Monday, November 19, 2012

Bread on Monday - Homemade Biscuits

As the chilly mornings of Fall begin to move towards the downright cold mornings of Winter, nothing beats a fresh, piping hot pan of homemade biscuits for breakfast. On a really ambitious day, I like to make up an extra big batch of biscuits, then warm the remaining biscuits up to eat with a big bowl of homemade soup or stew for dinner. Then, on this particular week (Thanksgiving week), any extras you might have (I know, leftover biscuits are rare), are great crumbled up and tossed into your Thanksgiving Dressing pot. Feel free to ask any questions you might have about this recipe, in the comments. If you are wondering something, chances are, someone else is too.

Anna's Homemade Biscuits

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I prefer to use unbleached)
  • 1 T. baking powder (I use aluminum free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I use natural sea salt - processed without chemicals)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (I use evaporated cane juice, but any sugar is fine)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • a little extra flour

Preheat oven to 450° F. Grease and have ready a biscuit pan or baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt; mix well.

With a pastry cutter/blender (or fork or knives), cut shortening into flour mixture until evenly crumbly.

Add milk to flour mixture. Mix together well, finishing mixing with the hands, as it becomes very thick. Knead dough a few times, adding in a little more flour, if necessary, so that dough is no longer sticky. Careful not to get too much flour as this will make biscuits tough.
On a floured board or pastry cloth, roll dough out to 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick. Cut with round biscuit cutter and place biscuits on greased baking pan.  If you want soft-sided biscuits, place biscuits on pan so that they are just touching each other. If you want your biscuits to be crispy on all sides, place them so that there is just a little space between them.

Knead and re-roll remaining dough from first rolling only once. Shape remaining dough from this rolling by hand. Rolling dough out a third time will toughen biscuits.

Bake in pre-heated oven about 10 to 12 minutes or until biscuits are lightly browned. Serve hot.

A Birthday Breakfast

NOTE: Before you consider omitting the sugar, the sugar is what makes the biscuits brown nicely. They will taste just as delicious without the sugar, but may not brown as nicely. 
*Also, if you use one of those non-stick mats on your baking sheet, there is no need to grease your pan.

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