Baking Powder Biscuits

For Kit-Cat cause I know I'll never get around to mailing her biscuits and if she can make sugar cookies she can make these. This is not my mother's recipe and I'm not against sharing up but my mother uses a lot of appoximations and I am convinced the only reason I am able to correctly follow her recipe is because I watched her make biscuits about twice a week for about 15 years. It would not be the best recipe to share. This recipe is rather similar.

The important thing to remember about biscuits it to not handle the dough very much. Handle it and roll it as little as possible.

I have made this recipe before. I'm sure I made them for Cat or for my former office or both before I was actually able to get my mother to write out her recipe for me. It's from The Great Big Baking Book, by Carole Clements. I got it on the discount table years ago and it was an excellent buy as I also use it for my sourdough bread.

Baking Powder Biscuits
1 1/3 cups flour
2 tbs sugar
3tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
5 tbs cold butter, cut in pieces (my mother never made her biscuits with butter, we always use shortening because it's cheaper - never, ever substitute margarine).
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat the over to 425F. Grease a baking sheet (I have *never* greased a baking sheet when making biscuits - just use a good nonstick one).
2. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
3. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender (piff! You have built in pastry blenders called HANDS) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. Por in the milk and stir with a fork to form a soft dough (fork??? again I say piff! Hands people, hands!).
5. Roll out the dough about 1/4 inch think. Stamp out circles with a 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter (if you don't have a cookie cutter use a glass).
6. Place on the prepared sheet and bake until golden, about 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Serve hot or warm.

Makes about 8 biscuits (depending on your cookie cutter).

I'm a big advocate of using your hands to mix the dough. It's easy to tell exactly when the dough is mixed enough. And if you are afraid of making your hands messy you shouldn't be fooling around in the kitchen in the first place. ;-) And again I stress, don't mess around with the dough more than you need too.

I'm making stew (I'll post about it later) and serving it with fresh biscuits. Yummy!