Saturday, March 30, 2013

Saturday Eats: Fresh Rolled Biscuits

Fresh Rolled Biscuits with Clementine-Habanero-Ginger Marmalade

These are wonderful biscuits that I adapted from Joy of Cooking.   It is a very simple basic recipe that only has 5 ingredients. 

I like a more “layered” biscuit so I actually turn them out onto a floured surface (my kitchen island has a SileStone top which is great for baking) and knead them turning 5 or 6 times only.  Don’t overwork them or they get tough and won’t rise as nicely.  This basic recipe can also be used as the top for pot pies and is REALLY delicious if you add a ½ cup of finely grated Parmesan for that purpose. Enjoy!

  • 4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups milk – I used whole milk because I think it just makes a better biscuit

Place the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450°.

The original recipe called for a large ungreased baking sheet, but I used my usual Silpat lined half sheet pan and it held 15 biscuits.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Add in the cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces – be sure as you add the butter that you coat every chunk – it helps to keep them from sticking together. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender.

Continue to cut in the butter until the largest pieces are the size of peas and the rest resemble bread crumbs if you like crustier edged biscuits. For more fluffy biscuits, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Do not allow the butter to melt or or form a paste with the flour.

Add the milk all at once and mix with a fork.  Remember, don’t over mix – just incorporate until the dough forms.  Using a rubber spatula and a lightly floured hand, gather the dough into a ball and turn it out onto a lightly floured surfaced. Knead it gently 5 or 6 turns, turning and pressing any loose pieces into the dough each time until they adhere.

With a lightly floured rolling pin (I use a French tapered rolling pin), or your fingers, roll out or pat the dough until it is about 1/2 inch thick. Using a floured cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out 1 3/4- to 2-inch rounds; remember to push the cutter straight down into the dough and pull it out without twisting to insure a uniform rise. Re-roll the scraps and cut additional biscuits (they will not be as tender as the first cut, nor rise as well.)

You can also use the square cut method: Rolling out the dough 1/2-inch thick into a square or a rectangle. Even up the sides and make sure they will rise by trimming off a fraction of an inch from the edges of the dough with a sharp knife before cutting into 2-inch squares.

I bake mine “naked” without adding a wash, but if you like browner tops, you can brush the biscuit tops with milk or melted butter. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet an inch apart for biscuits with crusty sides or close together for biscuits that are joined and remain soft on the sides. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown on the top and a deeper golden brown on the bottom, 10-12 minutes.   

Remember ovens vary so don’t overcook them. They get dry and hard if you do.  I really always just cook for 12 minutes and take them out.  They are perfect every time.  Serve hot with butter or your own toppings.. I am addicted to my homemade Clementine-Habanero Marmalade.  

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