Biscuit Recipe

The Recipe

  • 2C flour
  • 1C milk
  • 6T short­en­ing
  • 1T (heap­ing) bak­ing powder
  • 1T (heap­ing) sugar
  • 1t salt
  • pinch of bak­ing soda
  1. Pre­heat oven to 325F
  2. Com­bine all the dry ingre­di­ents in a mix­ing bowl with a fork
  3. Com­bine the short­en­ing and the dry ingre­di­ents with a fork until you’ve got small­ish crumbs
  4. Add the milk and mix with a spoon until it is as con­sis­tent­ly mixed in as it will get. It will still be most­ly dry and won’t hold togeth­er. We’re talk­ing about a dozen stir/folds, it does­n’t take long.
  5. Flour a flat sur­face and put the bis­cuit dough on it.
  6. Flour your hands and form the dough into a loose mound, then flat­ten it out until it is about an 8x10 rec­tan­gle and half an inch thick.
  7. Use a but­ter knife (ok), pie serv­er (bet­ter), or bench scraper (best) to fold the dough into thirds like you would fold a let­ter to mail.
  8. Rotate 90 degrees so the long side is per­pen­dic­u­lar to you and flat­ten again.
  9. Repeat steps 7 & 8 once or twice more. If the dough begins to feel at all tough, stop.
  10. Flat­ten the dough into a rec­tan­gle a 1/2 inch thick, cut, and put onto a bak­ing sheet.
  11. Bake at 325F for 15 min­utes, then turn the heat up to 450F.
  12. When the oven reach­es 450F, turn it back down to 350F and keep an eye on the bis­cuits until they are as gold­en brown as you’d like them to be.

The Long-Ass Story Legally Required To Accompany A Recipe Weblog Post

The goal of this process is to make tasty bis­cuits in a short amount of time, with as lit­tle fuss as pos­si­ble. The goal with this recipe was not to make the best bis­cuits ever, or to flex at culi­nary tal­ent; but, to put it anoth­er way, to make bis­cuits from scratch that are as good as, if not bet­ter than, the stuff you get from a Pills­bury can. 

This recipe will get fresh, tasty bis­cuits into your bel­ly in less than an hour.

If you’ve got the time and mon­ey, feel free to freeze your but­ter and grate it with a cheese grater, buy high pro­tein flour, a fan­cy rolling pin, bench scraper, pas­try cut­ter, bis­cuit cut­ters, flour sifters, and mea­sure your dough exact­ly, refrig­er­ate it overnight, and nev­er actu­al­ly get your hands dirty while mak­ing bis­cuits. You do you, and have fun with it. I don’t think folks in the South mak­ing bis­cuits had most of those things (espe­cial­ly refrig­er­a­tion) and they made bis­cuits just fine.

You can make this recipe with noth­ing more than a fork, a knife, and a bowl.

That said, I have found a bench scraper, pas­try cut­ter, and bis­cuit cut­ter do save a lot of time. Remem­ber, fresh, tasty bis­cuits into your bel­ly in less than an hour.

I tried the Amer­i­ca’s Test Kitchen bis­cuit recipe, which was most­ly non­sense except for the fold­ing method. There are a cou­ple of oth­er tricks if you’re aim­ing for per­fect bis­cuits (Iike trim­ming the edges so they fluff even­ly), but the only tech­nique worth remem­ber­ing is the fold. The recipe I set­tled on is adapt­ed from J.P.‘s Big Dad­dy Bis­cuits.

Riffing on the Recipe

Use but­ter, use short­en­ing, use whole milk, but­ter­milk, or soy milk with a shot of apple cider vine­gar (if you want to make these veg­an). It does­n’t mat­ter. Chill­ing the ingre­di­ents does­n’t mat­ter. You can cut these bis­cuits square or round, but at least use the left­over dough so there’s no waste. Even if the franken­bis­cuit does­n’t look pret­ty, it tastes great, and you need to eat one of them right out of the oven any­way or are you even human? Use less or more fat to get the taste right, spread a lit­tle but­ter on the mid­dle lay­er of your fold­ing and you’ll get a clean place to cut your bis­cuits when they’re done. Tweak the bak­ing powder/baking soda lev­els and exper­i­ment with the fluffi­ness. Have fun.

The thing to remem­ber is that many recipes warn you about work­ing the dough too much. This is true, but this is only true in the kneading/folding phase, and you can tell as soon as it starts to tough­en up. Once that hap­pens you’ve already worked it too much, but with prac­tice you’ll find the sweet spot. Even slight­ly over-worked bis­cuits are still great, they just aren’t as fluffy.

Pics or GTFO

Bis­cuits pho­tos are most­ly chrono­log­i­cal. Now the last pho­to is what my bis­cuits look like most of the time, from scratch into my bel­ly with­in an hour.

Ancient Influencers

The more I learn about the rise of and wran­gling among the var­i­ous near-East­ern mys­tery cults of thou­sands of years ago (and to be clear, Chris­tian­i­ty is the cult that won out) the more par­al­lels I see with con­tem­po­rary cults of per­son­al­i­ty, espe­cial­ly with social media influ­encers. Pythago­ras had a gold­en thigh, Apol­lo­nius of Tyana lev­i­tat­ed, Simon Magus had all man­ner of signs and por­tents asso­ci­at­ed with him; Jesus could mul­ti­ply food, et al.

They’re essen­tial­ly brands com­pet­ing for fol­low­ers based on who has the best super pow­ers. I’m start­ing to get kind of worn down learn­ing about all of this, because the more I read and lis­ten, the more clear how the foun­da­tion­al ele­ments of this behav­ior have dri­ven the devel­op­ment of west­ern civ­i­liza­tion, to the detri­ment, destruc­tion, and icon­o­clasm of ancient Euro­pean cul­tures. The pop­u­lar­i­ty of these cults took hold in Greece, and when the Roman Imperi­um con­vert­ed, Chris­tian­i­ty (despite bru­tal internecine con­flict) had the resources and pow­er to turn cun­ning and blade to assim­i­late or crush their competition.

We are still obsessed with super pow­ers, and pow­ers greater than our­selves answer­ing our calls for help. A cult of per­son­al­i­ty requires its fol­low­ers to depend on the leader for guid­ance, ratio­nal­iza­tion, sal­va­tion. I’ve been try­ing to leave that sort of depen­dence behind me.

I need to focus my research on what rem­nants have sur­vived from the oral tra­di­tions that Chris­t­ian mis­sion­ar­ies have done their best to erad­i­cate. If I decol­o­nize myself with­out some sort of anchor in a cul­ture that is appro­pri­ate to me, all that would remain would be hollow.

I don’t think you can make a self with­out a sense of past, and I don’t think, no mat­ter how sec­u­lar or empir­i­cal you are, that you can engage ful­ly as a human with­out accept­ing an ethos that at some lev­el is religious.

A Twisty Maze of Little Passages, All Alike

I found a dirty brass case with glyphic/Latinate inscrip­tions on it that was being used as a door stop & deter­mined it con­tained a dae­mon of some sort. Con­sid­ered open­ing it or keep­ing it but ulti­mate­ly just wedged it back under the door.

Some­how end­ed up sort­ing through recipe books with a cool witch & her friend. We decid­ed to watch a movie & after I sprawled on the floor the cool witch did the same. I bash­ful­ly awak­ened from this one with alacrity.

In both of these cas­es, my apolo­gies if I blun­dered into some­one else’s dream.

I’ve been rumi­nat­ing on place and space and time. It’s been 15 years since I last wrote about not feel­ing like I have a her­itage to claim. Often, as a cis-het white guy, it feels like my her­itage is con­sti­tu­tive sole­ly of colo­nial­ism and patri­archy. After cen­turies of that amal­ga­ma­tion, I find lit­tle won­der in the dif­fi­cul­ty of an authen­tic (as seen by oth­ers) prac­tice. I have no idea exact­ly what kind of mutt I am.

I’m cer­tain­ly more aware of and try to be more del­i­cate when I might be engag­ing in an appro­pria­tive or co-optive activ­i­ty, but at the same time, try­ing to gain knowl­edge or prac­tice based upon my cul­tur­al or eth­nic back­ground seems arbi­trary. I’ve been con­nect­ed to the beech-maple for­est of the Ohio and Cuya­hoga water­sheds my whole life. If the land still remem­bers, I feel like I should engage with it in the lan­guages it rec­og­nizes. For me, prac­tic­ing Celtic shaman­ism, Nordic pagan­ism, Wic­ca, witch­craft, feels like only a mar­gin­al­ly less colo­nial prac­tice than Christianity.

At the same time, liv­ing a sec­u­lar life with­out rit­u­al, or with emp­ty rit­u­al, is unsat­is­fac­to­ry. The cel­e­bra­tion of Thanks­giv­ing suf­fers from dumb colo­nial mythos, but that does­n’t mean we should take it behind the shed and put a bul­let into it. For­get the myth, but retain the giv­ing of thanks. Grat­i­tude and gen­tle­ness. The way is a maze of twisty lit­tle pas­sages, all alike.

I wrote in a poem a long time ago, I’m still “learn­ing to ask the ground/with each fresh step/how best to walk upon it.”