I would like to take a moment to let everyone know that I’m a biscuit making fanatic! Biscuits are one of my favorite things to bake because there is nothing better than a fresh and fluffy biscuit straight out of the oven.
Throughout the years of making biscuits I have had several batches that wouldn’t rise, resembled hockey pucks, or were raw in the center; but each time this happened I learned something new about perfecting biscuits. There are only a few simple rules when making biscuits and I’m hoping you can learn from my mistakes by following these tips:
- Knead the dough as little as possible. I received this biscuit making tip from Mom Benson whose sister swears by this method. I saw a dramatic improvement in the height and fluffiness of my biscuits when I learned to stop mixing the dough when it just begins to come together. After this point, handle the dough as little as possible and only knead it about 3-5 times.
- When placing your biscuits in the oven make sure it’s hot and fully preheated. I made the mistake of placing my biscuits in a warm and not fully heated oven. Let’s just say those biscuits turned out flat and unimpressive.
- Eat the biscuits when they are fresh. There really isn’t any way to get around this one. A fresh biscuit is a delicious biscuits and day old biscuits just aren’t quite the same.
That’s it, 3 simple steps to biscuit making success. Most recipes call for cold butter but since I wanted to make vegan biscuits I substituted the butter for coconut milk which created a very tender and fluffy biscuit even though they are not as flaky as a traditional biscuit.
In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
I chose to use Thai Kitchen coconut milk because it contains a higher percentage of solids. If you have ever used coconut milk you know that depending on the brand they can have different ratios of liquids and solids. I used a fork to mix the coconut milk until it was mostly combined but there were still large chunks in the mixture.
Next, combine your liquid ingredients by whisking the honey and vinegar into the coconut milk with a fork. Vinegar plays two roles in this recipe. The first is to imitate the flavor of buttermilk and the second is to create a substitute for an egg by reacting with the baking soda.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Combine the mixture using a fork until it just starts to come together.
The dough will be sticky so it helps to have flour available nearby to coat your hands with and to prevent yourself from developing “dough gloves” on your hands. When I first started baking this was one of the most difficult and frustrating things to master. With practice I eventually learned I needed to sprinkle a little extra flour on my hands, the dough, and the surface I was going to transfer the dough onto before even thinking about kneading. I’m sure each person has developed their own technique for this process, but I find keeping an open bag of flour nearby is the most helpful method when working with a wet dough. This way you can dip into the flour bag anytime you feel the dough is sticking too much and prevent it from becoming a gooey mess that covers your hands and the kitchen counter.
So, with an open flour bag close by, turn the dough onto a well floured surface and handle it as little as possible, sprinkling extra flour as needed and only kneading 3-5 times.
Roll the dough out until it’s approximately 1/2 inch thick, then fold it in half and roll out until it’s approximately 3/4 inch thick. Folding the dough in half will create a line through the center of the biscuits making it easier to break them in half after they are baked.
Another lesson I learned when making biscuits is to not make them too thick. I made extra thick biscuits one time thinking I would have spectacularly tall and fluffy biscuits. I was disappointed to discover the biscuits were not able to cook fully in the middle and the center was slimy with raw dough. Very unappetizing I would have to say.
Use a cookie cutter or glass to cut out biscuits. Handle any leftover dough as little as possible but re-form it and roll it out so more biscuits can be cut out.
Instead of greasing the baking pan I usually just sprinkle extra flour on the surface to prevent the biscuits from sticking. I also sprinkle a little flour on top to create biscuits with a rustic and homemade appearance. If the extra flour isn’t your preference, you can use a non-stick spray on the baking sheet instead.
Pop them in a hot oven and let them bake until they are golden brown.
One of my favorite ways to eat biscuits is smothered in honey especially when I’m craving something sweet.
You can also enjoy them smothered with jelly, butter or any other topping you like as soon as they come out of the oven. I usually can’t resist indulging in at least one or two warm fluffy biscuits when they come out of the oven.
- 2 cups flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 cup coconut milk
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, use a fork to mix the coconut milk until the solids and liquids are combined but the mixture is still lumpy. Add honey and vinegar, mix to combine.
- Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients until dough just starts to come together.
- Turn onto a well floured surface, and barely knead the dough by folding it 3-5 times.
- Roll the dough out until it's approximately ½ inch thick, adding flour as needed. Then fold the dough in half and roll out until it's ¾ inch thick.
- Use a well floured cookie cutter or glass to cut out biscuits and place them onto a floured (or greased) pan.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes or until golden brown.