These farmhouse style baking powder biscuits are a tradition in our family. Incredibly easy to make, even on busy mornings, and perfectly light and tender, I love making these for my girls, just like my mom always made them for me.
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These biscuits are 1/2 of my favorite breakfast ever (the other half is a bizarre sounding but delicious concoction called “Macaroni & Eggs” that comes out of the Great Depression and as far as I know was invented by and only exists in my family – I will post that recipe soon enough as well because the world needs to know about it!). This is the breakfast I always, always ask for on my birthday or whenever I’m at my parents house and my mom asks what I want for breakfast. There is nothing, NOTHING as good as a steaming hot biscuit covered in homemade apricot freezer jam or creamy honey. It’s pretty much my ultimate comfort food and they are so fast and easy to make that I can carry on the tradition with my girls, getting these in and out of the oven in a jiffy so that Clara can eat them with raspberry jam (her favorite baking powder biscuit topping) before we have to head out the door for Kindergarten drop-off in the morning.
These baking powder biscuits don’t turn all golden and glossy on the top when you cook them, instead they just start to brown ever so slightly and then you know they are done. I’m sure if you really wanted a golden topped biscuit you could achieve it by brushing your biscuits with an egg wash or maybe cream before baking, but honestly, I don’t care about the extra step and I like the rustic, country look of simple baking powder biscuits.
My girls sit on the counter while I cut shortening into flour, baking powder, and salt with a pastry cutter, and then pull it all together with just enough milk to moisten everything. Then I turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it flat and the girls take turns cutting the biscuits out with circular cutters. For years and years I just used a small cup from the cupboard but supposedly the sharper the cutting tool you use, the more likely your biscuits will be to rise higher, hence switching to the biscuit cutter. I’m honestly not sure I’ve noticed a difference but if you want biscuit cutters, you might try these ones which are similar to the ones I have. It makes me happy that this breakfast tradition is as much about preparing the baking powder biscuits together as it is about eating them together. A friend and I were discussing this the other day and how we feel that our kids also tend to eat better when they have had a hand in the preparation of the food as well.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening using a pastry cutter or by rubbing it into the flour with your hands until combined.
Add milk all at once and stir in using a fork just to bring everything together into a shaggy clump. Try not to overwork the dough by stirring too much.
On a lightly floured surface, pat the dough into about a 3/4-inch thickness, then cut out using a biscuit cutter, or even just use a knife to create square biscuits and transfer to a baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until tops barely begin to brown and biscuits have risen. Remove from oven and serve with butter, honey and jam.
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