Biscuits, from Scratch

Homemade biscuits, there’s nothing like ‘em!  This is not a recipe, but a “How To”.    You can find many variations of biscuit recipes in cookbooks and online.  What I’d really like to teach you is technique.

If I could have a picture or video of my Grandmother making biscuits, I believe you could make good biscuits with any recipe!  My Grandmother made biscuits with lard.  I remember so vividly the image of her making the dough and the rhythm and gentleness with which she worked the ingredients together.  Think: slow and rhythmic. 

Today, I dare say, very few people use lard.  I know I don’t.  Never have and never will.  When I wanted to learn to make good biscuits I had a pastry blender.  I had shortening. I had a recipe.  I had hard, heavy biscuits. 

My next try was different.  Without knowing the benefit of what would happen, I set the pastry blender to the side and I put my hand in the flower and shortening.  I envisioned my Grandmother’s, slow and steady movement of hand.  Realizing quickly that it would be somewhat different working with shortening than the lard, I gently, rhythmically  between thumb and forefinger began working the shortening into the flour.  I could feel the tenderness of the flour.  I knew instantly that I had been way to harsh with my little pastry blender in my previous attempt.  

Next, I pushed the mixture to each side, making a well in the center.  I filled it with the liquid and very steady, with rhythm, and a cupped hand I began working the liquid and flour together until I had dough.  LAAAAAAAAA (angels singing around me!) I saw a miracle before my eyes, in my kitchen, by my hands.  I kneaded the dough 5-8 times and no more.  I floured my work surface and rolled out the dough.   Beautiful, wonderful, glorious biscuit dough on my kitchen counter. 

Not having a biscuit cutter at the time, I grabbed a glass, turned it upside down, touched it to flour and then used it to cut my biscuits.  (I learned that one from my Mother.) 

The biscuits were much better this time.  Not perfect, mind you, but better.  I guess what I’m trying to get across is this:  Work with the dough.  Learn to appreciate it for what it is.  Use a bit of gentleness and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.  You will be rewarded for your effort.

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14 comments:

I am Harriet said...

Sounds wonderful!

Stopping by from FF to say hello.
http://harrietandfriends.com

Buttons and Bows said...

Stopped by to follow but your google friend is not showing on your blog.
I just subscribed to your emails instead.

http://mommiesgotfivechildren.blogspot.com/2010/02/friday-follow-week-6.html

Rebecca
@Buttons and Bows

Jennette said...

Hi, I am following from friday follow!I am following you!
Stop by and visit me at,
http://www.smartandtrendymoms.com/
http://rockincupcake.blogspot.com/

Kelly at Home said...

Yum, Kim! That sounds DELICIOUS! I'm a total biscuit lover. :o)

Stopping by from FF and now following ya, mama!

Happy weekend!

Kelly

Amy said...

I'm following from Friday Follow. I've followed a few different recipes, and my from-scratch biscuits always taste fine, but they never rise. One day I will master the biscuit! I'll have to try your technique. :)

http://trixiestreatsandsweeps.blogspot.com

Denise said...

Stopping by from Friday Follow to say Hi!
I am adding you so I can come back & read more!
Please stop by!
http://extremepersonalmeasures.blogspot.com/

cristiniscouponcrazy said...

i found you through friday follow:)
i am now follwing you
have a great weekend!
http://cristiniscouponcrazy.blogspot.com

Simply Stacie said...

Following you from the Friday Follow!

http://stacievaughansblog.blogspot.com

Heather McDougle said...

Sounds yummy!

I'm following you from Friday Follow!
Heather
http://www.ratherbechangingdiapers.com/

Midday Escapades said...

Oh, my kids would love homemade biscuits. I may need to try this soon.

Thanks for linking up with Friday Follow! I am now your blog follower. Have a wonderful weekend and pleasure to meet ya.

~ Lynn
http://www.middayescapades.com

joeandbridge said...

Hi There! I am participating in my first Friday Follow. I have a brand new blog-I hope you can visit! I now follow and subscribe! Thanks!
Bridgette Groschen
The Groschen Goblins
http://www.groschengoblins.blogspot.com/

Life Is A SandCastle said...

Stopping by from Friday Follow and looking forward to your posts.

http://lifeisasandcastle.blogspot.com/

Erin said...

Following you from Friday Follow. You made me hungry thinking about homemade biscuits!

HeartsMakeFamilies said...

Hi there! Thanks for joining the Blog Hop. I'm following you now. Love your blog. I'll be back later to read more.

Happy Follow Friday!

Tami
www.heartsmakefamilies.com

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