Dough and I do not get along – biscuits, pie crust, anything with yeast – it’s not pretty. For the most part I consider myself a pretty decent cook and baker, so it’s kind of frustrating that I can’t seem to master the whole dough thing. I’ve had some successes, but I feel they’ve been due more to dumb luck than to any real skill on my part. Along the way I’ve tried all sorts of tips and tricks. No-knead pie crust made with vegetable oil anyone? I wouldn’t recommend it, but I did try something else recently that seemed to work well. I got the idea from a pie crust recipe I tried for Thanksgiving. Instead of cutting cold butter into flour, you freeze the butter, grate it on the large holes of a box grater and just mix it into the flour with a fork. Voila! This past weekend I wanted to make some biscuits and decided to try the frozen butter method – it worked like a charm. I don’t know if it will work in all recipes, but it did the trick this time.
Adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen
Following is the original recipe. I just whisked the dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl, added the frozen/grated butter, mixed it all together with a fork, and then proceeded with the recipe as written.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup butter
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon until combined. Add the butter and toss with a fork to coat with the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal, with the butter pieces no larger than small peas. Add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times, gradually adding additional flour as needed. With floured hands, press or pat dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Sprinkle top of dough with additional flour. Fold dough over onto itself in 3 sections, starting with 1 short end. (Fold dough rectangle as if folding a letter-size piece of paper.) Repeat entire process 2 more times, beginning with pressing into a 3/4-inch-thick dough rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches).
Press or pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut with a 3-inch round cutter, and place, side by side, on a parchment paper-lined or lightly greased jelly-roll pan.
Bake 13 to 15 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown.
While biscuits are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, salt and milk. Spread on warm biscuits before serving.
Yield: 8 biscuits.