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A biscuit is a small fast bread made with flour, fat (butter, lard, or shortening), chemical leavening (baking powder or baking soda), liquid (milk or buttermilk), and sometimes eggs and granulated white sugar. A good biscuit, in my opinion, should have a golden brown crust and be smooth, flaky, and moist enough to absorb a pat of butter when cut in half.
To make a decent biscuit, the ingredients must be mixed properly. While an electric mixer could be used, I prefer to mix the dough by hand with a pastry blender or my fingertips. By mixing the dough by hand, you can avoid overmixing it.
Let's take a look at how to make a scone biscuit.
2 1/2 cups (325 grams) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder.
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt.
1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated white sugar (optional).
1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks.
3/4 cup (180 ml/grams) cold milk (whole or 2% reduced fat).
1 large egg (50 grams), lightly beaten.
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) and position the oven rack in the center. Using parchment paper, line a baking sheet.
2. Sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl (if using).
3. Combine the dry ingredients and cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (use a pastry blender, two knives, or fingertips).
4. Stir in the milk and lightly beaten egg until the dough just comes together (the texture should be sticky, moist, and still lumpy).
5. Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface. Gently knead until it comes together. Roll or pat the dough to a thickness of 3/4 inch (2 cm). Using a lightly floured 3 inch (7.5 cm) circular cookie cutter, cut out biscuits.
6. Brush the tops with the milk or cream and place on the prepared baking sheet.
7. Bake for 15–17 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of a biscuit comes out clean.
8. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool.
9. Garnish with butter or milk and serve immediately.
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