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59. BAKING-POWDER BISCUITS.--The ability of the housewife as a cook is very often judged by the biscuits she makes; but they are really very simple to make, and if recipes are followed carefully and measurements are made accurately, only a little experience is required to produce excellent ones. The principal requirement in making baking-powder biscuits, which are illustrated in Figure 11, is that all the ingredients be kept as cold as possible during the mixing. Tiny, thin biscuits may be split, buttered, and served with tea, while larger ones may be served with breakfast or luncheon. In order to utilise left-over biscuits of this kind, they may be split and toasted or dipped quickly into boiling water and heated in a quick oven until the surface is dry.

[Illustration: FIG. 11]

(Sufficient to Serve Six)

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tb. fat
  • 3/4 c. milk

Mix and sift the flour, salt, and baking powder. Chop the fat into the dry ingredients until it is in pieces about the size of small peas. Pour the milk into the dry ingredients, and mix them just enough to take up the liquid. Make the mixture as moist as possible, and still have it in good condition to handle. Then sprinkle flour on a molding board, and lift the dough from the mixing bowl to the board.

[Illustration: FIG. 12]

[Illustration: FIG. 13.]

Sprinkle flour thinly over the top and pat out the dough until it is about 1 inch thick. Cut the dough with a biscuit cutter, and place the biscuits thus cut out on baking sheets or in shallow pans. If a crusty surface is desired, place the biscuits in the pan so that they are about an inch apart; but if thick, soft biscuits are preferred, place them so that the edges touch. Bake 18 to 20 minutes in a hot oven.

[Illustration: FIG. 14.]

60. EMERGENCY BISCUITS.--As shown in Fig. 12, emergency biscuits resemble very closely baking-powder biscuits, and so they should, because the recipe given for baking-powder biscuits may be used for emergency biscuits by merely adding more milk--just enough to make the dough a trifle too moist to handle with the hands. When the dough is of this consistency, drop it by spoonfuls in shallow pans, as in Fig. 13, or on baking sheets. Then bake the biscuits in a hot oven for 18 to 20 minutes.

61. PINWHEEL BISCUITS.--To create variety, a baking-powder biscuit mixture may be made into pinwheel biscuits, a kind of hot bread that is always pleasing to children. Such biscuits, which are illustrated in Fig. 14, differ from cinnamon rolls only in the leavening agent used, cinnamon rolls being made with yeast and pinwheel biscuits with baking powder.

(Sufficient to Serve Six)

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tb. fat f
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 2 Tb. butter
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 Tb. cinnamon
  • 3/4 c. chopped raisins

To make the dough, combine the ingredients in the same way as for baking-powder biscuits. Roll it on a well-floured board until it is about 1/4 inch thick and twice as long as it is wide. Spread the surface with the 2 tablespoonfuls of butter. Mix the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle them evenly over the buttered surface, and on top of this sprinkle the chopped raisins. Start with one of the long edges and roll the dough carefully toward the opposite long edge, as shown in Fig. 15. Then cut the roll into slices 1 inch thick. Place these slices in a shallow pan with the cut edges down and the sides touching. Bake in a hot oven for about 20 minutes.

[Illustration: FIG. 15.]

62. BEATEN BISCUITS.--In Fig. 16 is illustrated a form of hot bread known as beaten biscuits. Such biscuits are used very extensively in the South; in fact, they are usually considered typical of the South. Formerly, all the lightness of beaten biscuits was produced by beating, but as the mixture is made today it may be run through a food chopper a few times before it is beaten. If this is done, the labor of beating is lessened considerably, beating for 15 to 20 minutes being sufficient. When the beating is finished, the texture of the dough should be fine and close and the surface should be smooth and flat.

(Sufficient to Serve Twelve)

  • 1 qt. pastry flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 c. fat
  • 1 c. milk or water

Sift the flour and salt and chop in the fat. Moisten with the milk or water and form into a mass. Toss this on a floured board, and beat it with a rolling pin for 30 minutes, folding the dough over every few seconds. Roll the dough 1/3 inch in thickness, form the biscuits by cutting them out with a small round cutter, and prick each one several times with a fork. Place the biscuits on baking sheets or in shallow pans, and bake them in a moderate oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

[Illustration: FIG. 16.]

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Hot Breads in the Diet | Principal Requirements for Hot Breads | Leavening Agents | Hot-Bread Utensils and Their Use | Preparing the Hot-Bread Mixture | Baking the Hot-Bread Mixture | Serving Hot Breads | Popover Recipes | Griddle-Cake Recipes | Waffle Recipes | Muffin Recipes | Corn-Cake Recipes | Biscuit Recipes | Miscellaneous Hot-Bread Recipes | Utilising Left-Over Hot Breads | Luncheon Menu