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Biscuits too flaky and dry

Last post Dec 04, 2012 11:26 AM by Antilope . 15 replies.


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  • Biscuits too flaky and dry
    I have been searching for a technique to make moist biscuits that will hold together after baked. My biscuits are too dry and flaky and fall apart while you are eating them. I suspect it is in the technique of putting the recipe together since the recipes I use are from very reputable sources that I have personally tried. The sources are deceased; therefore, I cannot ask them. I have even switched from White Lily Plain flour to Pillsbury self- rising but found no difference. My recipe includes 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup crisco, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 3/4-1 cup buttermilk. Could I be mixing the dough too long, adding too much or not enough buttermilk? If you have a suggestion/tip, I am very open to try new ideas.

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  • RE: Biscuits too flaky and dry
    Hi, EES. I think that you're mixing your dough too long. I would recommend that you completely mix your dry ingredients and mix your moist ingredients and then combine them just enough so that the dry are moist. You use this same method when making muffins or pancakes. Hope that this helps.
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  • RE: Biscuits too flaky and dry
    All of my cookbooks call for 1/3 cup of shortening. All of your other amounts are right on target.I add all of my dry ingrdients together and then cut the shortening in using either a pastry blender or a fork. The same method is used to make your pie crust! Now make a well in your dry ingredient mixture and add 3/4 cup of milk; stir this in until the mixture is fully moistened, If it seems dry add a little more milk until it is fully moistened.Then knead your dough on a lightly floured surface.Knead by simply bringing the edges in towards the center only do this ten times anymore
    might dry out the dough. Remember that a soft flour like white lily makes softer biscuits and requires less milk and if you live in a dry climate you need more milk & a climate like mine(high humidity) you need less milk. Hope this helps:)
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  • RE: Biscuits too flaky and dry
    Thanks for the suggestions for less mixing and less kneading. Unfortunately, I have been following those 2 rules....only mixing until the dough is moist and kneading less than 5 times. I have also added more crisco (about 1/3 cup) and the texture is always the same...dry and flaky.
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  • RE: Biscuits too flaky and dry
    Crack one medium egg into your measuring cup & beat well with a fork. Then add milk or buttermilk to make the volume needed & beat with fork to combine. Stir this into your dry ingredients & mix lightly. Knead as little as possible. Roll, cut & bake as usual. Moist, tender biscuits every time.
    I always bake double-batches of biscuits & use 1 ex-lg. egg with my buttermilk.

    Cali
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  • RE: Biscuits too flaky and dry
    Thanks, Calli.....Next time I make biscuits, I will try the egg.
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  • RE: Biscuits too flaky and dry
    I only use white lily for my biscuits. Too little milk will make them dry but overworking the dough is the usual culprit for failed biscuits.

    Check the white lily site for excellent biscuit recipes. the cream biscuits are to die for!
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  • RE: Biscuits too flaky and dry
    Footsie's right...Cream Biscuits are very moist & delicious! Can't get White Lily flour here though : (
    Cali
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  • RE: Biscuits too flaky and dry
    LOL and sooooooo easy to make aren't they Cali!
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  • RE: Biscuits too flaky and dry
    These are my favorite biscuits. I think the egg and butter are what makes the difference in the flavor and texture of these:

    Southern Gal Biscuits

    2 Cups flour
    4 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. salt
    2 Tablespoons sugar (sometimes I use a little more to make a
    sweeter biscuit if I'm using it for a shortcake)
    1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
    1/2 Cup butter or margarine (NOT softened)
    1 egg
    Milk

    Mix the dry ingredients.

    Cut butter into the flour mixture and mix until crumbly. Use a pastry blender or two knives, until the pieces of butter are no bigger than a pea.

    Break the egg into a glass measuring cup and lightly beat it, and add enough milk to make 3/4 c. Stir into flour mixture. Turn out onto pastry board a lightly knead a few times. Pat out until about 1/2 thick on a floured board and cut with biscuit cutter or a drinking glass. Bake 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes - until they rise up and and turn light brown.
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  • RE: Biscuits too flaky and dry

    Anybody else tried this recipe with any degree of success? I did this morning and ended up with a big sticky mess. Even though the egg + milk = 3/4 of a cup, does the size of the egg matter? I made biscuits yesterday with a recipe that called for 1/2 the fats and 1/4 more milk, no egg and the same amount of dry ingredients. I'm not understanding why the dough turned out fine (they cooked a little more crumbly than I preferred but not real sticky out of the bowl) and this one ended up so sloppy. 

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  • Re: Biscuits too flaky and dry

    I learned to make wonderful flaky biscuits years ago while working in a restaurant - this is what I was told, and it has always worked for me...........Only mix until everything is moistened, do NOT overmix.  Also, keep the dough very sticky, put flour down on the counter where you are rolling them out, and that additional flour will add to the dough.  I never use a rolling pin, just dump it out on the counter, level to the thickness desired with your hand, and cut.

    Overmixing is most often the reason biscuits are dry and crumbly.

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    "Live your life in such a way, that, when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders, and says.... "Oh no, she's awake.........."

  • Re: Biscuits too flaky and dry

    My biscuit recipe makes about 14 biscuits and calls for 2 cups flour like your's does. However, your method must be different than the traditional biscuit method that looks like this: Step 1: Mix together the dry ingredients. Step 2: Cut in the cold butter until crumbly and mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Step 3: Stir in the liquid (milk) until moistened. I think you should try omitting the shortening and cutting in at least 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup cold butter. You do this by cutting the butter in pats and breaking apart the butter with your hands. At the end, the mixture should look crumbly. I also add 1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter to my biscuit recipe, not sure what it does though. I bake my biscuits at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Hope I helped!

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  • Re: Biscuits too flaky and dry

    Cooks Illustrated has an fantastic buttermilk drop biscuit recipe that I always use. It uses a ton of melted butter plus the buttermilk. It posted on Serious Eats at http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2007/11/cooks-illustrated-best-drop-biscuits-recipe.html 

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    Kristin Williams

    www.kristinsfoodisart.com

  • Re: Biscuits too flaky and dry

    Touch of Grace Biscuits

    The secret to these soft biscuits is a very wet dough, dropped into flour for ease of handling, then packed into a cake pan.


    Nonstick cooking spray
    2 cups self-rising, low-protein flour, such as White Lily, Martha White or Red Band
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    4 tablespoons shortening or lard
    2/3 cup cream
    1 cup buttermilk (approximate; see directions)
    1 cup all-purpose low-protein flour, for shaping
    2 tablespoons butter, melted

    Makes 12 to 14 biscuits.

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and arrange one shelf slightly below the center of the oven. Spray an 8- or 9-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a large mixing bowl, stir together the self-rising flour, sugar and salt. 

    Work the shortening or lard in with your fingertips until there are no large lumps. Gently stir in the cream, then the buttermilk. (It may take less than 1 cup of buttermilk, or if you are using a higher protein flour, It may take more.) The dough should not be soupy, but should be wet and resemble cottage cheese.

    Spread the all-purpose flour on a plate or pie pan. With a medium-size ice cream scoop or spoon, place three scoops of dough well apart in the flour.

    Sprinkle flour gently over each scoop. Flour your hands, then pick up a dough ball, gently shape it into a round, shaking off excess flour, and place it in the prepared cake pan. Continue shaping biscuits the same way, placing each biscuit up tight against its neighbor in the pan, until the dough is used. 

    Place pan in the oven and bake until lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. 

    Brush with melted butter, invert pan onto one plate, then back onto another to turn biscuits right side up.

    With a knife or spatula, cut quickly between the biscuits to make them easy to remove. Serve immediately.

    (Leftover biscuits can be reheated by wrapping in aluminum foil and placing in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes.)

    Recipe from "CookWise" by Shirley Corriher (Morrow, 1997). Reprinted in the Free Lance Star newspaper, Feb 21, 2001.

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    Shirley Corriher is the food scientist that appeared on some episodes of Alton Brown's show, Good Eats on the Food Network.

    Shirley Corriher Making Biscuits on YouTube

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7baqgejDqfU

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    To make a lighter flour (similar to White Lily), for each cup of regular all-purpose flour, replace 2 Tablespoons of flour with cornstarch. (1 cup lightened all-purpose flour = 14 Tbsp flour and 2 Tbsp cornstarch.)

    To make self-rising flour, add 1 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp table salt to each cup of flour.

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    Old cooking measurements: drop, pinch, dash, dessert-spoonful, salt-spoonful, size of a walnut, size of an egg, teacupful, coffee-cupful, wine-glassful, tumblerful, Handful.