Whenever we arrive at my in-laws’ home, there’s a round plastic Tupperware container filled with fresh biscuits. Soft, slightly sweet and so familiar. Comfort food.
These biscuits are great with butter and honey (or jam, lots of jam) but just as versatile served with soup or stew. They easily pop into a jacket pocket for a nice fall trip to the park, too.
You can halve the sugar in the recipe if you prefer the biscuits less sweet, but this is how I know and love them; but I love them most because they take only 10 minutes to whip together.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a medium bowl, combine 2½ cups AP flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon baking powder. Combine well with a fork or whisk.
My mother-in-law uses shortening but you can substitute cold butter. Cut up the shortening with a couple of knives — literally hold a knife in each hand and run them back and forth in the bowl, like little metal “legs” walking through the shortening until it is broken into little pea-size bits in the flour. (You can also rub the butter into the flour with your fingers.)
Crack an egg into a measuring cup and beat with a fork. Now pour in enough milk to make 1 cup.
Add the milk/egg mixture to your flour and mix with a wooden spoon (or any mixing spoon) until you create a dough.
You’re going to dump out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it lightly until it holds its shape (about 1 minute).
Now, gently press out the dough with your fingers, until it is about the same height as your round cookie cutter. To make a dozen biscuits, your cutter needs to be about 2½" to 2¾" in diameter.
Cut out the biscuits and then reshape the scraps and flatten again until you have used it all up. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the biscuits have risen and are lightly golden on top.
The base will be crisp and browned. Cool (for at least 30 seconds!) before devouring.
Makes 1 dozen
2½ cups AP flour
¼ tsp salt
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup shortening or cold butter
1 large egg
scant ¾ cup milk
NOTE: You’ll also need a round cookie cutter, about 2½" to 2¾" in diameter
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Combine the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder and mix well.
- Crack the egg into a small bowl and beat well with a fork. Add the milk, and beat to combine. Set aside.
- Cut the shortening (or butter) into small cubes and add to your dry mixture. Using a couple knives or your fingers cut or rub it into the flour until the mixture looks crumbly.
- Add the milk/egg mixture to the dry. Stir gently with a spatula, until a dough is formed.
- Move the dough to a floured surface and roll/knead it lightly until it holds together well. Flatten gently with your fingers, until it is the height of the cookie cutter.
- Dipping the cookie cutter in flour, cut individual rounds from the dough. Reshape the dough when needed to use it all up. You should have about 1 dozen biscuits.
- Put the biscuits on a greased cookie sheet.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until biscuits are lightly golden.
Sue Riedl is a Toronto-based food writer with a passion for cheese who writes a column called The Spread for The Globe and Mail. She loves to push stinky cheese on her 3-year-old.
by Sue Riedl