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Help with cream biscuits.

k
kerrough Jun 12, 2013 09:34 AM

I never have cream on hand, but I always have buttermilk. Is it possible to substitute buttermilk for the cream in cream biscuits? If so, how would I go about doing that? I want to try this recipe sooooo bad because biscuits are usually my kryptonite, but I'd really prefer to avoid having to go all the way to the store just to buy something I almost never use. In case you're not familiar, cream biscuits are just cream, flour, salt, and baking powder, no cutting in butter necessary.

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  1. Antilope Jun 12, 2013 09:58 AM

    The cream is replacing fat (butter or shortening) in the biscuits. Buttermilk probably doesn't have enough fat to do that. Undiluted evaporated milk may work better as a cream substitute.

    The very best biscuits I have ever tasted are Shirley Corriher's Touch-of-Grace Biscuits. She often appeared on Alton Browns "Good Eats" show as the food scientist.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/18/dining/181frex.html?_r=0

    Shirley Corriher Making her Biscuits on YouTube.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7baqgejDqfU

    I adapted her recipe using cake flour mixed with all-purpose flour to replace the soft Southern flour in the White Lily.

    http://community.kingarthurflour.com/...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Antilope
      paulj Jun 13, 2013 09:03 AM

      Traditional buttermilk is cream with the butter removed. Cultured buttermilk is usually made from nonfat or low fat milk.

      Traditional Irish soda bread uses flour, salt, baking soda and buttermilk. So yes, it is possible to make a quick bread with just buttermilk and no added fat. But the difference between eating it warm and fresh v a day later is greater.

      1. re: paulj
        paulj Jun 13, 2013 11:36 AM

        People sometimes think of cream, buttermilk and evaporated milk are interchangeable because of a similar thick consistency. But that thickness has very different sources in all 3 - high fat, denatured proteins (due to acid), and reduced water content.

    2. Antilope Jun 12, 2013 10:06 AM

      Easy Stir and Roll Biscuits

      These are the easiest biscuits ever. Just stir with a fork, form and bake. No mixer required. Just a bowl and a fork. I don't like messing with solid shortening so these are my go to biscuits, they use vegetable oil. Canola, peanut, corn oil, etc. Any mild tasting oil. I have never tried olive oil, but if you like the taste that would work fine too.

      3 cups all-purpose flour
      4 1/2 tsp baking powder
      2 tsp white granulated sugar
      1 1/2 tsp table salt
      1 cup milk (or substitute buttermilk plus 1/4 tsp baking soda)
      1/2 cup vegetable oil

      Preheat oven to 400-degrees F

      Pour dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir and mix well with a fork.

      Pour milk and oil into a measuring cup together, but don't stir.

      Pour liquid from cup into dry ingredients and stir with a fork until all ingredients are moistened and dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

      Knead dough in bowl 10 or 12 times.

      Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop out portions of biscuit dough. Scoop out 12 portions.

      Roll each into a ball and flatten slightly. Place on baking sheet, grouped together with sides of biscuits touching.

      Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until tops are golden brown and centers are not doughy.

      Makes 12 biscuits.

      Source: Betty Crocker & Wesson Oil circa 1950

      1 Reply
      1. re: Antilope
        p
        pine time Jun 14, 2013 01:57 PM

        Wow, thanks. Thought I had tried 101 biscuit recipes, but never one with oil. I'll give these a try this weekend.

      2. k
        kengk Jun 12, 2013 10:06 AM

        Sure it's possible. Try them and see how they are. I will guess not very good without the fat from another source but it will cost about $2 or less to try.

        1. Antilope Jun 12, 2013 10:31 AM

          Two-Ingredient Southern Cream Biscuits (Paraphrased)

          from Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart and their book, "Southern Biscuits".

          2 cups White Lily Self-Rising Flour (or other Self-Rising Flour that uses soft Southern wheat)
          1 cup whipping cream

          Mix until just moistened, don't over mix.

          Turn onto counter and pat into a 1/2 inch high rectangle. Fold dough in half, on top of itself and pat again into a 1/2 inch high rectangle.

          Cut out with 2 1/4 inch biscuit cutter. Stack scraps and press into another 1/2 inch high rectangle. Cut out until dough is gone.

          Bake for about 12-minutes at a 475° oven: bake for 6 minutes, rotate the pan, then check back after an additional 4 minutes or so to check if they're golden brown on top. Brush with melted butter and serve warm.

          --------------------------------------------------------------------

          To make self-rising flour, add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp table salt to each cup of flour.

          To make a lighter flour (similar to White Lily), mix half cake flour with half all-purpose flour.

          Another substitute for soft Southern flour, not quite as tender, for each cup of regular all-purpose flour, replace 2 Tablespoons of flour with cornstarch.
          (1 cup lightened all-purpose flour = 14 Tbsp flour and 2 Tbsp cornstarch.)

          10 Replies
          1. re: Antilope
            Will Owen Jun 12, 2013 02:24 PM

            Good old Nathalie! I found my cream-biscuit recipe in the last Gourmet Cookbook, the yellow-cover one edited by Ruth Reichl, and that one says NOT to use self-rising flour. I steadfastly ignored that advice and did exactly what Ms. Dupree gives us here, except for the addition of a little sugar - they were for strawberry shortcakes - and they were sinfully wonderful.

            As for the OP's question, cutting in some butter or shortening of an amount gotten from a regular Southern biscuit recipe adds just that one extra ingredient, and that's basically how we do buttermilk biscuits anyway. But you NEED that fat!

            1. re: Antilope
              Candy Jun 13, 2013 11:40 AM

              That is my go to biscuit recipe. I always have cream and 1/2&1/2 on hand.

              Unlike Nathalie's recipe, I make these in my food processor. Dump in the White Lily Self Rising flour and the cream and just pulse 4-5 times. It will be a bit shaggy, but dump it out on a floured board, gently pat it into a 1/2" thick round. Cut out the biscuits, place them a baking pan, brush the tops with melted butter and bake. No fail and perfect every time.

              1. re: Candy
                Will Owen Jun 13, 2013 04:24 PM

                Processor would probably do a better job than my fork did, so thanks for the tip. As for cutting them, since I was making shortcakes I used a coffee can with both ends cut out, so they'd fit nicely in some small salad plates we have. And it's still berry season … !

              2. re: Antilope
                paulj Jun 14, 2013 09:56 AM

                I just made these cream biscuits using Walmart self-rising and a box of shelf stable cream from Trader Joes. I had to add a splash of liquid beyond the cup. I was happy with the result, especially making little smoke turkey sandwiches.

                Previously when I'd used WL self-rising I thought biscuits were too salty, but these were fine.

                1. re: paulj
                  Antilope Jun 14, 2013 10:02 AM

                  Various biscuit recipes state that harder flours will take more liquid than soft Southern wheat flours.

                  Too much salt is one of the reasons I don't like self rising flour. I would rather add the salt myself.

                  1. re: Antilope
                    paulj Jun 14, 2013 11:40 AM

                    Variability in how I measured the flour could just as well account for the small amount of extra liquid that I had to add. That and my own feel for how the dough was coming together.

                    I figured that the Walmart self-rising would be softer than my usual white flour. Walmart has its roots in Arkansas, and self-rising flour is used more in the South than in my area (Seattle). The nutritional label supports that, 4g protein/30g flour for my regular white, 3g/30g for this self-rising (though with rounding this is a crude measure).

                    1. re: paulj
                      Will Owen Jun 14, 2013 12:14 PM

                      I heard Shirley Corriher say some years ago that self-rising flour of any brand is made with softer wheat than the same label's AP flour.

                      1. re: Will Owen
                        Antilope Jun 14, 2013 12:29 PM

                        from the book "Cookwise" by Shirley O. Corriher (it didn't list Southern self rising)

                        Bleached southern all-purpose (White Lily, Martha White, Gladiola, Red Band):
                        7.5 to 9.5% protein
                        .
                        National brand self-rising (Gold Medal, Pillsbury):
                        9 to 10% protein

                        National brand bleached all-purpose (Gold Medal, Pillsbury):
                        10 to 12% protein

                        1. re: Antilope
                          k
                          kengk Jun 14, 2013 12:43 PM

                          King Arthur self rising flour has recently arrived at our local grocery store. I like their other flours a great deal so I plan to give it a try.

                          1. re: kengk
                            Antilope Jun 14, 2013 03:31 PM

                            I did a lot of Googling and put this list together:

                            Types of Flour and Best Uses:

                            Cake Flour 5 to 8% protein - cakes

                            Pastry Flour 8 to 9% protein - pie crusts, pastries, cookies, biscuits

                            Self-Rising Flour 9 to 11% protein - biscuits, quick breads, cookies

                            All-Purpose Flour 9 to 12% protein - everyday cooking, quick breads, pastries

                            Bread Flour Flour 12 to 13% protein - traditional breads, bread machine, pizza crusts

                            Whole Wheat Flour 14% protein - hearth breads, blending with other flours

                            High-Gluten Flour 14 to 15% protein - bagels, pizza crusts, blending with other flours

                            Protein:
                            Protein indicates the amount of gluten available in the flour. Gluten is the substance that develops when the protein, which occurs naturally in wheat flour, is combined with liquid. Because gluten is able to stretch elastically, it is desirable to have a higher gluten flour for yeast-raised products, which have doughs that are stretched extensively; like pizza, most breads, and bagels. For piecrusts, cookies, and pastry to be short and crumbly, a lower protein flour is better. Protein levels range from 7% in pastry and cake flours to as high as 15% in high-gluten bread flour.

                            --------------

                            Protein in flour types and brands:

                            CAKE FLOUR - about 7% protein
                            -King Arthur Cake Flour, 7.0%
                            -Softasilk Cake Flour, 7%
                            -Swans Down Cake Flour, 7%
                            .
                            ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR, SOUTHERN, BLEACHED - 8 to 9% protein
                            -Martha White All-Purpose Flour, 9%
                            -Red Band All-Purpose Flour - Out of Business
                            -White Lily All-Purpose Flour, 8 to 9%
                            .
                            SELF-RISING FLOUR - 8 to 10.5% protein
                            -Gold Medal Self-Rising Flour, 10.5%
                            -King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour, 8.5%
                            -Martha White Self-Rising Flour, 9%
                            -Pillsbury Best Self-Rising Flour, 10%
                            -Presto Self Rising Cake Flour, 7.4%
                            -White Lily Self-Rising Flour, 8 to 9%

                            INSTANT FLOUR 10.5 to 12.5% protein
                            -Pillsbury Shake & Blend Flour, 12.5%
                            -Gold Medal Wondra Flour, 10.5%
                            .
                            ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR, BLEACHED & UNBLEACHED, NATIONAL BRANDS - 10.5 to 11.5% protein
                            -Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour, 10.5%
                            -Pillsbury Best All-Purpose Flour, 10 to 11.5%
                            .
                            ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR, NORTHERN, BLEACHED & UNBLEACHED - 11.5 to 12% protein
                            -Heckers and Ceresota All-Purpose Flour, 11.5 to 11.9 %
                            -King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, 11.7%
                            -Robin Hood All-Purpose Flour, 12.0%
                            .
                            BREAD FLOUR - 12 to 13% protein
                            -Gold Medal Better For Bread, 12%
                            -King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour, 12.7%
                            -Pillsbury Best Bread Flour, 12%
                            -White Lily Bread Flour, 13%
                            .
                            WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR - 14% protein
                            -King Arthur 100% Whole Wheat Flour, 14%
                            -King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour, 14%
                            .
                            GLUTEN FLOUR, Bread-making Supplement - 65 to 77% protein
                            -Arrowhead Mills Vital Wheat Gluten Flour, 65.0%
                            -Bob's Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten Flour, 75.0%
                            -Gillco Vital Wheat Gluten Flour, 75.0%
                            -Hodgson Mill Vital Wheat Gluten Flour, 66.6%
                            -King Arthur Vital Wheat Gluten Flour, 77.8%

              3. k
                kerrough Jun 12, 2013 12:28 PM

                @Antilope. Hmmmm, I think I'm going to try the Easy Stir and Roll biscuits with olive oil and some herbs. Thank you guys! And I think I'm going to try subbing the buttermilk , b/c you're right, it's a cheap experiment lol

                3 Replies
                1. re: kerrough
                  Antilope Jun 12, 2013 12:40 PM

                  I forgot to add that you can also roll out and cut the stir and roll biscuits with a biscuit cutter.

                  1. re: kerrough
                    l
                    Leepa Jun 14, 2013 12:54 PM

                    I've made them with whole milk buttermilk before and it was fine. Don't overthink it.

                    1. re: Leepa
                      p
                      pine time Jun 14, 2013 02:00 PM

                      If you want them for a savory use, you can squish in a little cold bacon fat. It's great in biscuits (I've never subbed all the fat with bacon fat, but usually up to 1/2).

                  2. hotoynoodle Jun 12, 2013 03:14 PM

                    am not a biscuit-maker or lover, but if you're using buttermilk, wouldn't they be buttermilk biscuits? :) recipes abound for those.

                    buttermilk and cream are not directly interchangeable because of the acid and lack of fat in the former.

                    1. Antilope Jun 12, 2013 06:54 PM

                      I was just looking at old cookbooks in Google books. An 1890's recipe for Cream Biscuits called for sour cream. So that's another option instead of sweet cream.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Antilope
                        e
                        ePressureCooker Jun 13, 2013 09:53 PM

                        I would have to agree with antilope, sour cream would be a closer substitution in terms of the percentage of fat than buttermilk would be.

                      2. Antilope Jun 13, 2013 11:01 PM

                        Total Fat Per Cup in grams

                        225.68g - Bacon Fat (cooked)
                        224g - 100% Pure Peanut Oil or 100% Canola Oil
                        216g - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
                        205g - Lard
                        204.59g - Duck Fat or Goose Fat
                        192g - Crisco vegetable shortening
                        184.12g - Butter, stick
                        178.81g - Margarine, stick
                        172.04g - Regular Mayonnaise
                        129.04g - Sesame Butter (Tahini) (Made From Kernels)
                        128.96g - Peanut Butter
                        121.4g - Whipped Margarine
                        88.06g - Heavy Cream (Whipping Cream before whipping)
                        72g - Original Philadelphia Cream Cheese
                        64.49g - Egg Yolks, beaten
                        49g - Whipped Butter
                        48.21g - Sour Cream
                        46.34g - Light Cream
                        42g - Coconut Milk - Thai Kitchen
                        33.72g - Avocado, pureed
                        31.93g - Ricotta Cheese (Whole Milk)
                        27.84g - Half & Half Cream
                        26.62g - Sweetened Condensed Milk
                        24.15g Whole Eggs, beaten
                        22g - Traditional Plain Greek Yogurt
                        19.05g - Evaporated Milk, undiluted
                        19g - Regular Eggnog
                        14.26g - Ice Cream
                        7.93g - Whole Milk
                        5g - Coconut Milk (Coconut Dream and Silk)
                        5g - 2% Plain Greek Yogurt
                        4.9g - Buttermilk (2% - Reduced Fat, Cultured)
                        4.81g - 2% Milk
                        4g - Unsweetened Soymilk, Silk
                        3.8g - Plain Yogurt
                        2.5g - Pure Almond Milk - Original, Silk
                        2.37g - 1% Milk
                        2.16g - Buttermilk (1% - Lowfat, Cultured)
                        2g - Original Rice Milk - Rice Dream
                        1.4g - Dry Buttermilk (Reconstituted)
                        0.44g - Nonfat Milk
                        0.44g - Nonfat Plain Yogurt
                        0.41g - Egg Whites, beaten

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