Saturday, September 8, 2012

Biscuit Tips

I sat down to decide what to post for this morning and not having had my breakfast yet I of course went straight to our breakfast food folder. Now biscuits and gravy are my favorite food; that's what I asked for as my birthday dinner for many years. When I saw this Pinstrosity for 7-Up Biscuits I was sold. 

The Original Pin
http://www.plainchicken.com/2010/04/7up-biscuits.html
Steph, on the original website, said that "some places on the Internet call these Popeye's Biscuits - I guess they taste like the biscuits from the chicken place.  All I know is that these were the best biscuits that I've ever made - hands down!  They were light and fluffy." Looks yummy! 

With this recipe only having 4 ingredients (Bisquick, sour cream, 7-up, and butter) it's definitely a popular one on Pinterest. 

Murielle saw this recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a go. Here's part of her story: "Before I made mine, I read all the comments on the blog, to be sure that using Sprite instead of 7 Up was okay, and I used low fat sour cream instead of full fat.  I mean, there are 4 ingredients, how can someone mess that one up!!!"

Famous last words.  

The Pinstrosity

Now, in her defense, those really don't look that bad. No, they don't look like the pin, but they don't look that bad. 

Murielle did admit though that she did make the mistake of cooking the biscuits at 350° instead of 450°. "The TV was on, the kids were fighting, I was hungry, so I missed the temperature, but still, I think they should look a bit better than that!!!"

But now the final test...the taste. "The taste [was] okay, a bit like Bisquick to me, not mouth watering and O so yummy, but I'm hungry, so I'll eat anything!!!"

So let's address the issues here. 
  • 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. 

Totally Awesome Biscuits
2 cups flour
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 T. baking powder
4 T. shortening
1 c. milk
2 T. butter (do not add into dough mixture)

1.    Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.
2.    Cut in shortening.
3.    Stir in milk. The dough will still be sticky at this point, that's normal
4.    Dump about 1/4-1/2 cup of flour on the counter and spread it around (about a 1 to 1 1/2 foot circle is plenty) to prepare your floured surface
5.  Place dough on the floured surface and sprinkle a light layer of flour over the top. 
6.  Knead the dough (by folding it in half) 7-10 times. Do not over-knead.
5.    Flatten (either by hand or with a rolling pin...I just flatten it with my hands) to about an inch thick and cut with a biscuit cutter/cookie cutter/tin can. Recombine edge pieces, flatten and cut again (mixing the dough as little as possible). 
7.    Melt 2 T. butter in 8x8 baking pan.
8.    Place each cut biscuit dough in the pan of butter, turning it over so that both the top and bottom are coated. 
9.  Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes or until golden brown. You don't want to wait until these are brown to pull them out of the oven as they will be overcooked and hard at that point.  
10. Store cooled leftover biscuits in an airtight container (plastic baggies work) in a cool place. Can be reheated in the microwave (you only need about 10-15 seconds). 



11 comments:

  1. The key to light, flaky biscuits is in the shortening/lard/butter/fat. Cut in your fat until it is pea size lumps. Don't over mix when you add your wet ingredients. You want the fat to stay lumpy. That is why you only knead the dough 7 times. Just enough to mash the fat clumps into layers in your dough. When you bake your biscuits the fat melts leaving the nice flaky texture.

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  2. Loved the video. Do you have a future Mozart?

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  3. I've made these before, and they were amazing! They are my husband's favorite! I don't make them too often, though, because, while they are easy to mix up, the dough is rather sticky to cut into circles. I've gotten to where I pat them into a square shape, slice them into 9 pieces, and throw them in the baking pan. I also use Pioneer Baking Mix instead of Bisquick, because I think food made with it tastes better.

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  4. I made these and they turned out delicious BUT they tasted just like Grand's biscuits, just a weeeeeee bit tastier so really it wasn't worth the effort for the taste to be so similar to Grand's.

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  5. Plain Chicken is my friend Stephanie's blog! She's terrific in the kitchen, so I'm sorry this Pinner's recipe attempt didn't turn out. :)

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  6. I actually make these 7-up biscuits all the time. Use full fat sour cream it does make a difference. Though I almost always use Sprite instead of 7-up as that is what we usually have on hand. When done right they are supper fluffy and sooo good. My husband LOVES them!

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  7. I don't cut them out just dump in the 8x8 pan and cut after baking. I have used low fat and reg sour cream both was fine for us. I also have used ginger ale it was what I had on hand.

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  8. These biscuits, when done right, are amazing. I'm a biscuit snob myself and these are great. We use low fat sour cream and I reduce the butter with still great results. I use a different tutorial though so maybe that has something to do with it. Same results though. And of course, in defense of the original tutorial/recipe - it's almost never the original's fault. Changes in method and altitude etc account for a lot. But we all know that. :)

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  9. I've never tried to make 7-Up biscuits. Before tonight, I've never tried to make ANY biscuits that didn't come out of a can. Tried the recipe at the end of this post tonight -- Marquette's mom's recipe -- easy and DELICIOUS! Thank you!

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    1. YEA!!! So glad you made the biscuits and that they turned out great.

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  10. I've followed the recipe provided at the bottom of the post. THANK YOU! Biscuits were delicious although they did not rise much at all. I think it should be noted that these are biscuits that are perfect as part of a dish (covered in gravy etc) not "stand-alone" biscuits. They are yummy but look a little off-putting.

    Needless to o say, I'll continue using the recipe.

    Thanks again!

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