Not only are these biscuits easy to make, they are soft, flaky, buttery and just downright delicious! It’s kind of a funny story about how these biscuits turned out to be so great. I had been making this recipe for quite a few years with okay results, when, out of necessity, I tried making them a different way.
It started on the eve of Thanksgiving, almost 10 years ago. I went off to run a few errands and came home to find my husband, hammer in hand, breaking up the counter tops of my kitchen! Yes, on the night before Thanksgiving, the biggest cooking day of the year! As any logical man would quickly understand, it was a four day weekend – the perfect time to replace the kitchen counter tops. That’s enough time to lay the tile, dry, grout, dry, seal, dry.
Hmmm… Of course it is, if I hadn’t planned on cooking a turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pies on that old tile counter top that I’d LOVE to replace just about any time of year other than Thanksgiving! Once I picked my jaw up off the floor and took A LOT of deep, calming breaths (I was a teensy, weensy bit upset) I realized that I still had a table to work from, the oven and stove still worked, my husband meant well, and at the end of the weekend I was going to have beautiful new counter tops. Maybe I needed a little reminder to be more Thankful!
So you might wonder what all this has to do with making biscuits… It was with no counter top, on which to knead the biscuit dough that I learned to knead the dough in the bowl. I also learned to roll the dough out right on the pan and cut them into squares with my pizza cutter. Is there a rule that biscuits need to be round? Feeling like quite the rebel, I was quite proud of my square, fast knead, fast roll biscuits that turned out to be the flakiest little biscuits we had ever eaten! I think the reason these biscuits come out better is because the dough is handled less. There’s also less need to add in extra flour for kneading and rolling. Plus, you roll it once and cut – no re-rolling which can make the dough tough.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ¾ tsp cream of tarter
- ¾ cup butter (1½ sticks)
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 tsp vinegar (to be mixed with milk)
- In a mixing bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, and cream of tarter. Mix well.
- Cut the butter into ½ inch chunks and add to the flour mixture
- Use a pastry blender, fork, or a berry masher (yes, this works really well) to cut the butter into the flour mixture. It should resemble coarse crumbs.
- In a measuring cup, add the milk and vinegar together. Pour over flour/butter mixture and mix, but do not over mix - there will still be some loose flour.
- Keeping the mixture in the bowl, with your hand, knead the dough gently in the bowl just a few times until the dough comes together.
- Place the dough on a cookie sheet.
- Roll the dough to about ½ inch thickness, right on the pan. Gently, with as few strokes as possible.
- Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut the dough into squares.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Light colored insulated sheets take less time than dark thin ones.
Mixing up the Biscuit Dough:
Mix the flour and butter to resemble coarse crumbs. I like to use a berry masher to mix the dough. Cal actually discovered this when making coffee cake one morning. I was skeptical at first, but it really works great!
Pour in the milk and vinegar mixture and mix.
Knead gently just until it is all incorporate as in below picture.
Place the dough on a cookie sheet. I like to use AirBake Natural Cookie Sheet for baking. They really make a huge difference in how baked goods come out. They are much more evenly baked and there’s very little chance of burning anything.
Baking the Biscuits:
Sprinkle the dough with just a little flour and roll out the dough, right on the cookie sheet. Roll it with as few strokes as possible. Let the weight of the rolling pin do the work. Roll to about 1/2 inch thickness as these will puff up a lot.
Cut into squares using a pizza cutter or knife.
I like to square up the sides a little bit if the edges are rough. Just kind of squish them in a little to make them more square.
Bake in the oven at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. If you are not using an air bake pan, then check after 15 minutes.
These are great to serve with just about any soup, but I particularly like them with a broth soup since they are filling. You can also use leftovers for egg sandwiches the next morning. Grilled with a little butter and a fried egg. Probably not the healthiest breakfast choice, but super delicious! 🙂