Sunday, July 12, 2009

Simple Biscuits and Jam

Homemade biscuits are so easy, I never can understand why anyone would want to make them out of Bisquick. These biscuits are tender and soft. They don’t call for butter, so they’re the perfect neutral base for homemade jam. You can easily add a bit of sugar to them to make biscuits for strawberry shortcake.

I served these for breakfast this morning with some homemade blueberry jam, following the same small-batch blueberry pan jam recipe I used for the June Daring Bakers Bakewell Tarts challenge.

Simple Baking Powder Biscuits
Makes 5 to 6 biscuits

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper (or you can grease the sheet if you’d prefer).

Mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the shortening and use a knife, fork, or pastry blender to cut in the shortening until small pea-sized pieces are left. The appearance should be very similar to this picture, from the crust for the Bakewell Tarts I made for the June Daring Bakers challenge.

If you’re making homemade pan jam, start it now. Let it slowly simmer while you finish the biscuit dough.

Pour in the milk, and use a fork to mix the dough only until it is barely combined. The dough will appear rough and ragged and some dry bits will be left in the bowl. Do not overmix the dough.

Shape the dough into five or six freeform biscuits and place on the cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned, fluffy, and just barely done in the center.

If you’d like to make these as dessert biscuits for strawberry shortcake, add 2 Tbsp of sugar to the dry ingredients in the first mixing step.

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