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What happens if biscuits are over kneaded or over mixed?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I want to make some biscuits but my frds told me that it will be over kneaded or over mixed easily for newbies...
so that i wanna know what will happen if i did that....:D
post #2 of 5
They'll come out like hockey pucks.

Give it a try though....there's only one way to learn! Even experienced bakers end up with a batch that would be better served as weapons than as food now and again.
post #3 of 5
I'm assuming you already have a recipe. Let me give you a few tips.

A light touch is needed because the leaveners (baking powder, and/or baking soda) go to work as soon as the dough gets wet and start forming "bubbles" in the dough -- which you can't really see. If you completely collapse the bubbles, they won't return. Double acting powder is partly liquid activated and partly heat activated and a little more forgiving than single acting or soda -- but, the heat activated leavener can't carry the load itself.

When you handle the dough, mixing, kneading and flattening before cutting, it should feel light. If you overhandle the dough you'll feel it become heavier and denser -- at least if you pay attention to you sense of touch.

Biscuits should be mixed until the dough just barely comes together, no more. In fact, if a little bit of the flour isn't incorporated, that's fine.

Dump the dough onto a well, floured board. Gently flatten it, and dust the top with flour, turn it over and flour it again. Knead gently, and no more than ten times. Note: If you're a bread baker, don't "pull down."

The dough should feel very light in your hands.

Pat the dough out, rather than rolling it. Pat into a neat, regular shape that's easy to cut. If you cut circles, pat into a circle or oval. If you cut squares, pat into a square or rectangle. You'll want the dough about 3/4" thick. If you're using a mix recipe, or one from a book, and it says it yields 12 biscuits, expect 8.

Flour your biscuit cutter or knife. A sharp cutter makes for higher, fluffier biscuits than a jelly glass. Cut the biscuits entirely out of the dough. That is, every edge of each biscuit should be a cut edge. Don't use the edges you've patted out -- they won't rise as much as cut edges and your biscuits will be sloped.

After the dough is cut, the biscuits should be placed in the baking pan so they touch one another (this makes for a better rise.

After you've cut as many biscuits as you can, there will be dough left over. Knead the remaining dough, pat it out (you may or may not need a little more bench flour), and cut it into more biscuits. Put these in the pan, too (duh!), and remember where you put them.

Don't dawdle with any of this. The leavening action of the baking powder (even if you're using "self rising" flour) starts getting used up as soon as it gets wet.

Bake in a hot oven, the 425* - 450* range is good.

You can get away with handling the biscuit dough a little more and a little rougher than I've indicated, and it's even possible to be too gentle. :crazy: After you bake, and you're trying them out see if there's any difference in the biscuits that got the extra handling. Chances are great that there will not be -- which should give you some idea that the acceptable range of gentle is not all that narrow

So, don't let all this "light touch" stuff make you afraid of the dough. If your first few batches aren't perfect, so what? Touch, isn't fully developed with your first batch, or even your first dozen. It takes practice. The good news is that biscuits are fairly easy, and there's no reason you shouldn't start getting good results fairly soon.

Good luck,
post #4 of 5
boar d laze.

so in recipes where baking powder doughs are well kneaded and maybe formed flattened, stuffed etc... does the resting time bring the bubbles back?

(but u dont rest biscuit dough because u want the fat to stay cold??)
post #5 of 5
For all intents and purposes, no.

No. You can chill the flour/fat mixture before the liquid is added to help preserve the solidity of the fats -- to create a flaky texture. But double acting baking soda containes two leavener. One is acid activated (such as baking soda), the other themperature activated (a pyrophosphate, for instance). In addition, it contains "a dry acid" (like cream of tartar. Once the liquid is added, the dry acid dissolves into solution and activates the acid activated leavener -- which produces carbon dioxide gas. The gas forms bubbles in the dough, "lightening it." While the leavening effect is slightly enhanced when the dough (or batter) is heated (by adding energy to the chemical reaction liberating the bound CO2 molecules), almost all of the gas production happens as soon as the liquid is distributed throughout the dough. Since it's a one-time process, the leavening effect (from the acid activated leavning agent) can be destroyed by heavy-handed handling never to return.

That's the point of double acting baking powders (DA BPs). The heat activated leavener gives a second rise in the oven. So, the dough is sturdier and can take enough mixing and kneading to get a good texture. Still, you want to keep as much of the acid activated rise in the dough as possible and and the dough as tender as possible. Thus, you limit mixing and kneading. The proper balance of texture, tenderness and rise-induced lightness requires a light hand. But, as I said it is very possible to under mix and knead; and that's a trap nearly all good biscuit makers fall into as they learn the right touch.

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