Simple, fluffy biscuits

This originated in The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, which I consider basic equipment for genteel middle-class living. Here "biscuits" is the North American meaning of the word and not the Commonwealth meaning of the word. In England these would be called "scones."


(makes 10-12)


  1. Preheat oven to Stir together the flour, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Make a well in the center. Pour in the milk all at once.
  3. Stir

just until dough clings together; no
  • Knead gently on a lightly floured surface for 10-12 strokes.
  • Roll or pat to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut with a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter, dipping the cutter into flour before each cut.
  • Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in a oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden.


    Lots of cookbooks tell you to use two knives, or some such, to do the cutting-in of the first step. Forks work fine for me (I'm a klutz.)

    All of the trick to making light, fluffy biscuits is in how you handle them: the less, the better. You can make these as drop biscuits (skip the rolling; drop batter by tablespoons, and bake); they're even better for the lack of handling.

    Outside North America you might not know what "shortening" is. Use butter, margarine, copha, or lard. Vegetable shortening really is better for this recipe, but don't forget lots of butter to put *on* them.... I make these for study breaks. They disappear at an exponential rate....


    Difficulty: easy.
    Time: 10 minutes preparation, 10 minutes baking.
    Precision: measure the ingredients.


    Jean Marie Diaz 
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass., USA 
    Recipe last modified: 27 Mar 87

    Original header

    Path: decwrl!recipes
    From: ambar@ATHENA.MIT.EDU (Jean Marie Diaz)
    Newsgroups: alt.gourmand
    Subject: RECIPE: Biscuits supreme
    Message-ID: <11697@decwrl.DEC.COM>
    Date: 25 Sep 87 03:10:20 GMT
    Sender: recipes@decwrl.DEC.COM
    Distribution: alt
    Organization: MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
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