Baking Powder Biscuits
(American breakfast quickbread)
As with all quickbreads, it helps to have all the ingredients for biscuits well chilled before starting, even the flour. Also, do not handle the dough any more than necessary. Overworking it will make the biscuits tough.
4 to 6 servings, or about 1 dozen biscuits
- Flour -- 2 cups
- Baking powder -- 1 tablespoon
- Salt -- 1 teaspoon
- Butter, cold, cut into small cubes -- 4 ounces, or 1/2 cup
- Milk -- 2/3 cup
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a large bowl. Add the butter and work into the flour quickly with your hands to form a coarse mealy texture.
- Stir in just enough milk to bring all the ingredients together in a shaggy mass. You may have to add more or less milk than called for.
- Remove the dough to a floured work surface and knead briefly just to smooth out the dough. Do not overknead or your biscuits will end up tough.
- Roll out to a thickness of about 3/4 inch. Cut into rounds with a floured glass or a biscuit cutter. Place the rounds on an ungreased baking sheet and brush with milk or melted butter.
- Place in the oven and bake until browned on top, about 12 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
Baking Powder Biscuit Variations
- Buttermilk Biscuits: Add 3/4 teaspoon baking soda to the dry ingredients and substitute buttermilk for the regular milk.
- Cheesy Biscuits: Stir 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese into the flour-butter mixture for cheesy biscuits.
- Drop Biscuits: Add a little more milk to make a moister dough and skip the kneading step. Use an ice cream scoop to spoon out portions of the dough onto a baking sheet and bake as directed.
- Southern-Style Biscuits: Substitute chilled lard for 1/2 the butter and stir in some crumbled bacon.
- Herbed Biscuits: Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of dried herbs, or 1 tablespoon of minced fresh herbs if you like. Parsley, chives, sage and cilantro all work nicely.