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post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am hoping someone here can answer this for me. I am from the south so of course i love to cook biscuit's and eat biscuits but for some reason the last couple of times i have made biscuits (it has been a long time most of the time my brother has them going when i come over so i just help him eat his :lips:) they seem to be more like flying saucers then biscuits. My mom says that being that i am montana self rising flour don't work as well as back home, but i have tried all purpose flour as well and they got a little taller but thats about it. I'm using salt, a little sugar, butter and butter milk and cooking them at 450. Don't get me wrong the taste is awesome, but i am just wondering if maybe i am leaving something out, my brother uses bisquick and his would make two of mine. Hope to hear from you all soon.
post #2 of 11

Making Biscuits

Here is a website that might be of help.........

How to Make the Best Buttermilk Biscuits from Scratch — Pinch My Salt
post #3 of 11
Reverting to all purpose is no good. You have to adjust for altitude. Some flours give high altitude directions. You might try a pinch of baking powder and soda in mix.Also 450 seems a little high.Try 350 11 to 15 minutes till golden brown.
post #4 of 11
Well, first off, you need some kind of leavening in there. Are you using self rising flour or adding baking powder? It's probably no more difficult than that based on your previous post.

Here's a recipe I use which always gets good reviews.

Southern Biscuits-Light as Angel Wings

2 cups self rising flour
2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening, butter or lard
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425˚F.
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Cut in shortening with a pastry blender, fork or two knives until the mixture looks like sand and pebbles.
Make a well and pour in the buttermilk. Stir together briefly with a rubber spatula just until mixture is moistened and you have a ragged dough. (Note: if you are not using a southern biscuit flour like White Lily, you might need a little more buttermilk.)
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead, lightly and gently, 3 or 4 times until dough comes together.
Roll or pat out to about 3/4 " thick. Cut with a 2 1/2" biscuit cutter and place on a lightly greased sheet pan.
Bake in the upper 1/3 of the oven for 10-15 minutes until bottoms are golden and tops slightly browned.
For extra scrumptiousness, brush tops with melted butter as soon as you remove them from the oven.

Note: I make my own baking powder which works better than any other for light, fluffy biscuits.
Mix 1/4 cup cream of tartar and 2 tablespoons baking soda. Sift it together about 4 times to assure a good mix. This replicates the old fashioned single acting baking powder that made the biscuits of yesteryear so light and fluffy. It only lasts about a week or two before losing it's punch.


Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!



Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
So you think that adding some baking powder in self-rising flour will help? I never thought about that i thought since self-rising all ready had it it would not need more. But i will try it for sure! Thank you foodnfoto, and ed i didn't see any high altitude directions but mayb e i missed them i will have another look i only did 450 cause that is what my mom did em on. seemed a bit hot to me too at first but they came out good, but i will take it down some and give it a shot. And lis thank for the site i am about to go take a look right now! thanks again everyone can't wait to give them a go!
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Oh but one thing i didn't say before foodnfoto is that the recipe i started with was simple all purpose flour adding baking powder and baking soda. I didn't have baking soda but did have baking powder so thats all i added and they came out pretty good but nothing like what you are talking about. They were a bit heavy and just more like a frizbie then a biscuit, i thought it was the butter milk cause the first patch i did with all purpose was with milk.
post #7 of 11
Let's see if see if we can't clear some of this up.

From your description there are two most likely culprits. First, you baking powder is weak. Or, second, you're not handling the biscuit dough properly.

In the old days, people used baking soda for leavening. One of the inconvenient aspect of baking soda was that it required acid to make it release the carbon dioxide gas which leavens the dough. This is where the custom of using buttermilk came from, by the way.

Then single acting (SA) baking powder came along in the beginning of the 20th Century. That's the sort foodnfoto described and gave a recipe for. As she said, it's simply baking powder plus a dry acid. Once SA is mixed with any liquid, the dry acid (usually cream of tartar aka tartaric acid) goes into solution, starts reacting with the baking powder, and voila! Carbon dioxide gas is produced and "raises" the dough. The problem with SA is that all of the lifting action finishes not long after the liquid is added. This means you have to work fast putting your dough together, patting it out, cutting it and getting those biscuits in the oven. SA is still very popular in Canada, Europe and with people who want to avoid the aluminum pyro-acids in double acting powders.

Double acting (DA) baking powder is the most common kind in the the US and is the primary leavening agent in almost all self rising flours. DA not only has a dry acid, it's got a second "pyro acid" which is activated after dissolving in solution by heat. In other words some of the rise is saved for the oven. This means you don't have to work as fast which is important for a lot of bakers.

Both SA and DA degrade over time and with any contact with moisture. If you were using a recipe which had been successful for you before, my guess is that your flat biscuits were the victims of degraded baking powder. If you've never (or seldom) baked your own biscuits, the problem may lie with the baking powder, the ways in which you handle, cut and put your dough on the tray, or the recipe itself. Without knowing a lot more, it's hard to pin the problem down.

With all due respect to Ed and your Mom, the problem is not elevation. Elevation makes leavened good rise quicker and higher. The proper adjustment for baking powder leavened good is to reduce the amount of baking powder by 10% for each 3,000 feet above sea level. It's also generally recommended to cook at a slightly higher temperature than you would at seal level in order to kill the rise sooner. About 10 degrees per 3000 feet. Other recommendations for elevation have to do with the flour/moisture ratio; but rather than getting specific let me say that an exact ratio is not important with biscuits and the ideal ratio can only be determined by touch informed by experience. All the fussy adjustments are more for cakes than breads.

foodnfoto's recipe looks good to me. Note that they succeed only because she uses very fresh SA for the extra puff. If she used DA for the additional baking powder her biscuits would have a metallic taste. However, if you're at altitude, all that baking powder might be massive overkill on the baking powder if you're over 5000'.

If you like, I'll be happy to give you basic biscuit technique; along with a basic buttermilk/AP flour recipe; plus enough understanding of the process so you can improvise a little -- cheesy onion biscuits, herbed biscuits, and other things of those sorts. That said, if you already have a successful recipe, replace your baking powder and/or self-rising flour first, and try again before moving on to a complete retool.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
You know BDL i am surprised that you even ask me if i would "like" for you to show me. I would think you already know that my answer will be yes please lol. But you may be right on the baking powder because i am using what was at the group home i am working at, which's means that i really have no idea how old it could be. And the all purpose flour is in that same boat, The self rising flour i was using was my own and i keep mine sealed in a container or a large zip lock bag. (not sure if that is good or bad) To be honest i don't use all purpose flour for much of anything, i have always used self rising but the all purpose it the leader here so i can only get small bags (5lb) no matter where i look here. So to be totally honest with you BDL i am a bit lost here, everyother i time i have made biscuits they have came out found, i was back in georgia though so i know that is a factor. I will say this though that this morning i did everything that i did before but i was in a bit of a rush and added the buttermilk before i added the butter, so drop biscuits were a no go because the dough was so think by the time i did it all blended. So i decided i was going to roll them out and believe it not they came pretty well, except for the fact that they were a bit tough.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
OK well now i know why my drop biscuits were coming out like frisbies, i was useing a tablespood to dip them out (first mistake) and i was giving them too much room on the pan (not sure if that is a huge problem) but the lasy batch i made was really good and about the size of a saucer. So pratice pratice.
post #10 of 11

Did you see that I posted a huge biscuit discussion and recipe for you in another thread? http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/pastr...technique.html Anyway, it's yours buddy. I wrote it awhile ago and just assumed you'd seen it. If you haven't ... take a look and let me know what you think.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
No BDL i did know you had wrote me back only in a different place. BUT i do now and i copied your recipe and saved it. :) Thank you for the help I can't wait to give it a try!
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