Retro Saturday is a chance to see a blast from the Home Ec 101 past and gives Ivy and I a chance to relax.
I searched high and low. I tried at least a dozen recipes people swear were from Grandma and now I have it. This is the one I recommend to biscuit novices. This is my choice for those who are scared of rolling pins and feel unsure about kneading.
- 2 cups all purpose flour + extra for dusting
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening (COLD)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (COLD)+ 2 TBSP
- 1 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Melt the 2 TBSP unsalted butter and pour into a 10″ square cake pan. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl thoroughly combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the shortening and grate in the butter. If you have a pastry cutter you can work it in that way, but for novices I find a grater simplifies the process. Do not worry about the little bit that sticks to the grater.
Using your fingers work the shortening and butter into the flour mixture. When it is thoroughly combined it will resemble coarse crumbs.
Add the milk and stir until just combined. The dough will be VERY sticky, that is exactly how it is supposed to be.
Heavily dust your work area and hands with flour. Turn the dough onto the floured surface. Fold each side toward the middle. Pick up the dough, redistribute the flour on your work surface, turn the dough over, and set back down. Once again fold each side to the middle. Pick up the dough and turn it over. Set it down and using your hands, gently press it out until it is about 3/4″ thick.
Using a biscuit or cookie cutter, cut the dough into 2″ circles. Push the cutter straight into the dough and pull it straight out. It sounds silly, but do not twist the cutter. You can push the scraps together to salvage the last biscuit. One at a time, set each biscuit into the buttered cake pan, then turn over, this gives them a nice buttery topping without having to use a pastry brush.
Bake 15 minutes or until golden.
Yields ~ 9 biscuits