280 gr. Swans Down cake flour
1 T. baking powder
1 t. kosher salt
70 grams lard
1 scant C. milk
1 T. butter, melted
Sift dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
Add lard and cut into flour pastry blender or your fingers.
Add milk and stir just until mixed.
Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead 7 to 10 times, use a pastry knife to fold the dough helps.
With a floured rolling pin, roll out to about 1/2” thick.
Push a round cutter straight down into dough to form the biscuits, flour the cutter before you start and again as needed.
Move biscuits to an un-greased baking sheet, don’t handle the biscuits other than to move them from the board.
Brush tops with butter and bake in a 450º pre-heated oven 8 – 10 minutes, or until golden brown. ~
Pairs Well With
I read dozens of biscuit recipes looking for the right one, made more then a few of them too.
Never found the prefect recipe so I decided to write my own.
The proportion of flour, fat and milk seems to be standard among the recipes I read.
Bread flour is milled from hard wheat, it’s high in protein and has good gluten strength. Perfect for making yeast bread, biscuits come out dense.
All-purpose flour is a blend of hard and soft wheat, I don’t use it for anything.
Cake flour is milled from soft wheat, it has a fine texture, is high starch and low in protein. It distributes fat better, and is the first choice for fine texture.
There were some things I didn’t know about flour when I set out to write a biscuit recipe using cake flour. The first few attempts didn’t work out so well.
1 cup of all-purpose flour weighs 140 grams, the same measure of cake flour weighs 130 grams.
A sifted cup of all-purpose flour weighs 115 grams, cake flour 100 grams.
I started out with 200 grams of cake flour, this made a watery dough that was tough by the time I had enough flour worked into it, that it could be rolled out.
With 280 grams of cake flour and 1 cup of milk, the dough was still a little to wet.
I don’t use hydrogenated anything, which left butter or lard for the shortening.
Good quality leaf lard adds no flavor, makes flakier and lighter biscuits and piecrust.
Lard has less saturated fat, more unsaturated fat, and less cholesterol than an equal amount of butter by weight. Ockerman, Herbert W. (1991). Source book for food scientists.
Using a measuring spoon for the lard addition isn’t reliable, some batches had more fat than others. Some reading showed 1-tablespoon lard weighs 14 grams.
Made more biscuits in the last week than I had in the 20 years prior.
Made a batch this afternoon with this last incarnation of my perfect biscuit recipe. They turned out light and fluffy, moist with a fine texture.