Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Biscuits, cookies???

I learnt British English - which, AMAZINGLY has a couple of differences to American English.
When I first came to Arizona, I was offered 'Biscuits and Gravy' for breakfast. My first thought was what the heck is that! Biscuits, to me, are the equivalent of Cookies for an American so you can understand my confusion.
Anyways, I finally figured out that biscuits are a type of scone (I think!) served with a gravy that is like a bechamel with bacon bits! Still not my cuppa tea but since they seem to be a traditional South West 'delicacy' I thought I'd add the recipe for BISCUITS. I'll omit the gravy - that was a bit too much for me to handle!

The secret to making a good, light southern style biscuit is in the flour which, I am told, has to be of the 'soft' kind. Haven't figured out what that really means but apparently there is a brand called White Lily. If you can't get that then substituting half the flour with cake flour would do. Again, I had to figure out what cake flour is and I got this info - cake flour is made from the endosperm of soft wheat. The endosperm is the softest part of the wheat kernel, making cake flour the finest flour available. As cake flour is milled, it is heavily bleached, not only to make it white but to break down the protein in the flour. Typically, cake flour is around seven percent protein, much lower than other flours; bread flour, for example, has twice that amount of protein.

OK, so far so good.
12 oz flour (see above)
4 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1oz unsalted butter, chilled
1 cup buttermilk, chilled
2oz vegetable shortening, chilled
Heat the oven to 400F
Mix all the dry ingredients
Using fingertips, rub the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients until they look like bread crumbs
Make a well in the mixture and pour in the buttermilk
Stir till the dough starts forming a lump then knead well.
Turn onto a floured surface and knead the dough by pushing it away from you  with the heels of your hands. Fold in half, give a quarter turn and do that agan until smooth.
Flatten the dough till it is about 3/4 inch thick
Using a 3" cutter, cut as many rounds as the dough permits.
Press your thumb on the top to make a shallow impression
Bake about 15 mins or until golden brown on top - they should rise!!
Let cool for a few mins then eat!


  1. How funny! I can only imagine your horror when someone first referred to their napkin at the dinner table. : (

  2. Yes, I call "biscuits" scones too. Thanks for posting the recipe - looks delicious!


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All the recipes here have either been sent to me, adapted by me or found on the web. If I know the source I always give credit to the author/website. If you know of a source I may have missed please let me know.