The elusive biscuit. How I have longed to find thee. To perfect your tender crumbs and flaky layers. As I cry over my lumpy, dry rocks, I would weep in frustration. But no longer! I have discovered the secret to the perfect, flaky, DELICIOUS biscuit and it’s super duper easy. You only need one secret weapon. Cold butter and a cheese grater. Not kidding folks.
I’ll give you a moment to remove that look from your face. Just stick with me!
The problem with most biscuits is over-mixing. The key to flaky, tender biscuits is keeping the fat, separate from the flour, creating layers. Layers equal yumminess. How to get those layers? The minute you add the liquids, they activate the gluten in your flour. The more gluten, the tougher the biscuits. The more you mix the more gluten you get. You see where we are going with this?
So how to get the ingredients to stick together without mixing? Here is where the magic happens.
Combine your dry ingredients, get your milk ready and then take your handy dandy cheese grater and grate your cold butter into the bowl. This is the fastest and easiest way to get your butter incorporated into your dry ingredients without warming things up and getting things too mixed. Toss the mixture so that all your butter is coated with flour. Make a well in the middle of the mixture and pour in your milk.
Now repeat after me, make a claw with your hand, stick it right down in the middle of this concoction and make like a mixer and stir. The idea is to get things to stick together but not blend. You should have something that looks like this when you’re done. Lumpy. Do not be tempted to keep mixing or you’ll end up with rocks. Dump the lumpy mess onto a floured counter top and roll out to 1/2″. Fold in half and roll out to a 1/2″ again. Repeat and roll three times. This creates our flaky layers. Again, do not be tempted to keep rolling. Three times is plenty.
Take your biscuit cutter and press straight down. Do not twist. Twisting seals your layers together and that’s not what we want here. We want those flaky layers to grow when they bake! Straight down and straight back up again. Place on a baking sheet with an egg wash at 400 degrees and bake for about 25 minutes or until the tops and bottoms of the biscuits are nicely brown. Top with some melted butter, jam, honey or just stuff it down your throat the second it is cool enough to handle like I do. No judgment.
- 20 oz all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 6 oz cold butter
- 12 oz cold milk
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Grate butter into the dry ingredients. Toss the butter and dry ingredients until the butter is coated.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients. Add in your cold milk.
- Make a "claw hand" with your fingers and loosely combine the dry with the wet with your hand until the mixture just begins to stick together. DO NOT OVER MIX or you'll get hard rocks instead of biscuits.
- Dump the mixture onto a floured surface and push together into a mound.
- Roll out to 1/2". Fold in half and roll out again. Repeat rolling and folding for a total of 3 times. This creates the flaky layers in our biscuits that we want!
- Cut biscuits out with a round cutter by pressing down and straight up. Do not twist or you will seal your layers together. Finish with an egg wash and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the top of the biscuits are golden brown.