Friday, January 27, 2012

Basic Biscuits

Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!


The images are mine, but the recipe is from the Daring Kitchen Challenge
Click HERE to see entire recipe/instructions for more variations and/or more detailed directions

1 cup plain all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons fresh baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons frozen grated butter [I froze a batch and it was hard to combine with flour. I tried a batch of just cold butter and it worked better, for me anyway.]
Approximately ½ cup cold milk 
Optional 1 tablespoon milk, for glazing the tops of the scones

1. Preheat oven to very hot 475°F. 

2. Triple sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. (If your room temperature is very hot refrigerate the sifted ingredients until cold.) 

3. Rub the frozen grated butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles very coarse bread crumbs with some pea-sized pieces if you want flaky scones or until it resembles coarse beach sand if you want tender scones. 

4. Add nearly all of the liquid at once into the rubbed-in flour/fat mixture and mix until it just forms a sticky dough (add the remaining liquid if needed). The wetter the dough the lighter the scones (biscuits) will be!

5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, lightly flour the top of the dough. To achieve an even homogeneous crumb to your scones knead very gently about 4 or 5 times (do not press too firmly) the dough until it is smooth. To achieve a layered effect in your scones knead very gently once (do not press too firmly) then fold and turn the kneaded dough about 3 or 4 times until the dough has formed a smooth texture. (Use a floured plastic scraper to help you knead and/or fold and turn the dough if you wish.) 

6. Pat or roll out the dough into a 6 inch by 4 inch rectangle by about ¾ inch thick. Using a well-floured 2-inch (5 cm) scone cutter (biscuit cutter), stamp out without twisting six 2-inch rounds, gently reform the scraps into another ¾ inch layer and cut two more scones (these two scones will not raise as well as the others since the extra handling will slightly toughen the dough).  Or use a well-floured sharp knife to form squares or wedges as you desire.

7. Place the rounds just touching on a baking dish if you wish to have soft-sided scones or place the rounds spaced widely apart on the baking dish if you wish to have crisp-sided scones. Glaze the tops with milk if you want a golden color on your scones or lightly flour if you want a more traditional look to your scones.

8. Bake in the preheated very hot oven for about 10 minutes  (check at 8 minutes since home ovens at these high temperatures are very unreliable) until the scones are well risen and are lightly colored on the tops [mine took more of 12 minutes until started browning]. The scones are ready when the sides are set. 

9. Immediately place onto cooling rack to stop the cooking process, serve while still warm. 


rajani said...

These look really lovely. Love the layers :)

Irina said...

Carolyn, they look great! But how did you like them?

Ruth Ellis said...

Yum - they look flaky and perfect - great job

shelley c. said...

Wow - you got some good rise out of your biscuits! Great job!

Renata said...

You got a really nice result, high and flaky, congrats, they look fantastic!

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