Before, if you mentioned the word biscuits to me, my mind immediately goes to the cut-in-butter, mix-in-milk, roll-out-three-quarters-inch-thick, cut-with-round-cutter-or-sharp-knife, kind. In other words, a rather cohesive, stiff dough, that produces layers, are good to eat, but dries out quickly. What is going on with my run-on sentences today? I thought my junior year teacher has done her best to stamp that out of me.
But back to the biscuits.
Today I tried something a little different. Having read Bakewise, by Shirley O. Corriher. Fantastic read, by the way. I love baking. I love science. I love her book.
She offers a recipe for Touch of Grace Biscuits that are feather light and tender. She claims that it is the steam produced during baking of the biscuits that makes them rise so well and become beautifully fluffy. Where does the steam come from? The excess moisture in the dough, of course. Except in this case it is almost more of a stiff batter than a dough. She says the dough has to be the consistency of cottage cheese and rolled in flour for easier handling.
I didn’t exactly use her recipe. I took her principle and made my own. Not quite cottage cheese consistency, because I was afraid to have a goopy mess on my hands, but it is a very loose dough. And the results are light and tender, just as she promised. With a touch of grace.
Cat’s Not Usual Biscuits
makes about 10-12 medium sized biscuits
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. unsalted butter, cold
1 c. plus 2 Tbsp. milk, with 1 Tbsp. vinegar added
1/2 c. flour, for shaping
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray an 8 inch round cake pan with cooking spray, set aside.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk together well. Rub the butter in with your finger tips until it resembles crumbs and rolled oats. Add the soured milk gradually while tossing with a spoon, until the dough comes loosely together. It will be more like a very viscous batter than a dough.
Place a small pile of flour on your work surface. Scoop up a mound of dough the size of an apricot and drop it onto the pile of flour. Sprinkle the top with flour and pick up carefully with your hands. Shape it into a rough round and place in the pan. Repeat with all the dough, placing the rounds right next to each other so that the biscuits won’t spread but rise up instead.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Eat as hot as you can, with generous pats of butter.