Clara’s Basic Biscuits
One of the first recipes my daughter learned to make as a child, these biscuits are delicious eaten warm with butter and honey or jam, or as a base for strawberry shortcake. They are equally good eaten with a bowl of savory soup. Simple to make, they are pretty darn near fool proof. Makes 1 dozen.
- 3 cups soft white wheat pastry flour (or all purpose flour)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar or Maple Sugar
- 2 heaping Tbsps baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 cup +/- cold milk
Farmers To You Ingredients:
- soft white wheat pastry flour, all purpose flour, milk, butter, strawberries, heavy cream
Other Fresh and Pantry Ingredients:
- granulated sugar, baking powder, salt
- What’s the secret to making a great biscuit? First, don’t overwork the dough -- this keeps the gluten in the flour from toughening. Additionally, using a sharp, metal biscuit cutter (as opposed to the rim of a drinking glass) allows the biscuits to rise higher.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and add to the flour mixture. Using either a pastry cutter or your fingertips, work into the dry ingredients until it resembles cornmeal.
- Make a well in the middle of the mixture and add the cold milk. Using a large spoon or your fingers, mix until the dough holds together. (If the mixture is too dry add a tiny bit more milk; if it seems too moist, add a bit more flour.)
- Place dough on a floured counter or board and knead briefly and lightly (remember, you don’t want those biscuits to be tough!). Roll out to a thickness of 1 inch and cut with a sharp, round cutter. Combine the remaining bits together into a ball and roll and cut again, using up all the dough.
- Place biscuits, not touching, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until golden brown, approximately 10 - 15 minutes. Eat hot out of the oven or place on a rack to cool.
- Note: For Strawberry Shortcake, cut up a quart of washed strawberries. Add the juice of half a lemon and a bit of maple syrup or granulated sugar, to taste. Set aside. Whip a pint of heavy cream with a bit of maple syrup and a teaspoon of vanilla. Serve on top of your warm biscuits for the perfect summer dessert.