One of my most favorite things to eat and make on a lazy Sunday morning is the humble biscuit. The simple process and few staple ingredients it requires just produces a beautiful fluffy, buttery, crumbly bread. You can make them the morning you want them with minimal effort and time, and serve them sweet or savory for breakfast, a side for dinner later on, or a snack in between.
I just love going through the motions of making them. My family here in California always request I make these when we get together and I’m always more than happy to help. Another neat thing about this recipe is that you don’t need a rolling pin, just your hands. You can easily make them with your kids and have some fun!
The occasion this time was Easter weekend. After driving a couple of hours north to San Luis, we got to my mother in law’s, the house bustling was with family, the salty scent of the beautiful ham roasting in the oven filling everyone’s nostrils, and kids and adults alike were salivating at the feast ahead. My job was the biscuits( best job I’ve ever had), and we enjoyed these with jam, and then others with mounds of roasted ham and silky butter.
You don’t need anything fancy for this recipe: its very simple. Just follow these few tips below to help those little buggers rise in the oven consistently.
- A.P flour – 2 Cups plus a little for dusting
- Baking powder – 2 tbsp
- Sugar – 1 tbsp
- Cold good butter – 5 tbsp
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Whole milk – 1 Cup
Pretty basic huh? The method even more so…
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl along with the sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into the flour and rub between fingers until the mix starts to resemble bread crumbs. The odd lump and large blobs of butter are great, this will create a flaky biscuit (we like this).
Add the milk bit by bit to bring it into a ball. Use a fork or a spatula, (this is the time to add anything if you like, cheese for example or any herbs). You may not need all of the milk, you just want it to come to a ball so you can turn it out without it being sticky.
Turn it out to a floured surface, pat it down with your hands to about an inch or so, gently fold it over a couple and repeat 3-4 times. See those little yellow smears of butter? This is a good sign. Don’t overwork the dough, you want the butter to stay cold and visible. Once done, cover it with a towel and let it rest for 30 mins or so. If I’m being honest, I got a little impatient and it only rested for 5 minutes or so and they still came out great, but if you can, always let any dough you make rest. While your dough takes a break, preheat your oven to 425f about 215-220c and prep a baking tray with some parchment and find the cooling rack in the back of the cupboard that you never use.
Once your dough has rested for 30 minutes (or a quick 5 minute cat nap like mine), you can start to create these fluffy yummy pillows. Flatten the dough so it is about 9 inches by 6 inches roughly. Take your cookie cutter (I used a tall water glass, just be careful) and push down through the dough. Be careful and do not twist or rock. If you do you end up crimping the sides you won’t get an impressive, even rise.
Is there anything more depressing than a deflated biscuit?
Once they are all cut out and placed on the tray with a bit of space around each one, bake for about 15 minutes, checking them at 10. They should be golden brown, risen a to a satisfying height and your tummy should be rumbling. Let them cool for a touch on the rack or slather in butter, load up your fillings, and enjoy!