This recipe for Flaky Biscuits is really foolproof, but each batch you make will be better than the last. Practice really does make perfect in this case.
Making biscuits is an art form, a science, and an acquired skill. The two more important factors for making the lightest, flakiest, more delicious biscuits are measuring accurately and handling the dough as little as possible. Gluten development is necessary for the biscuits to have structure, but too much gluten will make them tough. The dough has to stay cold to keep the flour mixture separate from the fat until the biscuits go into the oven.
Notice the different ingredients and proportions in this biscuit recipe. The bread flour is necessary because for flaky layers, you need more gluten, or protein, in the biscuits. Some shortening is used for more tender biscuits; since these biscuits are handled more, they need a different fat combination to make sure they aren't tough. Bread flour biscuits require an especially light hand.
Enjoy these easy flaky biscuits right out of the oven, with butter melting into every crevice.
- 1-2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup bread flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
- 3 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening, chilled
- 1/2 cup cup cold milk
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 3-4 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and make sure the rack is in the center of the oven.
2. In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder and salt and mix well.
3. Add the butter and with your fingertips, 2 knives, or a pastry blender, cut in the COLD butter and shortening until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
4. Stir in the cold milk and buttermilk and mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Gather the dough into a ball and place on a lightly floured work surface.
5. Roll the dough into a 4" by 10" rectangle. Brush lightly with some of the melted butter. Fold one-third of the long side over on the dough, then fold the other side on top to make three layers.
6. Roll the dough into an 8" square and cut into 9 biscuits. (This prevents scraps of dough and re-rolling, which makes tough biscuits.) If you prefer round biscuits, cut with a 2" biscuit cutter, flouring the cutter in between cuts. Make sure that you press straight down with the biscuit cutter so your biscuits will have straight sides.
7. Place biscuits 1-1/2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush tops with melted butter.
8. Bake at 425°F for 11 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.