Old-Fashioned Biscuits

Connect with the ancestors with this timeless classic ~ the humble (but beloved) biscuit. I find that it’s best to use your hands when making these biscuits, rather than a spoon or electric mixer. If you take the hands-on route, be sure to have everything you need out and ready, and scrub up before you begin.

Sour Milk Biscuits:
just under 2/3 cup of milk (you’ll need whole, homogenized or 2% – skim and 1% won’t work)
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups flour
1/3 cup shortening, lard or butter (margarine won’t work, trust me!)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
salted butter, room temperature
extra flour for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 350*, turn the interior light on.

2. Pour milk into a cup or measuring cup. Add vinegar, and set aside to curdle. Yes, it will turn the milk lumpy. That’s what you want to happen. Just trust me.

3. In your favorite mixing bowl, pour flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add shortening, then mix well with your hands, until mixture is light, and finely blended. You do not want to leave any chunks!

4. Add the curdled milk, and continue to mix with your hands until you have a sticky dough.
Remove dough from bowl, and knead for a minute or two on a floured countertop, until the dough isn’t so sticky, and “pushes back” when you poke it.

5. Roll out dough to about 1/2 inch thick with a rolling pin, then cut out biscuits using an upside down drinking glass or cookie cutters. Hint: you’re best to keep the biscuits around 3 inches in width.

6. Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet, then place in the oven. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, but you’re best to watch them ~ they’re done just as soon as the tops begin to lightly brown. Remember, they will continue to bake for a minute or two after you take them out of the oven.

7. Quickly spread or brush soft butter on the tops of the biscuits as soon as they come out of the oven, letting it melt. I just use a butter knife, and let the butter melt over the biscuits as I spread it on.

8. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then enjoy them warm and fresh from the oven, or save them for later. Best eaten on the day they’ve been baked, but can be stored in containers for a couple of days before they harden, as long as you’ve added butter to the tops.

Option: if you’re looking for a vegan route, use a thick soy or almond beverage in place of milk.

Bon apetit!

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