A. Prepare Baking-powder Biscuits. Use one-half of the following recipe:
Usual proportion for 1 c. flour
Add milk (find out how much is needed) to make (1) a stiff batter to be dropped from a spoon into muffin tins, or (2) a very soft dough which can be rolled out from one-half to one inch thick and cut into biscuit, or cut into small pieces and patted into shape. The dough should be so soft that it is sticky. Bake in an oven at 425-435° F. a. Bake one biscuit at once.
b. Bake another after letting it stand from fifteen minutes to a half an hour.
c. Bake a third biscuit in a slow oven.
d. Bake a fourth after kneading the dough or vigorously stirring the batter.
Compare the results and decide what precautions must be taken to make good biscuit.
B. Make Sour-milk Gingerbread.
Use corrected recipe in Question 4, Lesson XLVII.
There are two types of rolled baking-powder biscuits, one small and practically all crust, the other larger, lighter, and with comparatively little crust. To make the first, the biscuits are rolled thinner and baked farther apart than those of the second type which is, perhaps, the more conventional.
The biscuits, which are made so soft as to drop and which need the support of muffin tins to give them shape, are more crusty than the more usual rolled biscuit. They are often called "emergency biscuit", because they can be prepared so quickly.
After the liquid is added, any of these doughs should be worked as little as possible for, if they are, the gluten will be developed too much. This is the reason why the fat is worked in before the liquid. The fat can be cut in easily with two knives, or worked in with a fork, or rubbed in with the fingers. Since it is easier to combine the fat when it is cold, the first methods are to be preferred, especially in warm weather. With as stiff a mixture as this, there is no escape of gas from the dough and the biscuits can stand without harm for a time before they are baked.
In fact, standing for a moderate period is slightly advantageous, because it gives time for some of the gas to be evolved before the dough is baked too much to rise. With a batter such as is used in griddle-cakes, the gas evolved soon escapes, and if the batter is kept over until another meal more baking powder must be added before using.
Baking-powder biscuit dough, or a dough made with slight variations, is used in many ways. It is often used as a crust for meat pies, and sometimes for a deep fruit pie, in both cases there being no lower crust. It may also be used for fruit dumplings. Sometimes baking-powder biscuit dough is rolled out and sprinkled with maple sugar, or with sugar, cinnamon, raisins and currants or citron. The dough is then rolled up and cut off in pieces somewhat less than an inch thick, and baked as biscuit. This dough may have some sugar added in the making. Short-cake is only baking-powder biscuit dough with more fat, usually double the amount, and with some sugar added. Dutch apple cake may be made as a modification of the baking-powder biscuit recipe. To the dough made with one cup of liquid, an egg and two tablespoons of sugar are added. Sour milk or soda biscuit are made in exactly the same way as baking-powder biscuit, except that sour milk and soda replace the sweet milk and baking powder.
1. Write a recipe for soda biscuit.
2. Is the habitual use of hot breads to be recommended?
3. What is the advantage of patting baking-powder biscuit into shape, instead of rolling the dough?
4. If too much flour is used in shaping the biscuit, what is the result?
5. What is the difference in the result, if butter instead of lard is used as the fat? If half butter and half lard is used? What other fats may be used?
6. What is the effect on the texture of increasing the fat ?
7. What is the effect on the texture of increasing the sugar ?
8. How many average-sized biscuits will one cup of flour make ? How much flour would you allow for biscuits for breakfast for a family of five ?