Wednesday, January 23, 2013


In my last year of college I made a friend over biscuits.  Sloan made fresh biscuits every morning, and shared them with his dorm and passersby.  Sloan was the first person I knew that made EVERYTHING from scratch (and made it well!)- he homebrewed, made his own pickles, cheese, pizza dough, pasta, tomato sauce, and anything else you can imagine!  He never used a real recipe for his biscuits, and while the ones I made from his instructions were decent, I never could reproduce the magic Sloan put in those things.

That was TEN years ago!  These days I use the recipe from How to Cook Everything (with a little extra butter!), and they’re delicious.  Scratch biscuits are at least 5 times more satisfying than canned biscuits, and I always have these simple ingredients on hand.

You will need

2 cups organic flour, plus extra for dusting ($4.99 per 5 lb, $4.99/80 oz = $.06 x 11oz = $.69)

1 tsp salt (($.47 per 26oz, $.47/30.69tsp = $.02)

4 teaspoons baking powder ($1.79 per 10oz, $1.79/59.06tsp = $.03 x 4tsp = $.12)

1 teaspoon baking soda ($.31 per lb, $.31/94.5tsp = less than $.01)

4 Tbsp cold organic butter, cut into pieces, plus 1 Tbsp extra for brushing ($4.79 per lb, $4.79/32Tbsp = 
$.15 x 5 Tbsp = $.75)

7/8 cup organic milk ($5.99 per 128fl.oz, $5.99/128fl.oz = $.05 x 7fl.oz = $.33)

I've been using fewer tools lately. This is just as easy as a blender!

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Add the butter, and cut in with a pastry blender or just mix it with your hands, squishing the butter into the flour mixture.  Blend the butter most of the way in, but keep some chunks and lumps.  Add the milk and mix AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE, just until the dough becomes cohesive.  

The dough looks a bit rough, but it's better to look rough than to taste tough!
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and pat into a rectangle.  Cut the rectangle into pieces (I like square biscuits because the dough left from cutting circles gets tough when it's rerolled).  I like big thick biscuits, so I get about 8 biscuits, total.  Brush a baking sheet with butter, and arrange biscuits.  Brush biscuit tops with additional butter, and bake for 7-9 minutes.  
Finished! (and check out my robot potholder that Spencer made me!)
Okay, this might be a bit much on the butter...

Tea and jammy biscuits all to myself!  What a treat!
Try It

$1.91 for 8 biscuits.

Buy It

$2.29 for a can of 8 Pillsbury Grands .


Try It.  You won’t be disappointed!  They’re tender and buttery and take very little time. 
(Note- since I didn't weigh the dough or biscuits, this isn't a perfect price comparison, but I'd Try It even if they were more expensive!)

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