BIG HONKIN’ BISCUITS as requested by Sally Midkiff Struck
2 cups flour — pick your poison; all-purpose, bread, whole wheat
1 Tblsp baking powder — If you can’t remember the last time you used that can in the cupboard, go get a fresh can!
1 tsp salt — sea salt, kosher, “Singin’ in the Rain” salt, etc.
1 Tblsp white sugar — nothing racist here, gotta wonder what brown sugar would do?
1/3 cup shortening — lard, butter; heck, I’m even thinkin’ bacon fat!
1 cup milk — Use powdered, mix up a big baggie of the dry ingredients and you’re that far ahead when you wanna take ’em camping!
CHILL the fat and the milk. If you use butter, cut it into small cubes and put it beside the cup of milk in the FREEZER at least 10 minutes. Fat and milk should be COLD, not frozen.
Set oven to 425F.
Mix all the dry ingredients If you dare break out a food processor or stand mixer, well, what can I say? You’re a CANDY ASS and don’t deserve great biscuits. Get your HANDS in there! Coat your hands WELL with flour. Actually, I’ll pull on vinyl gloves AND coat my hands. Work the fat into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles coarsely ground meal. Add the milk a little at a time, blending well. You’re looking for a moist dough that pulls away from the side of the bowl. If it seems a touch TOO wet, don’t worry.
Turn out the dough onto a well-floured board–DON’T skimp on the flour– and knead the dough until it FEELS right, about 10 or 15 “folds” or roughly 5 minutes. Pat or roll the dough into a flat round about half an inch thick.
Flour the rim of something akin to a mason jar to cut out the biscuits. Original recipe says “juice” glass; but if you go that small, you’re gonna have a biscuit that looks like a stack of poker chips! These puppies WILL rise; they WON’T spread out. You’ll have to reshape and cut a couple or three times, but don’t be surprised if you only get about six biscuits, max.
Original recipe says to bake on an ungreased baking sheet, but my grandma NEVER baked anything on an ungreased surface. I like to spray the sheet lightly before putting the biscuits on it. Let ’em bake about 15 minutes, just until they start to brown up good around the edges. If I were you, I’d start peeking at ’em after about 12-13 minutes.
Sure, you’re busy. I get it. So, you can’t give yourself, not to mention any significant others, half an hour of your time to make a great scratch-built biscuit? Here’s what you do. Make up a couple or three batches of this dough ahead of time instead of rotting your brain with Desperate Housewives or some such toxins. Wrap the dough ball well with plastic wrap, put that in an air-tight freezer baggie or other container and stash it in the fridge. It’s good for up to to weeks.