Monday, September 6, 2010
Mom's Tea Biscuits
While your oven heats, let me tell you that these are the greatest biscuits in the world. My mom always makes them when she makes homemade turkey soup. They are light and flaky and delicious. They make me think of my family squished around the table in the kitchen of the house where we grew up eating off the table that's now in my apartment from stoneware dishes that have retired to the cottage. The table got squishier as we got older, but the biscuits stayed the same.
As a terrible baker, I used to screw these up pretty consistently. As a kid, I remember adding 3/4 of a tablespoon of salt rather than the teaspoon. Those were gross. As an adult, I mixed up the cream of tartar and the baking powder. Luckily those never made it into the oven. Even if you have to start over again once you screw up the measurements, these are worth it. Plus, now that I'm getting over my baking phobia, I'm actually getting these right on the first try. They're pretty easy unless you're bake-a-phobic or a little stunned like me. The most important thing about this recipe is that you don't overwork the dough. You should handle it as little as humanly possible. Overworking will result in little hockey pucks. These are really quick too. My mom would put them in the oven once she added the potatoes to the soup (last ingredient), and they would come out of the oven right when the soup was ready to serve.
Okay, your oven's probably not quite heated, but you can start getting your ingredients together now. Enjoy!
Mom’s Tea Biscuits
Makes about 14
3 cups flour
4½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp cream of tartar
2½ tbsp sugar
¾ tsp salt
3/4 cups butter
1 slightly beaten egg
1 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 450°F
2. Sift together dry ingredients.
3. Cut in ¾ cup butter
4. Add egg and milk and stir until dough just comes together.
5. Turn out onto a floured surface.
6. HANDLING AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE, barely roll it out and cut with a floured cookie cutter or drinking glass.
7. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 12 minutes.
Pairs nicely with my mom's turkey soup or just some butter.