Warm biscuits fresh from the oven are impossible to resist. Whether you want to bake a savory buttery biscuit or a sweet one for shortcake, certain tricks will help you turn out rich and flaky results. Biscuits are all based on the principle of mixing flour with a leavening agent, such as baking powder or yeast, which helps them rise, adding a liquid, and forming and cutting them into a desired shape and size.
Tips for Perfect Biscuits
Chill the bowl used to mix the dough as well as the pastry blender to prevent the butter or shortening from warming up. Cut cold butter and/or shortening into flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Cold bits of butter or fat will melt during baking, creating pockets of steam that give biscuits their flakiness. When working with butter, cut it into small pieces, and chill again before adding to dry ingredients. Be sure not to overwork the dough after the liquid has been added; it just barely needs to come together. Do not overcrowd biscuits on a baking sheet.