Friday, July 8, 2011

Biscuit Shortcake

When Breezy put me onto Spooner strawberries, as mentioned yesterday, she also generously shared a recipe for shortcake.  I really want to try it, but with our first, and possibly only, big batch of strawberries this year, my family would be upset if I used anything but our tried and true favorite.  We always use our favorite biscuit recipe from the 1968  Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.  It's not a buttermilk recipe, so I feel its richer, with flaky layers, and a nice, crispy outside...Light, but not as fluffy/spongy as buttermilk biscuits I've tried.                                                                                                                                                                      
Some of my diehard readers may remember that when I first started milling soft white wheat, that I tried my biscuit recipe...which kept failing when the biscuits kept coming out flatter than usual.  After trying different flours, I determined it might be the baking powder, rather than the flour type.  So now I have new baking powder.                                                                                                                                     
Just to give myself a little better chance of coming out with biscuits/shortcake like we expect, I used half all-purpose and half whole soft white wheat flours this time.                                                                               
Biscuits Supreme
Preheat oven to 450 degrees on Bake, or 425 on Convection                                                                                                                                                                      
In a good-sized mixing bowl, mix together
2 cups flour (as I said, I used 1 c. all-purpose and 1 c. soft whole wheat this time)
2 tsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar                                                                                                                                    

Cut in with pastry blender until like coarse crumbs 
1/2 cup unsalted butter, shortening, or combination (I used half and half here, too)                                                                                                                                          
With a fork, stir in 
2/3 cup milk                                                                                                                                                  
Quickly and gently knead the dough together (just a few strokes) and pat or roll to about 1/2 inch thick.   Cut with biscuit cutter and place on baking sheets, spaced far enough apart for raising/swelling room.  Let rest for 10 minutes, then put in oven to bake for approximately 10 minutes, until lightly browned.                                                                                                                                                            
For breakfast, serve hot with butter and your choice of honey, maple syrup, or jam...or with sausage gravy.  For dinner accompaniment, also serve hot with butter.  
For shortcake, cool, then layer with berries and top with whip cream.                                                                                                                                                             

Previous related post:
Soft Wheat Room for Improvement, Part II

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