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Baking Powder Biscuits


These baking powder biscuits are flaky, tender, and rich. If a breakfast or dessert biscuit is desired, just add more sugar to taste.

  • Yield: Makes 8 biscuits

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2001


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups heavy cream, plus more for brushing
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten (for shortcake variation)
  • Sanding sugar, (optional for shortcakes)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few larger clumps remaining. Add remaining 2 cups flour, and toss to combine.

  2. Pour in heavy cream; using a rubber spatula, fold cream into dough, working in all directions and incorporating crumbs at the bottom of the bowl, until dough just comes together. The dough will be slightly sticky.

  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. With floured fingers, gently pat dough into a round about 1 inch thick, pressing in any loose bits. Do not overwork the dough. Use a floured 3-inch round biscuit cutter to cut out biscuits as close together as possible. (Use one cut edge as the edge for the next biscuit.)

  4. Place biscuits on an unlined baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. Generously brush tops of biscuits with cream. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until biscuits are golden and flecked with brown spots, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer biscuits to a wire rack to cool.


HERB MIX-IN: Finely chop and then mix together a variety of fresh herbs -- such as rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley, and chives -- to yield 4 tablespoons. Add herbs to butter-and-flour mixture after butter has been cut in. Proceed with the remainder of the recipe.

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