Archive for March, 2020

My Take on Grandma’s Biscuits

Saturday, March 28th, 2020

My Take on Grandma Banks’ Biscuits

Dedicated to my sister in law Sherry, for her birthday.

May Grandma and Aunt Kay rest in peace knowing I think of them every time I make these.

Biscuits were a regular part of life at my grandparent’s farm. Often, especially on a Sunday, many unexpected family visitors would show up, and Grandma always invited them to stay for dinner. An easy way to extend the food available was to make a larger batch of biscuits.

Although Grandma’s biscuits were great, the family guru was Aunt Kay. So I was fortunate to have a private lesson from Aunt Kay on how to make them.

She used shortening, a “piece the size of an egg” said her recipe, and regular milk. My version uses buttermilk and butter, and I love them. Canadian All purpose flour has a high protein content, and makes the biscuits a little chewy, which I like. The other important ingredient is Magic Baking Powder. Every year my mother brought a year’s supply from Canada back to the US just for the biscuits. It does not have the bitter taste that happens when one uses double acting baking powder. Interestingly enough, this recipe has less fat in it than most other biscuit recipes. I have tried many other recipes, and I still like these the best. Maybe it’s just nostalgia, but I like to think they are just the best.

See the variations at the end for a change of flavour.

Ingredient Instructions
2 cups all purpose flour

4 tsp Magic baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 regular or 350 convection.

Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

1/4 cup unsalted butter Use a pastry cutter or 2 knives to cut the butter into pea size pieces into the flour mixture.
1 cup buttermilk Dump in the buttermilk and stir lightly. Let this absorb for a minute, then mix into a soft dough. Handle as little as possible.
Flour the bench, then dump the dough onto it. Press the dough into a rectangle and flatten to about 1/2 inch. Use a sharp biscuit cutter to cut into rounds. Re-roll the remaining dough and cut out the same way. I usually get 12 biscuits from this. Bake on greased baking sheet for about 25 minutes or into slightly browned on the bottom.

Variations

Cinnamon Rolls

After dough is rolled out, drip small pieces of butter all over dough. Sprinkle brown sugar, then cinnamon on tol. Roll into a sausage and cut off rolls. Bake as above. An icing can also be added, but they are good just plain.

Ginger Thyme Biscuits

Add 1/4 cup of chopped crystallized ginger, 2 T sugar, and 1 tsp  dried thyme to the dough. Continue same as above. You can also add crystallized sugar on top, but this makes the biscuits soggy if you don’t eat them right away.

It's not humanly possible to eat just one!

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