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Biscuits are a delicious treat, especially when served fresh and warm from the oven. Though many rely on quick mixes for biscuits, the ingredient list and preparation time are so short, mixes aren’t really necessary. Plus, by making these hot quick breads from scratch, you’ll get better taste, less sodium, and the satisfaction of knowing you can be an excellent baker without any help.
Many biscuits are rolled out and then cut into rounds. A quick shortcut is to make delicious drop biscuits. These are simply made, and you’ll find many recipes for them. A simple one to follow is to use about a two-thirds a cup (5-6 tablespoons or 75-90 grams), of shortening with butter the preferred choice, to 2 cups (240 g) of flour. This recipe also calls for a teaspoon (4.75 g) of baking powder (you can use 2 teaspoons if you want a higher rise), a quarter teaspoon (1.19 grams) of salt, and eight fluid ounces (one cup or 0.24 liters) of milk.
How you prepare drop biscuits is the most important part. Always bear two things mind: keep ingredients cold and don’t overmix. Also preheat your oven to 450 degrees F (232.22 degrees C) before you begin, because mixing only takes a few minutes to accomplish.
You essentially begin with all dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder) and you’ll want to mix these slightly together. Next you’ll cut cold butter into the mix. Some people accomplish this with knives, but if you have a pastry cutter on hand, you can easily incorporate cold butter and flour together. For many, the easiest method is to slice the cold butter into the dry ingredients mix, and then use a pastry cutter to mix the flour and butter. You can tell when the ingredients are fully mixed when the dough has a “cornmeal” look to it, and there are no large pieces or visible small pieces of butter remaining to be mixed.
The next step in creating drop biscuits is an important one: add cold milk to the butter/flour dough. Then quickly with as few stirs as possible, mix the butter/flour and milk. Don’t use a mixer for this step, since overbeaten biscuits will be tough instead of flaky. If you make a well with the dry ingredients, and pour the milk into this well, you can usually accomplish mixing the dough together with about five to six judicious stirs with a large spoon.
Using a teaspoon or tablespoon, depending upon the size you’d like your biscuits, drop the dough onto a greased or non-stick baking sheet. Give larger biscuits about two inches space (5.08 cm) in between each biscuit so they don’t join together. Smaller biscuits, about teaspoon sized, will bake more quickly, and also more evenly, and you might want to avoid use greater than a tablespoon amount. You can round the tops of each of the drop biscuits by placing the spoon over the top and pressing down slightly, or you can leave the tops alone.
Smaller biscuits will bake in about 12-15 minutes. As they cook, check the bottoms of the biscuits for a rich brown color to determine doneness. You can also brush the tops of drop biscuits with a little butter for a slightly browner top.
Drop biscuits are excellent served with gravy, with butter and jam for breakfast, or you can convert these easy to make quick breads into a classic dessert. By adding a small amount of sugar, about 2 tablespoons (28.47 g) to the biscuit recipe, you can create an excellent strawberry shortcake base with delicious drop biscuits. Simply split the biscuits, and layer with whipped cream and sliced strawberries for a yummy homemade dessert.
if you want to make drop biscuits from scratch that are also healthy, try substituting whole wheat or multigrain flour instead of white flour. In a simple recipe like drop biscuits, the substitution would not make much difference, if any, in the cooking and preparation times.
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