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How not to make Biscuits

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I'm trying to learn how to make biscuits. I got this reciepe off the interent and tried it today for dinner. To say they were bad would be an understatement. They didn't rise. They looked the same going in as coming out of the oven. What went wrong? The only thing I didn't add was the Cream of Tartar and I did double the reciepe. Any help wpuld be appreciated.



2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup shortening

1 egg

2/3 cup milk



In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cream of tartar. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs. In a small bowl, beat egg and milk; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll to 1/2-in. thickness. Cut with a 2-1/2-in. biscuit cutter. Bake at 400 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.






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Sure that it wasn't baking soda that you put in? The reason I ask is a mixture of baking soda and cream of tartar is a major portion of baking powder.


So, the lack of cream of tartar probably caused them to not rise.


It's all a learning process, isn't it? A couple months ago I made Ezekial bread. It ended up like a brick. I still don't know what I did wrong, but I think I used water that was too hot to rehydrate the yeast.

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Nope, I just went in the kitchen and checked. I used baking powder. I read that vinegar or lemon juice could take the place of the cream of tarter but I didn't want sour biscuits. grin






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Well, I'd try them again using the same ingredients (same bag, can, etc.) and use the cream of tartar.


I'd guess that was it (not using it), but you won't know for sure unless you try again.


( RE: lemon juice - The biscuits wouldn't be *that* sour, anyway. Or you could use a bit of sugar to offset it.)



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You might check the expiration date on the baking powder John. If it's too old it won't work.


My recipe is a whole lot simpler but seems to make light fluffy biscuits each time but I make them drop biscuits instead of rolled out ones as it's faster.


The basic biscuit recipe is

2 cup Flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt


Mix thoroughly and cut in

1/4 cup of shortening (I use lard or butter but not margarine)


I cut mine in until the shortening is the approximate size of peas


Add 1 cup milk and stir in just until all dry ingredients are worked into the liquid. If too dry, add more a tablespoon or two at a time.


Drop by tablespoonfulls onto a greased or ungreased cookie sheet about one inch apart as they will spread. Bake in 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.


You can add sugar to the flour mixture to sweeten it a bit or even make it quite sweet as a desert biscuit. Or you can use honey as part of the liquid. Egg too makes the biscuit richer but mix the egg in your measuring cup first and then add milk (or you cn use water or juice or ?) to one cup.


The only time I use cream of tartar is when I use soda instead of baking powder and use sour milk or cream as the liquid.


Good luck with biscuits. They are like anything else, practice makes perfect. smile



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You won't taste the vinegar if you don't overdo it. Or use buttermilk instead.


I mix the dough and leave it pretty wet. I dump it into a greased pan then sprinkle just enough flour on top so it isn't sticky and smooth it down with my fingers. I cut the biscuits into squares when it comes out of the oven. I find that if I roll the dough out it tends to be tough and flat. 'Sides, my way is easier. LOL

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  • 5 weeks later...

The acid in buttermilk, lemon juice, or vinegar interacts with the bicarbonate in baking powder. I've never noticed a sour flavor when used in proportion. Try putting a tablespoon of acid (vinegar, lemon juice, etc.) in the measuring cup, then add milk to the line. Let it sit about 5m and it should thicken and partially curdle (it will still be good.) This should help your biscuits to rise; it makes a great mock buttermilk biscuit. We eat them all the time.



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