With a recipe for biscuits using self-rising flour, you can quickly make light, fluffy biscuits.
What is Self-Rising Flour?
Self-rising flour is flour that has leavening added to it. Henry Jones first created it in 1845. The benefit of using self-rising flour is that the leavening, which is usually baking powder and a bit of salt, is evenly distributed throughout the flour giving you a consistent result in your baked goods. The problem with self-rising flour is that it usually comes with a "use by" date. While flour won't last indefinitely, self-rising flour, because of the inclusion of the baking powder, will have a shorter shelf life. This shorter shelf life isn't a bad thing considering the convenience and consistency that the flour offers. If you want, you can make your own self-rising flour. Knowing the ratio of baking powder to flour may not always be necessary but it will come in handy if you have a recipe for biscuits using self-rising flour and happen to be out of self-rising flour. To make your own self-rising flour, you will need:
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- Mix very well.
Baking powder is a combination of baking soda, an acid (usually cream of tartar, but it can be any other acid in powder or salt form), and starch to help keep the mixture from lumping up from humidity.
Why We Are Not Using Buttermilk
Most recipes for biscuits using self-rising flour will be very basic. In general, recipes for buttermilk biscuits will not use self-rising flour. The reason behind this is that self-rising flour has a large amount of baking powder in it. Comparably, recipes for buttermilk biscuits will have at least half the amount of baking powder-to-flour ratio than is found in the standard self-rising flour. Since buttermilk itself is acidic, adding another acid to the baking powder would leave residual acid in the biscuits. This will cause your biscuits to have a chemical or metallic taste. Buttermilk biscuits will usually use baking soda to help neutralize the acids in the buttermilk.
Butter vs. Shortening
When I was first taught how to make biscuits, I used a combination of butter and shortening. Since then, I have drifted away from using shortening for most things because of its high trans fat content. Sadly, despite its trans fat content, it does produce a flaky crust and biscuit. While butter is high in fat and it is a source of cholesterol, it has no trans fats and, I believe, adds a better taste and mouth feel to foods.
Always use unsalted butter. Always. Salt was originally added to butter to help preserve it. Since we have dependable refrigeration now we do not need to add salt to our butter. As a cook, you want to be able to control everything that goes into your food including the amount of salt. Unsalted butter is the only way to go.
Recipe for Biscuits Using Self-Rising Flour
- 1/2 stick of butter (2 ounces)
- 2 cups of self-rising flour
- 3/4 cup of milk (you will probably not need all of the milk)
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
- Put the flour and the butter in a large bowl.
- Using your bench scraper, cut the butter into the flour. The crumbs should be about pea size.
- Slowly add the milk and mix it into the dough using a fork.
- As soon as the dough is smooth and pulls away from the bowl, stop adding the milk and turn the dough out onto a floured workbench. You can use all-purpose flour to flour the work surface.
- Knead the dough for about five minutes until it is very smooth.
- Roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thick .
- Using a floured 2-inch round cutter, press straight down into the dough and then give the cutter a slight twist and remove the biscuit from the dough.
- Place the biscuits on a cookie sheet that has a sheet of parchment paper on it.
- Make sure the biscuits are slightly touching.
- If you want a deeper golden color, you can wash the biscuits with cream.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until done.
- Serve with any food.