Sunday, October 2, 2011

Basic Biscuits

Or if you were brought up in the Commonwealth: scones.

4 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
6 oz cold butter, cut up
1 1/2 cups milk

Sieve the dry ingredients together and then add the cold butter, cut into pieces. Rub the butter and flour between thumb and forefingers until the texture is that of coarse, even, gravel-y sand. Be patient - this is where the good texture starts.

Add the milk. Stir quickly with a wooden spoon and until the dough just sticks together. On a floured board, pat out lightly into a circle of dough about 1 1/2 inches thick.  Use a biscuit cutter or a glass to press out biscuits.

Bake in a 350''F/180'C oven until golden, about 12 minutes.

Four variations:

1/2 cup currants, added before the milk
Sour cream or buttermilk substituted for milk
Grated orange zest
1/2 tsp powdered beautyberry seeds (Callicarpa americana) added to dry ingredients
1/2 tsp mahlab (powdered cherry kernels) added to dry ingredients


  1. Do you have any beauty berry to bring out this weekend? (she said, salivating)

  2. Blimey - with one and a half tablespoons of baking powder, they must flown out the window !

  3. Ellen - not yet!

    Hen - But there are 4 cups of flour...


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