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Old 09-14-2007, 11:34 AM   #1
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Biscuits Help

Here's my basic ingredient list.

3 cups AP flour
6 tbs shortening
2 tsp baking powder
pinch baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (about) buttermilk or milk

I've never been able to make a light, flaky biscuit with the sort of layering you get in the canned "flaky" biscuits like Grands -- which is a lot like the layering in croissants.

I can pretty much get the layering by rolling, folding over, rolling and folding over (with 6 layers per folding), but the biscuit dough gets overworked and starts getting heavy.

On the other hand, I can make very light biscuits as long as I don't over roll it -- which means no layering. Dammit, I want both.

I've also split the difference by rolling, folding, rolling and cutting -- but that seems to be the worse of both worlds. Not very flaky, and not very light.

I chill and rest after mixing, before rolling out. I mostly use baking powder with a touch of soda as leavening; and have experimented with adding yeast as well. Doesn't help much. I usually use buttermilk, but sometimes regular -- again, not much difference either way. I've used lard, vegetable shortening and butter -- lard is best. At least that much is established. For my own stupid reasons I prefer not to use Bisquick -- but FWIW, I've tried it and it's not real helpful either.

Help me out here.

Rich
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:48 AM   #2
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I wish I could help but the bisquits I make are hard, so I pour sausage gravy over them and buy biscuits when company is over.

If falky bisquits are like pie crust; do not knead it so much. That is what makes a pie crust flaky.
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Old 09-14-2007, 12:02 PM   #3
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Ok Boy, I posted this some time ago.
http://www.bbq-4-u.com/viewtopic.php?t= ... t=biscuits
Main thing for flakey is DONT OVER WORK the dough after adding milk BOY!

Rich I aint sure how to create fluffy Flakey layered biscuits without over working the dough after adding the milk...

Let me speculate, they could be using a powdered milk then steaming the dry formed biscuit dough to give it the correct liquid %.

http://www.recipezaar.com/16093
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Old 09-14-2007, 12:38 PM   #4
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Bryan -- Pie crusts get flaky from using the right kind and the right amount of shortening. For instance, lard makes a very flaky crust, while butter makes a crumbly one. They're tender because the dough isn't overworked. Two different things.

JB -- I'm pretty careful with prep. But I feel like I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. More turns makes more flaky layers, but more turns means more working which makes for heavier product.

You're probably right about them doing some special ju-ju with big-deal machines to produce those commercial biscuits. Maybe I ought to just forget it. Especially, when I'm making cheesy-onion biscuits. Aimin' a bit too high and leadin' just a tad too much. That's why you shot your friend in the face. Are you payin' attention to me, boy? But I digress.

Maybe, among all the other problems, I should mix a little cake flour into my AP flour. Also, I think I'm going to try giving the dough a second 20 minute rest in the fridge to let those glutens relax, before I put it in the oven.

I've got some in the oven cheesy-onion biscuits in the oven now. I tried using a little extra moisture so the dough would come together with less handling. I'll let you know later.

Rich
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Old 09-14-2007, 01:04 PM   #5
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I use lard when making pie crust. That is probably why.
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Old 09-14-2007, 02:32 PM   #6
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Rich I read while searchin a while back that cake flower is a higher gluten flower than AP or SR, thats not good for biscuits

Who did I shoot in the face???
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Old 09-14-2007, 05:26 PM   #7
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Cake - Low gluten a k a "soft" flour
AP - Medium
B4B a k a Better for Bread -- High aka hard
Semolina (for noodles) -- Very hard

Anyway -- the problem seems to be solved. I used the following ingredients to make cheesy-onion biscuits:

3 cups AP (King Arthur) flour
9 tbs shortening (lard)
2 tsp baking powder
pinch baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup sharp cheddar
1/2 cup pepper jack
4 tbs chopped green onion -- including green stems
1-1/3 cups (approx) milk

I used a little more shortening than usual. Note to Bryan: You can handle the dough as roughly as you like when cutting the shortening in, things don't get sensitive until you add liquid.

Speaking of liquid, I used a lot more milk -- and I think that made the difference. The dough was moist enough that it didn't require much work to bring it together. No kneading at all, and only a couple of half ass pulls to form a ball. The dough had a nice light feeling when I wrapped it in plastic and put it in the refrigerator to rest.

I rested the dough for fifteen minutes or so,, then rolled out as usual with two six layer turns -- resulting in 12 layers. During the rolling process, we had some workmen come over and the dough had a chance to rest for ten minutes.

One change I'll make in the future is to allow a fifteen minute rest in the fridge before the final roll out . Another is not rolling out the last turn quite so thin, as I'm intentionally going light on the baking powder because SWMBO is pretty sensitive to the taste. Although that last thing is purely about looks. These biscuits were so flaky SWMBO broke them into tops and bottoms without a knife, before buttering them.

At any rate, these were among the best biscuits I've ever eaten, and certainly the best I ever made. A lot of the difference came from sitting down and writing out the problems I was having. Something about writing helps you get your thoughts in order.

Rich

As far as I know JB, you didn't shoot anyone in the face. It was that genius and all-round good fellow, Dick Cheney.
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