This is my favorite biscuit recipe. It is one that I have been making since I was a little girl. My family loves them! If you have never made biscuits from scratch, I think you will be surprised at how easy it is. From start to finish, I can get them in the oven in about ten minutes. Please don’t be discouraged if it takes you a little longer the first time you try. Keep practicing and you will get good at it too! Once you conquer the skill of making biscuits, you will never want to buy Bisquick or the refrigerated canned stuff again.
Biscuits are such a versatile food. Once you learn how to make them, you can use them for so many meals. Biscuits and gravy is one of my husband’s favorite meals. Fried egg biscuit sandwiches are common in our house because we often have an abundance of eggs from our chickens. Cheesy garlic biscuits are always a big hit. And everyone loves my biscuit cinnamon rolls. I use this same basic recipe for all these things. Simple!
“An American Homestead” Baking Powder Biscuits
4 cups soft white winter wheat *(see note below)
2 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter, melted (vegetable oil could be substituted if needed, coconut oil would be my choice)
Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) together in a mixing bowl. Make sure you don’t have any clumps of baking powder! I always check that it is clump free before I put it in the flour. Make a “well” in the center and pour in milk and then melted butter. I use evaporated milk from a can because without refrigeration (off grid) I often don’t have fresh milk. Any kind of milk is fine! Stir with a scraper spatula just enough so that the dough is combined and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Don’t over-mix or your biscuits will be tough. Lightly flour your counter and place your dough on top. Press it down with your fingers adding a little flour to the top so that it doesn’t stick to your hands. Pat it down to between 1/2″ and 1″ thick. If you like thicker biscuits, go for 1″. You could also use a rolling pin for this step, but I don’t find that it is needed. When I get out my rolling pin, I often roll them too thin! Cut biscuits with a biscuit cutter and place on a greased cooking sheet. I like using a glass 9×13 pan because I don’t like the chemicals from non-stick cookware to get into my food. Don’t worry if you don’t have a biscuit cutter, a drinking glass works just fine. That’s what I use all the time!
Bake at 350 for 10 to 20 minutes until golden, but not too dark. Baking time will vary according to the size and thickness of your biscuits. I start checking after 10 minutes. If you are unsure if they are done, take one off the pan and split it open. You can easily see if it is done inside. Believe me, you will not be able to resist snacking on this “test” biscuit!
*Note: I mill my own soft white winter wheat using wheat berries that I purchase in bulk. It is important that you use soft instead of hard white winter wheat because the texture is very different. If you use hard, your biscuits will be like rocks! If you do not have soft white winter wheat, never fear! They can be made with regular all-purpose flour or unbleached flour. I choose whole wheat flour that I mill myself because I believe that it is healthier for my family. But we all have to start somewhere! Making these from scratch even with regular bleached all-purpose flour is still better for you than purchasing Bisquick or biscuits in a can. If you are still getting accustomed to the taste and texture of whole wheat, try using 2 cups soft white winter wheat and 2 cups unbleached flour. This will make a lighter biscuit. But my family enjoys my biscuits using all whole wheat. If that is what you are trying to achieve, start with 2 cups to 2 cups and each time you make them, use more whole wheat. Pretty soon your family will be enjoying 100% whole wheat biscuits too. For more information about milling wheat, please see my article on Why I Mill Flour Myself.