May 25, 2015

Baking Powder Biscuits and Biscuits Cookbook Review

   Biscuits: Sweet and Savory Southern Recipes for the All-American Kitchen, by: Jackie Garvin
 An entire cookbook full of biscuits recipes!!  Let me just say the author of this cookbook knows biscuits.  You can tell she is an expert biscuit maker and I would love to taste some of her homemade biscuits.  Sure, we now have her delicious recipes, but I would love to try these recipes actually made by her.   She said she has been surrounded by biscuits, eaten biscuits, loved biscuits and dreamed of biscuits her entire life.

The book starts out with stories about her childhood, how she started making biscuits, how she started her blog Syrup and Biscuits.  She then tells you what type of flour and other ingredients she recommends along with tips for creating perfect biscuits.  She has some great tips, like making sure to cut straight down with the biscuit cutter and to not twist it.  If you twist the biscuit cutter, the biscuits won't rise as much.   
The first recipes in the book require using the "layering technique" when preparing biscuits.  You roll out the dough, then fold the dough several times to create layers.  I wasn't sure how this technique was going to work for me, but it ended up being pretty simple.  The only thing I didn't like is the instructions for this technique is not included on every page.  This is when I thought it would be nice to have an actual hard copy of the book to flip back and forth between the recipe page and instructions page.  I have an e-book, so I didn't want to scroll from page to page with my sticky biscuit fingers. 
I tried the Baking Powder Biscuits and they are so light and tender and flaky and amazing!!! Seriously, delicious.  They are slightly crispy on the edges, but so soft in the center.  The original recipe does not call for sugar, but I really really like sugar in my biscuits, so I added some.  This recipe is very similar to my Buttermilk Biscuit recipe, except I don't use the "layering technique" when making them, but I think I'll have to start using that method from now on.

Overall, I would say the level of this book is intermediate.  I say this because some of the instructions might be a little difficult for a new biscuit maker to understand.  It is loaded with pictures.  There are regular biscuit recipes, recipes for leftover biscuits, sweet biscuits recipes, savory biscuit recipes, biscuit topper recipes and more.  Pretty much anything and everything you can do with a biscuit will be in this book and everything sounds amazing.    

Some of the other recipes I can't wait to try are: Honey Whole Wheat Cream Biscuits, Sweet Potato Biscuits, Garlic Cheese Biscuits, Raspberry Biscuit Pudding, Maple Cinnamon Rolls, Chocolate Chip Biscuits, Strawberry Banana Nut Biscuit Bread, Peach Raspberry Scones and Supreme Pizza Pull Apart Bread.
Baking Powder Biscuits
adapted from: Biscuits
(Printable Recipe) or (Printable with Picture)

2 c. all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 Tbl. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
3 Tbl. sugar, opt.
1/2 c. unsalted butter, diced and chilled
1 c. buttermilk

Place flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix together with a fork or whisk.  Add cold, diced, butter and use a pastry cutter to blend in the butter until it resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter.  Stir in the buttermilk with a fork or wooden spoon.  Dough should be sticky.    

Turn the dough out onto a tea-towel that has been sprinkled with flour. Sprinkle the top of the wet dough with flour.  Lightly knead the dough, working in the flour.  Add more flour as needed until the dough is no longer sticky and holds its shape.  Don't let a recipe dictate the proportions of wet to dry ingredients.  Develop "the touch" and know when the dough feels right.  Roll or pat out the dough until it's 1/4-inch thick long-ways on the towel.  Make sure there is enough flour under the dough to prevent sticking.  Grab the right side of the towel and fold the right third of the dough toward the center.  Grab the left side of the towel and fold the left third of the dough toward the center.  Grab the top of the towel and fold the dough in half from top to bottom.  Grab the bottom of the towel and fold the dough in half bottom to top.  

Lightly roll or pat out the dough to one-inch thick.  Cut out the biscuits by using a floured biscuit cutter.  Cut straight down and don't twist the biscuit cutter or the edges will bind together and prevent the biscuit from rising to its full potential.  Continue cutting as many biscuits as you can.  Gather the scraps, stack them and gently press together.  This method keeps the layers intact and will result in prettier biscuits than if you re-roll the dough scraps. The gently pressed layer of scraps needs to be about one-inch thick.  Cut as many biscuits as you can get.  

Place the cut out biscuits on a baking sheet that has been greased or covered with a baking mat.  Scoot these layered biscuits next to each other to help them rise up straight and not fall over.  Brush tops with cooking oil, butter or milk.   Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15 minutes or until tops are golden brown.  Makes 12-15 biscuits.           

Jenn's Notes: Sugar is not in the original recipe, but I really like sugar in my biscuits, so I added some.  I was only able to get 10 biscuits.

I received this book from the Publisher for the purpose of this review, but all opinions expressed herein are my own.   

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  1. OMG! made these baking powder biscuits today. They were the best darn biscuits. I doubled the batch and made 13 large biscuits. I made them with the sugar. I will surely make these again. I just wish I had lots of quest. I just love to share when I make a good recipe with loved ones and strangers. This most definitely is a excellent recipe to share. Thank you.

    1. They are super good biscuits, huh!!! I am so glad you liked them and thanks for letting me know.

  2. Can we use a different product to replace buttermilk

    1. Buttermilk really is best, but if you are in a pinch, you can use 1cup of regular milk and replace 1 Tablespoon with 1Tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes or so before using.

  3. I just have to say, thank you, thank you, thank you for this recipe!! I've tried a number of biscuit recipes over the years and never had success - they always turned out like hockey pucks. However, after trying this recipe, I can now say that I am a successful biscuit maker! Your mention of not following the wet/dry ingredients to a 'T', but rather paying attention to the feel of the dough, was also really helpful and made a difference for me. So thank you for that, and the recommendation of the sugar. After making this recipe twice now, once with and once without the addition, I prefer the sugar as well. Thanks again!!

    1. Yay!! That is so good to hear. Thanks for letting me know :)

    2. Hi Jenn I am not sure if my first request was sent to you. I would like to make these Baking powder biscuits but I don't know what a tea-towel is or could I use a regular plastic cutting board or my counter top

    3. Hi! A tea towel is a type of thin kitchen towel. You place that on top of your counter when rolling out the dough. It helps make it easier when folding the dough in layers. You can always use a thin kitchen towel or even parchment paper. Does that make sense?

  4. Love your recipes and helpful hints. Thank you.

  5. These I keep in a file I call "yummy"! I make them over and over and over!! Normaly I use 1% milk that I sour myself but today I used half n half that I sour, man!, even the raw dough was yummy!! (I tried during real buttermilk, was just ok.glad I tested further!

    1. Oh, thanks for the tips! I'm glad you like them.

  6. OMG....absolutely THE BEST....I took my time to read your comments...very helpful...a linen napkin worked in the place of a tea towel....I baked a batch 8-12 I'm baking another batch today...I posted a picture on pinterest...these biscuits are light and fluffy....I gotta go...thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

  7. Can I use milk that doesn't taste fresh but like sour