Was it last week? I can’t recall but our cha0tic has been baking up a storm of biscuits. By biscuits, I mean American biscuits and by American biscuits, I don’t mean these.
-are the new readers gone yet?
I haven’t even made scratch biscuits in over 2 years, possibly more. The Celiac diagnosis is one reason, obviously, but also, I just don’t make them. I grew up on a working ranch -regular readers love to hear this repeated and took care of cooking for the household from a very young age. My ‘very young’ means I was making simple things like jam at age 4 (unsupervised, which sounds like BS but it’s not — I mean, I suppose somebody watched at first but I didn’t set the house ablaze, so I was on my own). By 8 or 9, it was all me — except for a few things that my father alone cooked (like steaks; it was his pleasure and I have an odd notion that they didn’t want to risk my destroying steaks in the learning process — cos it’s all practice, which brings me to reassuring you trial and error is what it’s about — if you really want to nail a recipe, make it a few times a week! And by ‘few times,’ I mean altering proportions and ingredients til it’s the way you like).
I made some kind of quick bread (including biscuits) daily for years. I never measured or followed ‘a recipe.’ I watched something being made (by people who also didn’t measure) and then I began trials. I didn’t think of it that way as a kid but I knew you had to work at it!
Anybody who knows me, knows that I’m certainly not ciphering, so this is all eye-balled.
I’ve got this gluten-free flour mix that I don’t really like but seems to do mediocre in the mediocre lane of gluten-free flour mixes. In other words, I don’t think that I’ll buy it again — and none are wonderful. I went the route of buying my own artisan gluten-free single flours and mixing them in different ways. That’s shite, too. I’ve tried several prepared flour blends and while this is mediocre, there have been a couple that are wildly-popular that I found horrible. I suppose it depends on what you’re trying to make and your personal sense of taste.
I haven’t cared much for any gluten-free ‘replacement’ but if you want to try, here’s what I did.
If you are not Celiac, use normal flour (not self-rising or skip the baking powder, if you use self-rising).
add baking powder to flour
Again, this isn’t measured. I guess that’s about 2.5-3C flour? More than 2C, anyway. I used about that much baking powder. Cha0tic mentioned he uses baking soda as well — but he’s not happy with his recipe. I wasn’t raised using baking soda in mine but it probably won’t hurt. When I bake cookies, I use both. Add some fat. Any will do, whether lard (that’ll be harder to work in) or butter. I used a butter replacement as even grass-fed butter makes my face explode. Cut it in. If it doesn’t seem to look right, add more. As with anything else, start small and add. You can’t take away (but you could add more flour at this point if you over-did the oleo–oleo is an old-fashioned term for ‘whatever fat you’re using’).
Add salt. I went ahead and counted how many dashes I used but that was to share with readers as I go by sight. I ended up using 16. A normal person would probably want more. I tend to under-salt or not salt at all but baking needs it and salt will help ‘sweeten’ the biscuits (as Gram would say).
cut oleo into flour
add about that much buttermilk — I added more after this
Sorry for blurry buttermilk photo. I didn’t notice it was blurry when I took it. You can see there’s some light pilling going on in that shot, though. At this point, I stir til it balls.
only 3 months past expiration date buttermilk
The buttermilk I used was 3 months past its expiration date. HAR! Proving once again, hillbillies abhor waste and we aren’t likely to scare easily.
ball o bisuits
Here’s the rough ball o biscuits dough. You are not aiming for ‘batter.’ Flop it on a dusted board. Smoosh it out. Don’t roll unless you’re quick about it and don’t press too hard. Basically, smooshing is enough and don’t do too much. Then, cut into rounds. I used a whiskey glass.
biscuits in pan
Have your pan heated in the oven with plenty of oleo in bottom of pan (which will be liquid from heat). I grew up always using bacon grease for this. We kept a crock of it on the cooker top. I used coconut oil here. When your biscuit rounds are ready, pull the pan from the oven (I used a cast iron pan but grew up using an old cornbread pan that was made of god-knows-what but it was heavy-ish but not cast iron-heavy). Take the round in your hand (don’t burn yourself on the 400+degree F pan, obviously) and scrape it on grease in bottom of pan, then flop the ungreased side down (therefore, both sides are greased). Bake til done. Don’t over-bake or they turn into hockey pucks.
Serve. I put a dollop of Seville Orange, Lemon Curd and Strawberry Preserves (one per biscuit) on and served to my elderly toddlers. They loved them but they’ve also grown accustomed to my dire warnings that this is gluten free and do not expect it to taste or feel like traditional foods!