In which I conquer the elusive biscuit

8″ of snow and counting since last night. On days like this I want the smell of something baking in the oven. For the past year I’ve been teaching myself to bake from scratch. Some things I’ve conquered so far:

  • Angel food cake
  • All manner of quick breads (pumpkin and banana bread, blueberry muffins, oat bran muffins, corn bread, etc.)
  • Yeast bread and rolls
  • and today biscuits!!

I’m intimidated by things I have to knead with my hands. I don’t like to get messy. I use the food processor (OK– this is cheating a little) for the bulk of the kneading on the yeast bread, and biscuit dough seemed like it was going to be just sticky-awful. Vanessa has been begging for homemade biscuits for years. The dilineation of kitchen responsibilities in our household is that she is mostly the cook, and I am mostly the baker.

On a snow day there are no excuses to avoid messy time-consuming culinary endeavors, so I just finished up making the Pie Queen’s Shortcake Biscuits, cut in hearts for Valentine’s Day (and b/c I couldn’t find a round biscuit cutter but have an abundance of cookie cutters in every other shape). I made them w/out the blueberry topping b/c Vanessa’s planning to make a cherry compote to top them with later, and they’re not so sweet that they wouldn’t also make excellent biscuits ‘n gravy biscuits.

The kneading was nothing to worry about. The other thing that always makes me wary of pastries is the cutting in of the fat to a crumb consistency, but whilst looking for recipes this morning I ran across a great suggestion of using a hand grater to do this rather than a pastry cutter (I own no such implement) or two butter knives. That worked like a charm and is making me far less wary of another baking nemesis– the homemade pie crust. Maybe on the next snow day.



Filed under Domestic Goddess

6 responses to “In which I conquer the elusive biscuit

  1. Oh yum. I’ve been thinking of biscuits as well but never braved them. We cheat with the breadmaker all the time to knead. Dave’s made homemade tortillas and pretzel bread today, cheating with the breadmaker. We are using the pizza stone and water to simulate a stone oven.

  2. Katy

    I made sweet corn bread from a package today. It was delicious and appears to be free of dog hair – a testament to this being a snow day and me taking the time to sweep the kitchen. I get nervous cracking an egg; you go girl with your biscuits and cherry compote. Now that all of the snow I cleared from the drive has blown back, I may rustle up some Bisquick and think biscuits for tomorrow!

  3. Lo

    Co is a fabulous baker, and she uses the Kitchen Aid to help her knead. Not cheating at all!

  4. Good for you for the biscuits! (I grew up in a quick from scratch biscuit and cornbread house.)

    re: cutter. My mother always used a jelly jar or juice glass to cut her biscuits. Also important: Crisco.

  5. Juanita (my grandma) always used a glass or cup to cut the biscuits. I think that container that I put the leftover cherry compote in would work fine.

  6. I tried to make biscuits one time. It was a disaster. D is the biscuit man, complete with special cutters and other implements.

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