A Home Cook’s Biscuit Primer

Country Fresh Biscuits
Country Fresh Biscuits

A Home Cook’s Biscuit Primer

American-style biscuits are groups of small baked goods with firm brown crusts and soft interiors. Biscuits, though varied in shapes, sizes and recipes have some basic characteristics:

  • Fats rather than lard, butter or cream give all biscuits their tenderness.
  • Flours, fats, liquid, and leavening enhances tenderness, fluffiness, and flakiness of the end products.
  • Minimal mixing checks gluten formation and a tough texture.
  • All biscuits taste best when eaten warm and fresh from the oven.

Although there are different methods for preparing and topping biscuits, the recipe ingredients are the same. Most recipes use:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Butter (softened)
  • Buttermilk
  • Shortening
  • White sugar

Cooking Tip: Shortening is any fat that is solid at room temperature and used to make crumbly pastry and other food products, (e.g., lard and margarine (excluding butter)).

History of The Biscuit

It’s noteworthy that the beautiful golden biscuit of today shares a lineage with the hardtack – the longtime nourishment of sailors and traveling soldiers.

The word ‘biscuit’ which was coined from the medieval Latin word ‘biscoctus’ means ‘twice -cooked,’ describes the cooking technique of biscuits in those days.

It was the early European settlers in the US that introduced a simple style of cooking usually based on ground wheat and warmed with gravy.

In the early 19th century, the biscuits emerged as a distinct food type with cooks producing cheaply produced additions to their meals that required no yeast, which was expensive and difficult to store. Without a leavening agent, except pearlash, it was quite hard beating and folding the beaten biscuits in a bid to incorporate into the dough the air that causes it to expand and rise when heated in the oven.

The first biscuit cutter, a board hinged to a metal plate on which different biscuit cutter shapes were mounted was patented in 1875 thus providing a platform for rolling the biscuits out.

Today pre-shaped, ready-to-bake biscuits are sold in supermarkets in the form of small refrigerator cylindrical segments of dough encased in cardboard cans.

Biscuit Description

Beaten Biscuits

  • In beaten biscuits, the dough is beaten (for about 30-45 minutes) either against a hard object or with a mallet or any heavy object to give a classic texture which is both crisp and chewy.
  • Traditional recipes for beaten biscuits do not include any powder (or leavening agents) but uses the beating to incorporate air and develop the gluten
  • Traditionally served with ham and mustard.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

  • Flour shortages during the civil war led to combining pure white wheat flour with starchy sweet potatoes to make sweet potato biscuits.
  • The sweet potatoes add natural sugars to the biscuits dough and also maintain the fluffiness of the biscuit.
  • They taste great when eaten warm with a dab of butter.

Benne Seed Biscuits

  • These are usually prepared by toasting the seed of the benne seed plant and incorporating them into the dough.
  • Alternatively, the seeds are pounded into powder before being added to the flour.

Skillet Biscuits

  • Skillet biscuits are more about a cooking technique than a particular recipe.
  • It is made by cooking biscuits close together with their bodies touching in a cast iron skillet on the stovetop.
  • This cooking technique of blocking the lateral expansion of their neighbors causes them to rise higher.
  • Meanwhile, the skillet while giving the biscuits crispy and buttery edges also keeps their interiors fresh and soft.
  • It’s a good food for hot days.

Scones

  • A scone is a small quick bread made from wheat, barley or oatmeal usually with baking powders as a leavening agent.
  • American-style scones’ basics are flour, butter, sugar, egg and a riser.
  • They often have fillings like nuts, blueberries, strawberries,
  • Most fillings are spices like cinnamon and poppy seeds.
  • Eggs can be added for flavor and vibrant coloring, but usually, results in a slightly cakey texture.
  • They are often baked to a dry and soft-of crumbly texture with a slightly crusty brown top.
  • They are typically large and rectangular.
  • American-style mass produced scones tend to be doughier than the homemade ones.

Cooking Tip: Biscuits along with cornbread and soda bread are called quickbread because you use baking powder instead of yeast to make them.

Baking Powder Biscuits

  • Also called plain biscuits or buttermilk
  • Related to the scones, though not as sweet.
  • In making this, you use as little liquid as possible – just enough to allow the dough form a ball as too much liquid toughens the biscuits.

Rolled Biscuits

  • Rolled biscuits are a very popular baking powder biscuit.
  • During baking, it rises to about twice its original height with its interior being light, fluffy and tender, and the crust – a crisp, even golden brown.
  • Well-prepared rolled biscuits have a flat top with straight sides.
  • Horizontal circles around the sides indicate flakiness.
  • Its soft texture not only makes it an apt sponge for sausage gravy but also a vehicle for juicy strawberry shortcake.

Buttermilk Biscuits

  • These are rolled out, folded and aptly laminated to give e a structure of alternating layers of dough and fat.
  • These folds serve to create the biscuit’s flaky and peel-able layers.
  • They usually have a flat top and are cut out using a round cookie cutter (but can also be cut into squares).

Drop Biscuits

  • It takes about 25 minutes for a minimally stacked pantry to be prepared.
  • The preparation is done by cutting cold butter into the dry product: flour, baking powder, salt and the buttermilk.
  • The result is an irregular-shaped (amorphous) crusty and tender interior.

Angel / Cowboy Biscuits

  • It’s also called ‘combination biscuit’ because it uses both baking powder and yeast to create fluffy, buttery buns.
  • Though tender-textured like a biscuit, it has a spring, bread-like bite.

Cooking Tip: For bread-making beginning cooks, combination biscuits are a perfect place to begin as using the combination of leavening agents makes the recipe almost fail-proof.

Cream Biscuits

  • Cream biscuits are simply produced by whisking flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together.
  • Gently stir in a full-flat heavy cream to avoid gluten formation.

Different Types Of Biscuits

Drop Biscuits

  • It’s a biscuit made by dropping baking powder biscuits from a spoon into a pan for baking.
  • Addition of extra liquid to the dough changes its texture to look like stiff pancake batter such that small spoonfuls can be dropped into the baking sheet hence the name – “drop biscuits.”
  • Some drop biscuits because of their large size and rough exterior texture are at times called ‘cat head’ biscuits.

Rolled Biscuits

  • Rolled biscuits differ from drop biscuits in that the dough is rolled out flat and cut into rounds.
  • When baked, the round shapes expand into flaky, layered cylinders.

Angel /Cowboy Biscuits

  • Angel biscuits are a biscuit made from fine (soft) flour and owes its tender, light and texture and airiness to three leavenings: yeast, baking powder, and baking soda.
  • It is the yeast that also gives it its nice
  • They are also called ‘brides ‘

Scones

  • It’s a single-serving quickbread usually made of wheat, barley or oatmeal with baking powder (not yeast) as a leavening agent and baked in sheet pans.
  • It’s often sweetened and glazed with egg wash.
  • The American-style scones usually possess a higher ratio of fat to flour than British scones which are more buttery with some add-ins like dried fruits, nuts, and chocolate.

Shortcakes

  • Shortcakes are a sweet biscuit that is topped with fruits (usually strawberries), juice-based syrup and cream.

Baking Tips For Biscuits

The backing is a science. Everything from the slightest changes in ingredients to cooking temperatures, time, etc. can either make or mar your recipe. To forestall any ugly occurrence while ensuring that your biscuits turn out perfect, observe these seemingly simple tips:

Make Out Enough Time

  • Be sure to give your baking the time it requires – never rush the process because a few minutes can make a whole lot of difference.
  • Undertake the baking only when you have created enough time for it.

Study Your Recipe

  • Carefully study the recipe in detail to ensure that all ingredients you need are both right and ready before commencing your baking.

Pre-Heat Your Oven

  • Turn your oven to preheat while you are putting the ingredients together being mindful to pre-heat newer ovens for about 14 minutes and older ones for 20 minutes. Preheating allows enough time for the center of the oven to heat thereby letting the biscuits bake evenly.

Weigh Ingredient Correctly

  • Use a kitchen scale to get your weights right as incorrectly-weighed ingredients can make your baking attempts disastrous.
  • Measuring implements such as cups, spoons, should be used.

Use The Right Equipment

  • Your recipe determines the type of equipment use – bakeware molds, pastry molds, silicone spatula are a few that you will need.

Room Temperature Is Key

  • If your recipe demands that ingredients such as butter, milk, be used at room temperature, strictly adhere to it.
  • You may let the ingredients stand on the counter for a while to come to room temperature.

Begin With Easy Recipes

  • It is advisable to start off with easy recipes and gradually delve into the more complex ones when you are more confident that you’ve gotten a good hang on baking.

Use An Oven Thermometer

  • An oven thermometer should be kept in the oven to be exact with the temperature as you move on because there’s always the possibility of the oven temperature going off especially if the oven is an aged

Chill Your Biscuit Dough

  • If certain firmness is needed for your biscuit dough especially chilling, be sure to do so before using as this not only enhances the flavor but also turns out solid and fluffy biscuits.

Use A Pastry Bag

  • Use a pastry bag, a scoop, or cookie press to make even, drop cookies as it helps keep your biscuits similar in size, shape, and texture.
  • Using a special biscuit drop-scoop can also help make your end product uniform in size and shape.

Position The Cookie Sheets

  • If baking just a sheet of cookie, ensure that you put the oven rack in the center position.
  • If you are planning to bake more than one sheet of cookies at a time, the cookies closest to the heat source brown faster. Therefore, rotate the cookie sheets during baking to avoid uneven browning / over-browning.

Keep Your Oven Doors Closed

  • Avoid a situation where you continually open and close the oven door this can ruin your biscuits.

Test For Doneness

  • In testing for doneness, use a combination of the toothpick method and checking the biscuits color.
  • You may also carefully touch the biscuits’ tops while pressing down slightly – if they pop back, then they are done.

Cool Your Biscuits Before Stacking

  • Let the biscuits cool awhile on the baking sheet before placing them on cooling racks ensuring that they are not close together to avoid sticking
  • Stack them on each other only when they’ve cooled completely.0something like saran wrap, double- wrap the cooking dough and put in a zippered bag.
  • Mark the container to indicate the recipe type and date of production.
  • Use within the recommended storage time for best flavor and texture.

Cooking Tip: Most dough and cookies can be stored in the freezer for up to 6weeks.

Clean Utensils With Warm Water

  • Use warm (not hot) water to clean the utensils and mixing bowls after baking since (if) your dough contains flour as hot water causes the flour to clump and harden thereby making utensils harder to clean.

Related References

 How Almost Homemade Can Make Your Thanksgiving Meal Healthy, Fast And Easy

Rustic Thanksgiving Dinner Table
Rustic Thanksgiving Dinner Table

Benefits Of Almost Homemade Cooking:

Checks food wastage:

  • Almost homemade checks food spoilage and wastage as you incorporate items that are either too small for use or to be preserved into your dishes with no stress.

Higher nutritional value:

  • Almost homemade can be combined with prepackaged dishes in such a way that you either add or substitute the ingredients in order to beef up the nutritional value of some dishes while reducing the calories and fat levels.
  • Again, a particular ingredient in a prepackaged recipe that a family member is allergic to can be avoided by substituting it with other items from your stock. This can go a long way to checking food allergies and sensitization.
  • Many ingredients in products are chemicals which are detrimental to our bodies. In almost homemade, you can use natural ingredients that enhance color, taste For instance, pure vanilla, not artificial; real eggs not egg substitutes, butter not lard or margarine can be used.
  • You also have a chance of staying away from products that have been genetically altered to increase the size and some other factors by opting for organically grown items for your combinations.
  • In almost homemade, you to some extent put a check on not only the ingredients used in preparing the dish but also on how much of it you consume.

Makes for variety:

  • Fresh vegetables can be added to prepackaged dishes to create variations on a dish.

More servings from the same quantity:

  • You can have more servings from the same quantity of stock if you augment the prepackaged store-bought item with stocks like meat, fruit, and vegetables.

Brings the family together:

  • Almost homemade creates an opportunity for the family to spend time together. This has the advantage of not only letting the children learn about food preparation as they help either by reading the recipe aloud or by mixing some ingredients for use in the meal preparation.
  • More so, as they cook and eat meals together as a family, parents get the chance to groom the children on both healthy eating habits and good table manners.

 Money-saving:

  • With just a few selected items from the store, you can combine some fresh ingredients from your stock thereby spending less than you would have if everything were to be bought from the store.

Portion-control:

In almost homemade, you can regulate your food portions unlike in restaurants and fast food joints where you are usually tempted to eat almost everything that you are served.

Relieves stress:

  • Almost homemade can be both pleasurable and relaxing as both cooking and cleaning involve exercise and every form of exercise reduces one’s dopamine level as well as other mood-enhancing hormones.

Enhances creativity:

  • Almost homemade gives you the chance to be imaginative, creative and artistic. As you look forward to great recipes, you will try out ingredients that you have probably never used before.
  • You may also attempt making something that is usually in one form in a different form altogether.

How To Make Prepackaged Recipes Healthier

A good prepackaged recipe should have ‘real food’ ingredients. In other words, it should have carbohydrates, proteins, and fats which combine not only to keep you fuller for longer periods but also give better blood sugar control and a broader spectrum of nutrition. This implies that it should be low in sugar, low in salts, trans-fat free while tasting great.

The saturated fat content should be 3grams or less to make for a healthy heart.

The sodium content should be in the range of 500-600mg ie 2300mg daily for healthy people. For someone who eats four meals daily, that is 575mg per meal.

Basically, a healthy prepackaged recipe should be one that you can recreate in your own kitchen.

Armed with these facts, you need to look for recognizable natural ingredients in your store-bought  prepackaged recipe and follow these tips as you substitute or exclude certain ingredients altogether while giving your meals a taste and nutrition boost:

The Traditional Recipe for Roasted Turkey Dish

Turkey is a naturally lean source of protein. To make the traditional recipe for roasted turkey dish healthier, you should:

  • Remove any excess skin to reduce fat further.
  • Cut the salt content in half.
  • Add more of the flavored herbs: rosemary, oregano, and parsley.

The Traditional Recipe for Mashed Potato Dish

Mashed potatoes are naturally calorie-dense, particularly in carbohydrates. To make this dish healthier:

  • Substitute potato with cauliflower as you’ll be eating enough of starch in the course of the Thanksgiving day. This substitution really cuts down on carbohydrate and calories.
  • Substitute whole for skim milk and exclude butter so as to reduce total fat. This not only cuts down on the fats but specifically the saturated fats. It cuts 27 calories, and with the exclusion of cheese, cuts an additional 26 calories.
  • Substitute butter with trans-fat free margarine so as to decrease saturated fat, as butter is a tasty killer in the recipe due to its high-fat

Cooking Tip: For creamy mashed potato fans who love the texture, without the added regular cheese fats, Laughing Cow Cheese is recommended.

The Traditional Recipe for Stuffing

Due to the very high carbohydrate content of Stuffing:

  • Substitute the white bread with 100 percent whole wheat bread so as to increase fiber.
  • Substitute butter with olive oil, vegetable oil, or unsalted butter (my personal choice).
  • Add fruit such as diced apple, diced prunes, golden raisins.
  • Add additional diced fresh celery

Cooking Tip: A tablespoon of butter is equivalent to 2 teaspoons of olive oil.

A List Of Thanksgiving Day Almost Homemade Recipe Ideas

Related References

Thanksgiving Holiday Meal Plan

What is Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving is a U.S. holiday which is celebrated annually on the fourth Thursday of November every year. Thanksgiving is a time to gather family and friends and be thankful for what one has and enjoying a plentiful meal together.

The traditional American version of Thanksgiving dinner has the majority of its dishes made from foods native to America as the first Thanksgiving feast of 1621 contained such foods as wild turkeys, waterfowl, venison, seafood, fruits, pumpkins, etc. A Thanksgiving dinner would as such not be complete without foods as listed below:

Thanksgiving Dinner Menus/Traditional Foods & Some Side Dishes:

  • Turkey: This constitutes the main dish, usually prepared whole, stuffed, seasoned then roasted.
  • Stuffing/Dressing: This is the food with which the turkey is filled. Today it is served next to the main meal (a side dish).
  • Mashed Potatoes: This is a potato that has been boiled, peeled and crushed to give a soft and creamy paste with added butter, milk, and some garlic.
  • Gravy: Cooking the turkey and other meats usually produce juices which are turned into a thick sauce. This sauce is used to top mashed potatoes, meats, and other
  • Cranberry Sauce: Cranberries, grated lemon peel, sugar, and water are boiled and the mixture is simmered to give a sweet but slightly sour flavor.
  • Corn Bread Dinner Rolls or Angel Biscuits: Dinner bread adds variety and character to any table. While enable folks to grab and go.
  • Green Bean Casserole: Made by slowly cooking cream of mushroom soup, fried onions and green bean in an oven.
  • Candied Yam: Made by adding spices, brown sugar, butter, and marshmallow to potato and baked and can be used serves as a side dish.
  • Pumpkin Pie: A delicious, warm spice and pumpkin filling inside a flaky crust.
  • Pecan Pie: Made with pecan nuts, spices, and maple syrup.

Fix-Ahead Prep Tasks For A Stress-Free Thanksgiving

Fourteen Days To Thanksgiving:

  • Make a list of your guests.
  • Find out food allergies and drink preferences (a sure safeguard for undue embarrassment).
  • Write out the menu, a shopping list, cooking schedule, and timetable.
  • Decide on the fix-ahead dishes.
  • Plan to delegate duties: decide on people to help with the preparation, the helps they’ll render when to come; those to bring items like wine, side dishes, serving dishes, cooking utensils, Be sure that everyone involved is informed.
  • Gather the equipment needed – a large roasting pot for the turkey, meat thermometer,
  • If you’ll be baking pie for dessert, make the dough for the crust now and freeze.
  • If you intend using cheesecakes as part of the meal, fix it now and freeze.
  • If you choose to either barbecue, deep-fry or smoke the turkey, then do not stuff, let the stuffing come as a side dish.

Seven Days To Thanksgiving:

  • Clean out the refrigerator to make room for prepared dishes & groceries.
  • Go shopping & buy the frozen turkey and non-perishable ingredients for the dinner recipes.

Cook’s Tip:  Estimating that each guest eats about 1.3 pounds of turkey, round off by multiplying with the number of guests to attend, if ten, your turkey should weigh 13 pounds.

  • Gather other equipment like a cheese grater, strainer, electric mixer, differently sized mixing bowls, baking dishes.

Four Days To Thanksgiving:

  • Begin thawing the frozen turkey.

Cook’s Tip:  A 5-pound turkey requires 24 hours thawing time in the fridge.

40°F is the refrigerator’s turkey thawing time. (Defrosting  turkey at room temperature aids multiplication and breeding of bacteria)

Three Days To Thanksgiving:

  • Set the Table: Iron table linens, designate the serving platters, ensure the glassware and silver sparkle.
  • Prepare cranberry sauce, other sauces, jellies, and dressing. Refrigerate all.

Two Days To Thanksgiving

  • Tidy up the house, kitchen, and bathroom.
  • Brine the turkey. Refrigerate.

Cook’s Tip:  Brining the turkey before baking keeps it moist, tender and flavorful)

The container for brining should be big enough to hold the turkey and “brine mixture and also able to fit into the refrigerator.

  • Allow the frozen dessert to thaw in the refrigerator.
  • If making a gelatin dish is in the plan, do so now. Refrigerate.

Day Before Thanksgiving:

  • Finish preparing any pie you were making.
  • Do a second shopping now: Buy the perishables – salad greens, fresh bread /seafood,

Preparation (Mise En Place):

  • Prepare every ingredient for all the different dishes: wash, trim,  chop the vegetable, set out the spices,  herbs,
  • Clean and dry the salad greens, store in resealable plastic bags.
  • Prepare the fix-ahead mashed potatoes.
  • Set the table using your best dishes to give that ‘special occasion ‘ look, set out the flowers and other decorations.

Thanksgiving Day Dinner

Morning:

  • Prepare the turkey and put the turkey into the oven to roast, pay attending to cooking times guidelines, so, your turkey finishes at the appropriate time.

Cook’s Tip:  You could decide not to stuff, but serve it as a side dish,  which in modern times is a food safety recommendation.

  • Defrost every other frozen item.
  • Chill white wines and other drinks.
  • Set up the bar and other drinks you plan to make.

Mid-Day:

  • stand the finished turkey at room temperature.

Cook’s Tip:  Refrigerate any dish that’s ready more than an hour before dinner.

Thirty Minutes Before Dinnertime:

  • If the turkey is ready, let it stand while making the gravy and reheating side dishes.
  • Dress the salad now.

Dinnertime :

  • Carve the turkey.
  • Serve the meal.

Cook’s Tip:  Save the carcass drippings and remnants for turkey soup or slow cooker both.

After Dinner:

  • Wrap up every leftover within two hours.
  • Make coffee and tea, whip cream for pies and serve

Tips For Thanksgiving Meal Preparation

Tips For Preparing Turkey:

  • Remove turkey from refrigerator and allow to sit for 1-2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Place turkey in a shallow roasting pan with legs tied together and wings tucked underneath.
  • Coat the skin with herbed olive oil or butter and cover the bird with a thin aluminum
  • Add a cup of water to the bottom of the pan.

Cook’s Tip:  Since cooking varies according to the size of the bird, check the wrapper to ascertain its approximate cooking time.

  • Roast the turkey until the temperature of the thickest parts of the thigh, breast, wing, reaches 165°F or more.
  • In the last 1¹/2 hours of cooking time, remove the foil from the breast, baste with pan juices to aid browning; add more water if needed.
  • The turkey should sit for about 20-30 minutes before carving for the juices to evenly saturate the meat.

Tips For Making Stuffing/Dressing:

  • Make the stuffing slightly dry if you intend stuffing the turkey with it. This way it expands and moistens as the turkey roasts.
  • Dry the bread overnight at room temperature, then slice and bake in an oven to avoid sogginess.
  • Spoon the stuffing lightly into the turkey cavity. It won’t reach the desired 165°F if it’s too tightly packed.
  • If you’re baking your dressing in the oven, make sure it’s moist – add some butter, cold water or turkey stock.

Tips For Preparing Mashed Potatoes:

  • Use higher starch potatoes (the Russets or Yukon golds) for fluffy and smooth mash as well as easier flavor absorption.
  • Salt the water as the potato cooks for good and perfect seasoning.
  • Begin cooking the potato in cold (not hot) water, salt and heat to boiling before reducing to a simmer – this checks uneven cooking.
  • Drain the potato well after cooking then mash; this gives the original potato (not water) taste.
  • Add the flavoring at room temperature– melt in the butter, mash in the warm milk; this makes for easy absorption and won’t cool the potato down.
  • Do not mash in the potato too vigorously (g., with a food processor) or for too long. Gentle mashing gives light and fluffy spuds
  • Hold the prepared potato in a slow-cooker on ‘warm’ setting. Fluff the potatoes up again just before serving.

Cook’s Tip: Potatoes don’t take kindly to sitting around for long

Tips For Preparing Candied Yam:

  • Wash, peel and slice yam into thick circles.
  • Melt butter over medium heat.
  • Add sugar; stir and blend well. Stir in whipping cream then cinnamon, nutmeg, maple and vanilla extract.
  • Taste and pour mixture over yam.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  • Remove foil, bake for another 20-25 minutes.

Cook’s Tip:  Slow-cooking the yam in the mixture; letting them bask in the syrup sweetens them through.

Tips For Preparing Cranberry Sauce:

  • Sort the cranberries. Pick out and discard any with stem, Rinse and drain.
  • Combine the cranberries with citrus fruits and granulated sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir well.
  • Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, at which point the mixture looks loose and liquidy with a deep purple color.
  • As it cools, it clumps and thickens up.
  • Can be served chilled or at room temperature.

Cook’s Tip:  After cooking, you may add water to get the sauciness and thinness you desire.

Tips For Preparing Green Bean Casserole:

  • Salt some water in a pot, add the green beans.
  • Cook for approximately 6 minutes, drain and plunge immediately into ice water to stop further cooking.
  • Melt the butter for cooking over medium heat until foaming subsides.
  • Cook the mushroom for about 6 minutes until it’s released water evaporates.
  • Add flavor, broth, and cream; reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens.
  • Season with salt and pepper, then add green beans to sauce. Stir until evenly coated.

Cook’s Tip:  Allow the green beans casserole to thaw 1-3 days before the Thanksgiving Dinner.

Heat the casserole in a 425° oven for 10 minutes. Add the topping, bake for 1-20 minutes/until top turns golden brown and the sauce is bubbly on the edges.

Tips For Making Gravy:

  • Measure ¼ cup of turkey fat drippings from roasting bowl into the bowl for making gravy. (Be accurate because too little fat makes the gravy lumpy)
  • Cover over medium heat while stirring continuously.
  • Stir until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Stir in the liquid.
  • Heat to boiling as you stir constantly.

Cook’s Tip:  Straining the pan’s drippings before adding them produces a smooth gravy.

Tips For Making Pumpkin Pie:

  • Canned pumpkin is 100% canned pumpkin, nothing else added.
  • Canned pumpkin pie mix contains pumpkin puree along with traditional pumpkin pie spices and sugar – just add milk and
  • For a glistening effect, brush top and edge of pie crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar before baking.
  • For a golden brown effect, brush top and edge of pie crust with a beaten egg yolk mixed with one teaspoonful milk before baking.
  • Mashed cooked fresh pumpkin do not substitute canned pumpkin puree in baking recipes calling for homemade mashed pumpkin as they can have higher moisture content than canned pumpkin puree.
  • Pumpkin desserts do not have to come in the form of a pie.

On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, stores across the country make huge sales; people wait in lines even for hours to buy cheap products usually for use as Christmas gifts.

The Thanksgiving holiday concludes on Cyber Monday when stores move their sales to the internet.

Whether you live in America or not, as this year’s Thanksgiving comes up, remember to give thanks for everything you have.

Related References

Ask The Cook – How to make Muffins and cupcakes easier to remove from their liner?

Cupcake With Liner
Cupcake With Liner

When working with muffins and cupcakes many cooks prefer to take advantage of liners, but often the finished cupcake or muffin sticks to the liner and can be messy to remove.  To prevent this problem, simply place your liner in the pan and give it a lite coating of your favorite cooking spray.   Usually, unflavored cooking sprays work best.  Floured cooking spray, such as ‘Bakers Joy’ may also be used.

Orange Sour Cream Muffin Recipe

Orange Sour Cream Muffins
Orange Sour Cream Muffins

Orange Sour Cream Muffins

Take one bite of these delicious muffins drizzled with a decadent glaze and you’ll see why these rich, tender muffins are a big hit for breakfast, brunch or anytime snack.

The orange juice provides a wonderful flavor, while the sour cream makes each bite of these mouth-watering muffins moist.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredient

US measure

Metric measure

All-purpose flour1 ¼ cups300 ml
Baking powder1 tablespoon15 ml
Unsalted butter, melted½ cup120 ml
Sugar2/3 cup160 ml
Sour cream1 cup240 ml
Freshly squeezed orange juice¼ cup60 ml
Orange zest1 large orange
Egg1 large
GLAZE  
Freshly squeezed orange juice¼ cup60 ml
Confectioners’ sugar1 ½ cups360 ml
Orange zest2 teaspoons10 ml

Recipe Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or grease with nonstick cooking oil.
  • For the glaze, mix confectioners’ sugar, orange juice, and zest. Whisk until smooth and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  • In another bowl, whisk butter, egg, sour cream, orange juice, and zest.
  • Stir in wet mixture into the dry ingredients just until moist.
  • Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cups.
  • Bake for 18 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let muffins cool for 10 minutes and dip muffin crown into the glaze.
  • Allow glaze to set for few minutes before serving.

Servings

This recipe makes twelve muffins.

How best to serve the dish?

Serve warm with cream cheese, orange juice or a cup of hot tea.

How to store

Store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for two days or allow muffins to cool completely before wrapping them with foil, then store in the fridge.

How long can it be stored?

You can store muffins in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Frozen muffins can be stored for 3 months.

Related References

Banana Yogurt Muffin Recipe

Banana Yogurt Muffins
Banana Yogurt Muffins

Banana Yogurt Muffin

I’m a die-hard fan of muffins and have tried many recipes over the years, but banana yogurt muffin is on top the list of my favorite healthy muffin recipes. If you have tried different yogurt recipes that didn’t work, you must try this one. This recipe is really easy with good direction.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredient

US measure

Metric measure

Low-fat vanilla yogurt1 cup240 ml
Vegetable oil¼ cup50 ml
Low-fat milk2 teaspoons10 ml
Flour2 cups480 ml
Baking powder1 tablespoon5 ml
Ground cinnamon¼ teaspoon1.25 ml
Sugar½ cup120 ml
Salt½ teaspoon2.5 ml
Banana2 ripe
Eggs1

Recipe Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C.
  • Prepare muffin pan with nonstick vegetable spray.
  • Cut the ripe bananas into small pieces and keep aside. Don’t mash them
  • In a small mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg.
  • Add the milk, yogurt, and vegetable oil. Stir the mixture until well combined.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. The flour, cinnamon, sugar, and salt.
  • Slowing pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and lightly stir with a rubber spatula.
  • Add the chopped bananas and stir gently.
  • Fill muffin cups with the batter to 2/3 full
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes and insert a toothpick into the center of one muffin. If it comes out clean, it’s ready.
  • Remove the muffins from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Enjoy your delicious Banana Yogurt Muffins.

Servings

This recipe is for 12 servings.

How best to serve the dish?

Serve warm with a cup of hot tea or your favorite drink.

How to store

Allow muffins to cool completely. Store muffins in an airtight container. Line the base with a paper towel and cover the muffins with another paper towel to soak up the moisture. Put muffins in a freezer bag and store in the freezer.

How long can it be stored?

Muffins can last up to four days in airtight containers and up to 3 months when they are frozen.

Related References

Angel Biscuit Recipe

Angel Biscuit
Angel Biscuit

Angel Biscuits

If you’re new to baking, here’s introducing to you the great recipe of ‘Angel Biscuit.’  It’s an aa good recipe for new brides and beginner cooks because it’s fail-proof. It’ll always rise.It will put to an end your constant search for the perfect recipe.  Lard makes this recipe work and gives it a lightness that doesn’t come with butter but also ensures that the flavor of the buttermilk is not overpowered. The recipe’s three types of raising agents: baking powder, baking soda, and yeast gives it a soft, fluffy-textured which is half-bread and half-soft roll.

Recipe Ingredients:

          Ingredients

 US Measurement

 Metric Measurement

Lard, chilled (or shortening)1 cup224g
Water warmed to body temp.¼ cup60ml
Dried yeast, fast action¼ ounce7g
All-purpose flour, plain5 cups720g
Sugar, granulated¼ cup44.75g
Baking powder, homemade1 tablespoon15g
Baking soda1 teaspoon5g
Fine sea salt1 tablespoon15g
Buttermilk, room temperature2 cups480g
Butter, unsalted2 tablespoons30g

Recipe Instructions:

  • Begin by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Measure The Lard:

  • Measure out the required quantity of lard using a digital scale.
  • Cut the lard into large cubes; put it into a bowl and place back in the refrigerator for it to retain its firmness until when needed.

Note To Baker: Coldness helps it to cut into dry ingredients without melting into the butter. Melting Butter is key to a soft texture.

Activate The Yeast:

  • Have some tap water warmed to just above body temperature (100 degrees F or 38.7 degrees C ) using an instant thermometer.
  • Measure out the needed quantity of water into a small bowl.
  • Put in the dried, fast action yeast, mix with your finger and leave to stand for 5 minutes for complete dissolution.

Mix Dry Ingredients:

  • Gather the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder (homemade if possible), baking soda and fine sea salt into one large bowl.

Note To Baker: The preservative, aluminum sulfate, contained in commercial baking powder imparts an unappetizing metallic taste to baked products mostly noticeable in quick bread, scones, and muffins. To avoid this occurrence, it is advisable to use homemade baking powder which can be prepared using the recipe beneath this write-up.

  • Whisk them together for about 30 seconds to be sure that all the ingredients are properly mixed up.

Coat The Lard:

  • Collect the lard from the refrigerator and toss it into the flour mixture.
  • Lightly coat the lard cubes with the flour using either a wooden spoon or a pastry cutter.

Note To Baker: This checks a situation where the lard sticks to the pastry cutter or your hands.

Combine The Lard And The Dry Ingredients

  • Quickly combine the cold lard and the dry ingredients using either a pastry cutter which is faster or your hands. Keep pushing down and twisting the cutter until you have a mixture of both large-sized pea pieces as well as breadcrumb-sized pieces.

Combine The Milk & Yeast-Water Mixture:

  • Pour the buttermilk into a glass measuring jug, add the yeast-water mixture that you set aside earlier into it; give it a quick stir for proper combination.

Knead In The Milk & Yeast Mixture:

  • Using the end of a wooden spatula, make a large well in the flour mixture; pour in the buttermilk and yeast mixture, stir until the mixture just combines– you should still have a very sticky mixture.
  • Now, lightly flour both the work surface and your hands; transfer the dough to the floured work surface.
  • Knead delicately for 6-8 times until it thoroughly combines – the dough should still have a measure of stickiness so be careful not to overwork it.

Roll & Cut:

  • Split the dough into two parts and set one-half aside; leave the second-half still on the work surface.
  • Using a rolling pin and your hands, form the dough into a disc of about ½-inch thick with a 2½-inch drinking glass or a round biscuit cutter, cut out the biscuits.

Transfer, Cover & Proof:

  • Move cut-out biscuits to the parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure you leave a bit of room, about 1-inch, around each biscuit so that they have room to rise.
  • Loosely cover the baking sheet with a cling film; let the biscuits rise for about 40-45 minutes.
  • With your oven preheated to 450 degrees F or 230 degrees C (Note To Baker: 210 degrees C, if you are using a fan oven), bake until the tops of the biscuits are a golden brown (should be in 10 minutes).

Test For Doneness:

  • You may test for doneness by checking for when the biscuits’ color turns to a golden brown.
  • You may also carefully touch their tops as you press down slightly – if it pops back up, then it is done.
  • Once the biscuits are out of the oven, brush their tops with a good salted, melted butter.

Note To Baker: This final step makes a whole lot of difference and should not be ignored.

Serving:

  • This Recipe makes 30 half-inch biscuits.

How Best To Serve The Dish:

  • They are best enjoyed hot out of the oven.
  • Can also be served warm at room temperature.
  • You can freeze, and reheat to serve
  • Can be served with country ham and a fried egg on top.
  • Can be whipped up for a holiday meal.
  • It’s ideal for parties and brunch.
  • You can serve it with a smear of Brooke’s Mustard Dip and a slice of country ham for a delicious breakfast sandwich.
  • It can be served with soup on a Sunday roast.
  • Some people like it warm with mild, melted cheese and a few slices of good country ham.
  • It’s equally good when split in half and served with butter, honey or jam.

How To Store

Baked Biscuits:

  • Allow the baked biscuits to cool awhile on the baking sheet before transferring them to the cooling racks; do not place them too close together to avoid them sticking together.
  • Stack them on each other only when they have completely
  • Tightly wrap the biscuits in heavy-duty aluminum foils/freezer wraps or package them in freezer bags.
  • Label the package with the recipe name and date.
  • Store at zero degrees F or lower.

Unbaked Biscuits/Dough:

  • Put your cut-out unbaked biscuits on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 hours.
  • Put your prepared dough in a glass air-tight container and store in a refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Using a saran wrap, double-wrap your dough and put in a zippered bag. Label the package to indicate the recipe name and date. Stores up to one month in the freezer.

HOW LONG TO STORE:

Biscuits:

  • Tightly- wrapped biscuits, packaged in freezer bags stores up to one month.

Dough:

  • Cut-out unbaked biscuit dough stores up to 2 hours in the freezer.
  • Prepared dough put in a glass air-tight container stores up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
  • Double-wrapped dough inside zippered bag stores up to one month in the freezer.

NOTE TO BAKER: Most dough and biscuits store up to 6 weeks in the freezer.

TIPS FOR HOMEMADE BAKING POWDER

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons, cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon, baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon, cornstarch (corn flour)

YIELD:

  • 3 tablespoons (or 6 teaspoons) of baking powder

DIRECTION:

  • Measure out the cream of tartar, baking soda, and cornstarch into a small bowl.
  • Using your small sifter, sift the mixture back and forth between two bowls until it combines properly.
  • Place the sifted mixture (baking powder) into an air-tight container
  • Store in a dark cupboard for about 6

Note to Baker: Double or halve the quantity in the recipe to get your needed quantity.

Related References