- The temperature. You would think that it'd be okay to bake things at any temperature and just adjust the cooking time (I think that's one thing we all learn as beginning cooks), but cooking at the right temperature does make a difference. If the temperature is too high or low the proper chemistry can't occur withing the cooking food, or it occurs way to fast. With biscuits you definitely want a slower cook to help get that perfect flaky texture. Now I know the temperature was an accident with Murielle's biscuits...we've all done that before, or at least I know I have.
- The low fat sour cream may have been an issue, but I don't know for certain. With so few ingredients (have you noticed the 3-4 ingredient recipe trend on Pinterest lately?!) changing up one could have more of an affect than normal.
- As far as the biscuits tasting like Bisquick...that doesn't surprise me too much as that is the staple of these little beauties. If you don't want the Bisquick taste you can make the mix yourself at home. There are quite a few sites out there with "Bisquick" recipes, but here's one for you so you don't have to go searching if you don't want to: http://unsophisticook.com/bisquick-substitute-recipe/
- Being a biscuitoholic myself, I've learned how to make biscuits and I have a few tips that can help you out. The original recipe leaves out some good details to help you get the right texture and look.
- If you're going all from scratch with no Bisquick mix, mix all the dry ingredients together first.
- I always mix the biscuit dough up by hand. I able to keep a better control on the texture and mix that way, and unless you are making biscuits for a horde (I've made biscuits for 8 people by hand...that's not a horde) an electric mixer is just overkill. Well, that's my opinion at least. I know we'll have comments along the lines of "I use an electric mixer and mine come out fine", but I'm just saying that I get the best results when I mix by hand.
- I know this recipe doesn't have shortening, but if you're making one that does (and I'll give you my biscuit recipe after this) you need to cut in the shortening, not mix it in. In this recipe you need to cut in the sour cream. What does it mean to cut in and why is it important?
- I wrote and rewrote how to use a pastry cutter (some call it a pastry blender), but it just gets wordy. Here's a YouTube video that shows it rather than says it (and you get the background soundtrack of home life...I love it!).
- Why do you "cut in" and not mix? Mixing the mixture and working the cutter through works "up more and more glutens in the flour. While high gluten levels are desirable in bread, the opposite is desirable in a flaky crust. You want to mix it as little as possible while still incorporating all of the ingredients." from ehow.com.
- The rest of my tips are in my recipe (okay, it's actually my mothers...aren't all recipes our mothers or grandmothers? That's because they are the best recipes.) so rather than be redundant, I'll just give you the recipe and I'll put the tips in red to highlight them.
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 T. baking powder
4 T. shortening
1 c. milk
2 T. butter (do not add into dough mixture)