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Baking Powder Biscuits

If you ever spent the night at my house when I was in high school…chances are these biscuits look familiar.  They were a standard on weekdays and weekends growing up…and a favorite of friends of mine and my siblings.  A stop by parents always meant chocolate chip cookies (afternoon) or baking powder biscuits (morning).  Who doesn’t need another quick breakfast in their repertoire?

Baking Powder Biscuits

2            cups       flour
1            Tbsp.     sugar
4            tsp.        baking powder
1/2         tsp.        salt
1/2         tsp.        cream of tartar
1/2         cup         vegetable shortening (Crisco)
2/3         cup         milk

Preheat oven to 425°F.  Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  In a large bowl combine dry ingredients and stir to mix.  Cut in shortening ‘til mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add the milk all at once and stir with a fork just until dough forms a ball.  Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 14 times.  Pat (or roll) until ½ in. thick.  Cut into rounds with cookie cutter size of your choice.  Place on cookie sheet, spaced out or next together.  Bake 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.

It’s surprisingly tricky to photograph all white ingredients in a white bowl….note to self – add in some color next time!  Clockwise from bottom left: flour, sugar, salt, milk, cream of tartar, Crisco, and baking powder.

Sift the dry ingredients together.

Add in the shortening.

Cut together using a pastry cutter or two forks.  You want pea size pieces of shortening coated in the dry ingredients.  When the biscuits bake, the shortening melts in and makes the biscuits flaky and delicious.

Add the milk all at once and stir together with a fork, just until it comes together.

Toss out on a floured surface or counter top and pat out (or roll if you don’t feel like working that hard) until the dough is 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch thick.  Err on the side of too thick…as thin biscuits turn out like hockey pucks.

I always try to get as many biscuits out of the first roll-out, then I squish all the dough edges back together and pat it out again and cut a few more biscuits.  The only drawback to patting out a second set is they won’t rise as uniformly.

Best eaten warm and with a homemade jam and some soft sweet butter.

We enjoyed ours with last summer’s strawberry thyme jam.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Riordan #

    i baked these all through college, constantly
    and still do,
    they’re easy quick, delicious, and require few if any special ingredients or tools.
    their flavor is unique among baked goods and a warm one is the best thing ever with honey or good fruit preserves.

    this blog kicks ass liz, good work.

    May 28, 2010

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