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Clara’s Basic Biscuits

June 27, 2014
by Cornelia Emlen
Serves: 6
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.
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
  1. 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.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.