by John Ryan
These are your basic baking powder biscuits. They are great with bacon and eggs, with fried chicken, for biscuits and gravy...they even make good dumplings (as in chicken and dumplings).
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons shortening or butter
3/4 cup milk
Turn the oven on to 425 degrees F. While the oven heats up, mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut the shortening or butter into the dry ingredients until the fat is gravel-sized or smaller. Then quickly press/rub the lumps of butter between your palms--imagine flattening the butter into leaves. When the mixture resembles cornmeal, stir in any raisins, currants, or chopped dried apricots if you're using them.
Add the milk and toss the mixture with a fork. Gather up the mixture like a snowball and flatten it on the counter into a disc about 3/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into 6 pie-shaped wedges, or use a water glass to cut out 4 or 5 biscuits. (Ball up the dough, flatten it, and cut out another biscuit. Ball the remaining scrapes up to make a mutant biscuit.) Lay the biscuits on a cookie sheet and bake until they are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Both chef and musician, John Ryan wrote the Just Good Food blog from 1996 through 2001.
This page created June 1999
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