Home Bread-Bakers v115.n028.2

Mixing Biscuit Dough

Reggie Dwork <reggie@jeff-and-reggie.com>
Fri, 17 Jul 2015 23:02:51 -0700
                        Biscuit, Mixing Biscuit Dough

Keep the following in mind while mixing for biscuits:

To evenly distribute the leavening, combine the flour, leavening and 
salt in a mixing bowl and mix well.

Realize that some recipes also direct you to mix in sugar with the 
flour, leavening and salt.

Be sure the fat is cold. Add the fat to the flour mixture in heaping 
tablespoon-sized pieces, then, using a pastry blender, two knives or 
your fingertips cut the fat into increasingly smaller pieces. As this 
is done, be sure the smaller pieces are tossed with the flour 
mixture, coating and separating the pieces of fat.

Continue until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (about 1/8") for 
soft, fluffy biscuits.

For flaky biscuits or scones and shortcakes with a layered structure 
similar to croissants and a slight crunch at the edges, leave some of 
the fat pieces as large as small peas (about 1/4").

Add the liquid all at once and stir with a fork just until dry 
ingredients are evenly moistened and dough comes together. DO NOT 
OVERMIX. Dough will not be completely smooth.

Gather dough into a ball and knead on lightly floured surface quickly 
and gently, about 6 to 8 times, just until no longer sticky. The 
kneading is meant only to flatten the pieces of fat into flakes, not 
to blend fat completely with the flour. Kneading also activates the 
gluten in the flour just enough to give the biscuits enough strength 
to rise and expand, but not enough to make them firmer and chewy like 
yeast bread. Using too much flour and overworking the dough makes 
biscuits tough.