looking for a quart in a plastic bottle and all they had was waxed cartons. When I looked over at the half gallons there was the whole buttermilk. It freezes very well as I think I have mentioned previously.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    At any rate, they were good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: kengk

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      And buttermilk doesn't go bad anyway. It may clabber, but just shake it up. It just gets better over time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have not been able to find White Lily flour in the San Francisco area. So, today I took the plunge and ordered it from the Smucker's website. (My mind got messed up trying to decide if I should order from Amazon, instead.) It cost, with the shipping, a bit over $9 for each 5 lb bag. I ordered one of self-rising, one of all purpose. cstout -- you used self-rising, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: walker

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You can order White Lily flour online from Wal Mart....only catch is, you have to order 8 five pound bags & the shipping is 2.99 or 3.99 for all 8 bags delivered to your door. Yep, that is a lot of flour, but you can freeze them & they will last forever. Or maybe you could split them with a friend or whatever. Sure hate that you had to spend so much on shipping....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I ordered the plain flour, not self rising...you can make your own self rising flour. Very simple, maybe the recipe is here in this post somewhere or just google "how to make self rising flour". You can just make a couple of cups of self rising at a time & save the rest of your flour for other things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cstout

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Walmart does ship to store for free. I wonder if the flour qualifies for that?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    P.S. This works out to just over $5 a five pound bag. It's $10 a bag, online at Surfas!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When I ordered my 8 packages of flour online, I did not have the option for a "site to store" pickup....don't know why, but that was what I was hoping would happen. I had to just pay for home delivery. That was about 3 months ago, but maybe if you go online at Walmart, things have changed.