Top 3 Biscuit Mistakes

Skillet-Biscuits-Full

It’s almost Sunday morning – time for biscuits! The mouth-watering smell of rising dough fills the house. Every second the aroma strengthens, enticing you to nibble on that flaky, buttery goodness. The timer goes off and you eagerly open the oven door, only to feel your mitt-clad hand lower and your mouth dry up. The dough is all spread out and hard as a rock, not to mention the burnt bottoms. Something obviously went wrong, but you followed the recipe to the letter. So what happened?

Even the best cooks have their moments. Environment and equipment play just as important of a role as ingredients and recipes. That’s why the baking experts here at Clabber Girl have come up with some clever solutions to the most common biscuit-baking mistakes.

1. I could build a house with my biscuits! They’re just too hard.

Overcooking or high oven temperatures yield brick-like biscuits that can appear to look just fine on the outside. Sometimes, using too many dry ingredients can harden the dough, too.

Solution: Lining your tray with parchment paper can help reduce the hardness. Also think about reducing the heat or cooking time. If this is a repeat offense, your oven is likely the culprit. Placing a thermometer inside will reveal if your oven needs calibrating. Try tweaking your process with these simple Skillet Buttermilk Biscuits.

2. My entire baking tray morphed into one giant, shallow biscuit. How do I keep my biscuits from spreading?

Using too much butter or hot baking trays can cause the dough to glide across the pan like molten lava. Overeager cooks too impatient to let the oven adequately preheat can also incur the dreaded biscuit spread.

Solution: Let the dough cool in the fridge for about 20 minutes before baking and make sure your baking pan is cool or, at least, room temperature. Try your new techniques on these savory Cheddar and Chive Drop Biscuits, the perfect companion for soup night. If your biscuits still spread, try substituting half the butter with shortening. They’ll have the same rich flavor, minus the soft spreading agent.

3. My biscuits have the perfect shimmer of light brown on top, but the bottoms are burnt to a crisp.

If your oven is too hot or you’ve placed the tray too close to the heating element, your biscuits can look golden on top, but black on the bottom.

Solution: If your oven doesn’t heat evenly, try turning the tray at the halfway point and also place it on the middle rack, not the bottom. Parchment paper can also help prevent burnt bottoms. Pick up a roll as you grab the ingredients for Clabber Girl’s incredible Smoked Bacon Biscuits.

Biscuits are a food that should make you just as happy baking as eating. Few things are as disappointing as a baking disaster. Making these few simple adjustments can turn your biscuit breakdown into a kitchen conquest!

10 Cooking Tips for College Grads

 10 Cooking Tips for College Graduates

1. Get yourself a slow cooker. Sure, it’s not glamorous, but with this kitchen workhorse you’ll have the next best thing to Mom’s home-cooking ready and waiting when you get home.

2. Invest in a few good knives. Nothing makes chopping more frustrating and downright dangerous than cheap, dull cutlery. The basics–a paring knife, serrated knife and chef’s knife–will make meal prep so much easier and safer!

3. Plan ahead. Lack of planning will break your food budget faster than you can say ‘Chinese take-out.’ Get in the habit of making a weekly menu, and planning your shopping list in advance. Take advantage of sale items–if ground beef is on sale, buy extra, cook it all at once and designate half for burritos and the other half for a meaty lasagna.

4. Think high protein, low cost. We’d love to eat fresh salmon and steak every meal, but let’s face it, we’re paying off student loans now! Stretch your budget by choosing less expensive cuts of meat and incorporating other protein sources like beans and quinoa.

5. Buy in-season. Choosing produce in season is not only cost-effective, it also guarantees the most flavorful ingredients. Check your grocery or farmers market to find out what is in abundance.

6. Get your java fix at home. A daily coffee shop habit can add up in a hurry. Purchase good quality coffee beans, a grinder, and make your morning cup at a fraction of the cost. Check out roast master Chris Weber’s tips for perfectly brewed coffee.

7. Know the pantry staples. A well-stocked pantry is the key to kitchen flexibility. Building your stash of staples will mean fewer trips to the grocery store, and make it easier to try great new recipes on the fly. 

8. Master a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe. Few foods are as comforting as homemade chocolate chip cookies. These all-American treats are a cinch to make, and will give you instant kitchen cred at the office pitch-in. Once you’ve mastered the basics, customize with cranberries, pecans, and more. 

9. Ask for help. There’s no shame in asking an experienced cook for guidance! Most people who enjoy cooking enjoy sharing their knowledge, so don’t be shy. 

10. Experiment.  Make recipes your own by experimenting with ingredient substitutions or adding your favorite spices. Adapt dishes you like to meet your individual taste. Get your creative juices flowing in the kitchen!