2 cups all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup lard (or shortening)
2/3-3/4 cup milk
Spoon Mage™ Notes:
These biscuits are what your Grandma made, nothing fancy, nothing new and improved. Just good traditionally made stuff. But that doesn’t mean you can’t change them up a bit!
Want to make buttermilk biscuits? Easy, just reduce the baking powder to 2 t and add 1/2 t of baking soda, then swap out the milk with buttermilk for incredibly moist buttermilk biscuits. Or, before adding the wet ingredients, mix in 1 cup cheese (The Spoon Mage™ loves sharp cheddar), some crispy bacon bits, a bit of rosemary, diced and de-seeded jalapenos, or diced mild hatch chili peppers!
When you measure flour by volume instead of weight always lightly spoon the flour into the cup. Do not pack, shake it down, or drag the cup through the flour.
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium sized bowl.
Then use a fork and “cut” in the lard or shortening – use a cutting motion and keep on incorporating the shortening into the flour. This is the most important part of making flaky traditional biscuits. Just keep on cutting in the lard or shortening until the flour resembles an evenly sized coarse meal.
Add the milk – use the smaller amount (2/3 cup) at first and stir a few times. Add more if it looks like there is not enough to get the dough lightly damp.
Don’t over stir the dough as it will make for a tough texture. Also, make sure that you don’t just dump in the milk all at once or the dough may become soggy. If you over wet or stir, the biscuits will not rise as you might like. They will be tasty though, so just proceed and use it as a lesson.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead very gently about 10-12 times only just until it is no longer sticky.
Form the dough into a ball and then gently press it out with your fingers until it is reasonably even in height – about 1/2 inch thick.
Use a drinking glass or cookie cutter to cut the biscuits – cutting the circles as close as possible. Place each on a baking sheet leaving space between, about half an inch. This helps them to get crispy brown instead of soft. No need to grease the pan. If it is an old pan, you may want to give it a light spritz with non-stick spray.
Finally gather the bits and pieces to gently press together into a sort-of kind-of biscuit shape and add it to the sheet. This is the special biscuit that the baker gets to eat “just to make sure” they are good enough for everyone else.
Bake about 8-12 minutes or until they are a pretty light brown. Check them at 8 minutes and if they are not done, keep an eye on them. It really won’t take long. Once they start, they cook up quick.
Enjoy these mindfully and quickly with dinner or a bit of jam at breakfast!