Make certain that your oven is hot—usually 425 degrees. The hot oven gives the dough a burst of steam that helps make the biscuits light and airy.
Measure your baking soda carefully and use buttermilk when called for. The alkaline baking soda reacts with the acid buttermilk creating bubbles and a lighter texture. There is not enough baking soda to completely react with the buttermilk so the tangy taste of buttermilk still comes through.
Measure your flour properly. The density in your flour mixture will affect the amount of liquid needed. If you spoon light flour into the measure, it should be about right for the liquid noted in the ingredients.
Make the biscuits of uniform size and shape so that they will bake uniformly. Protruding bits of dough can be pushed back in with a wet finger.
Ten Tips to Make Perfect Biscuits
We probably bake more biscuits in the summer than in the winter. They are quick and easy and fix our craving for fresh bread without spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Here are some tips for perfect biscuits.
- Use a low protein flour. We prefer unbleached pastry flour.
- Don’t over mix the dough. Over mixing the dough will develop the gluten.
- Roll the dough to a uniform thickness so that they will bake evenly.
- Roll the dough to 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch in thickness. The biscuits will approximately double in height when baked.
- Space the cuts as close together as possible. Reworked scraps will not be as tender as the first cut biscuits since the dough has been worked more. Consider cutting squares or triangles so that you have fewer scraps. If you do so, use a ruler for uniform biscuits.
- If you use a round cutter, don’t twist the cutter as you cut out the biscuits; press straight down.
- Use a greased or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- If you want crusty biscuits, place them about 1/2-inch apart. If you want soft-sided biscuits, place them closer and break them apart after baking.
- For browner biscuits, brush the tops with butter or milk.
- For taller biscuits, bake as quickly as possible after forming. Cool them on wire racks.