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Last Post - Biscuit technique & other matters


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Last Post - Biscuit technique & other matters

DavidH | May 23, 2002 05:26 PM

After thinking about this over night I will no longer post or participate on the board. Lets just say I have a problem with some selective deletion of posts and let it go at that. If I have learned anything at my age it
is to mean what you say and this is exactly what I mean. I will return and look once in awhile. Any further posts under the name DavidH will not be me. I do want to say that there are a great bunch of posters here (many with a far better culinary backgrond than mine) and I do appreciate your allowing me to spend a short time with you. It was fun.

Odds & Ends..

I tried the kosher empire chicken breasts today and you were correct.. they are much better than supermarket brands. When the peaches start hitting the shelves look for a small doughnut shaped one.. they are expensive (6 to 7 bucks a lb) but they may be the only peach in the
store with any taste.

Biscuits & sausage gravy..

It took me nearly two years to make a decent biscuit but now I make a pretty good one. I must have read every article and looked at every recipe on the internet. A lot of the methods and ingredients have been discarded but some have remained. I am curious as to what techniques you use. Also, when I went through N.C. last year (expecting to eat BBQ) I became addicted to biscuits and sausage gravy. What could be better
than fresh orange juice, hot coffee, biscuits and sausage gravy in the morning.

I have some sausage questions. First I have been using mild italian sausage. I tried just to saute it but I think it becomes a little dry and hard. I now am breaking it up into little chunks and putting it in about 1/8 cup of water in the skillit(covered) for about 5 minutes and then (uncovered - water gone) for about another five minutes. Is this the way you prep it before you throw it into the gravy. Also for a pizza I simply make little chunks and throw them on the pizza and into the oven. Is the the way you do it. Seems like this is what I have seen at pizza parlors. This is raw sausage I am using. Would cooked sausage work in both cases.. would andouie sausage work ok.

Here are some of the techniques I currently use..

I freeze both the butter and solid cisco shortening for at least one hour. I have a single plain grater which I lay flat over the bowl of flour and ingredients. I then grate the butter and shortening into the bowl. I keep a fork in the bowl and turn what is grated into the
flour as I go along. This makes for a high rising biscuit and is much better than using a pastry tool or your fingers. You will leave a little on the grater so increase your portions slightly.

I place the biscuits so they slightly touch each other. This helps in rising. I had abandoned this at one time but came back to it.

Round or square: I now flaten my dough out to an elongated rectangle and then cut square biscuits. All the leftover dough from round biscuits is wasted. If you mesh them together they are barely eatible and if you just bake the odd ball shapes they don't seem as good.

Pat or roll: I believe that the dough should be lightly kneaded about 5 to 10 light kneads. I can't give you a culinary explanation as all my results are based on trial and error.

Here are some techniques I am not sure of and still testing..

I tried to use the crescent technique of layering. I rolled the dough out to an elongated shape and then started to fold it back over multiple times. Still need to test this some more.

I am about ready to discard this.. which is to put the biscuits after cutting into the frig for overnight to rise some more.. I think this gives the gluten a chance to relax. Just not sure about this one.

Anyway, I am curious as to what techniques you are using to produce that ultimate biscuit.

Happy Cooking

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