December 19, 2020 - 9:39am
I've been working with a Biscuit recipe for about a month now. The recipe is Basic Southern Biscuits, from the book Southern Biscuits by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart. The recipe follows:
- 2 1/4 cups of Bob's Red Mill Unbleached White Fine Pastry Flour (a soft flour)
- 8 tbs butter
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 1/3 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup of milk
The directions are:
- Heat the oven to 425 degF
- Mix ingredients
- Incorporate butter by hand, 1/2 tbs at a time
- Add the milk.
- Form the dough. The dough is shaggy.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes
From the outside, the biscuits look very flaky. But, when I open them, the inside is doughy, instead of flaky. What do I need to do to have flaky biscuits?
Procedures are the key to biscuit flakiness.
Temp of the butter, and how you incorporate it is crucial.
Also crucial is how you fold the dough to make layers, prior to cutting.
at this link: https://www.bonappetit.com/story/best-biscuit-tips
view the first embedded video. That video starts playing automatically in silent mode, so you have to un-mute it and then move the time-slider thing back to the beginning to hear and see the whole thing.
Read the article too. After both reading the article and viewing the video it should make sense.
Dear Street Scooby,
I've ben making sourdough biscuits and I have to grate the butter into the flour and mix as I grate then mix in the wet sourdough and they stay pretty flaky. When I mix it in other ways it doesn't stay flaky. Hope this helps.
Thanks, Big Crusty!
Doughy means not cooked enough.
Try longer baking time, or better yet lower temperature + longer baking time.
I would lower the temp to 400 deg F and bake for at least 30 minutes. Many home bakers pull the product from the oven before it is finished cooking, when a very slight golden color starts to become visible. My preferences is for a very full bake, meaning deep overall golden and brown color. For me this approach applies to bread and pastries. It's a personal preference, and always avoids "doughiness".
"Doughy means not cooked enough. Try longer baking time, or better yet lower temperature + longer baking time."
Agreed. changing the _size_ of the biscuits (scones, cookies, etc.) from what the recipe-author intended, often requires adjusting oven temp and time.
Thanks, idaveindy. Your reply makes a lot of sense. I'll definitely try this next time I'm baking biscuits.!
Thanks, semolina_man. This is a great suggestion! Will definitely try this next time I'm baking biscuits.
Are very much like scones except savoury instead of sweet. I imagine although taste wise they're different the method must be similar. I agree with semolina_man when he says doughy suggest underbaked but I'm also thinking perhaps they're over worked which might have added to the issue of not baking through properly. There is a good video on YouTube for scones which I'll post here and perhaps you can get a good idea of technique.
I see the potential for over working in your recipe.
Adding 8T butter 1/2T at a time means 16 times of adding butter and "incorporating". Then you add milk to a flour + fat mixture and it is going to take some working to get the milk into the dough.
The method seems suspect to me.
Can you melt the butter, or soften it significantly, combine it with room temperature milk, the combine gently with dry ingredients?
"Can you melt the butter, or soften it significantly, combine it with room temperature milk, the combine gently with dry ingredients? "
From everything I've read.... no. You want the small chunks of butter to remain, which helps with the flakiness.
Then... not over-working the dough tends to preserve the chunkiness of the butter.
Some recipes even call for chilling the butter for a few minutes in the freezer, then grating with a large-holed cheese grater.
Yes, this is similar to short crust pastry.
I have made scones in the past, and I need to dig up the recipe. In my mind, the recipe calls for melted butter, but I will try to confirm. The recipe I used was successful and very good.
Working solid butter into flour moistened with milk, or working milk into flour mixed with butter, seems like a good way to create gluten and toughness. A remedy for this is to rest the dough before baking. Chemical leavening, if used, may conflict with the idea of resting the dough do to time dependent action.
So, I have a strategy in mind now. Next time I'm going to grate cold butter into the flower, and not work it in with my hands. Then, I'm going to lower the temp to 400 degF and bake for 30 minutes. I'll keep ya'll posted it on how it comes out. Thanks so much for the feedback here!
Funnily enough, the best advice I got for keeping something flaky comes from Chef-Steps ultimate pie dough recipe. They cut their butter (with a knife or scraper) super thin and then again into small chunks, before stirring it into the dough and gently smearing the butter into flakes with their hands. They also use the "folding" process to help bring the dough into a cohesive mass. This method was for making pie crust (a near puff pastry like pie crust), but I find it works well for biscuits, too.
I would also minimize contact between your hands and the dough. Excluding the smearing step, I make sure to use a chilled bowl, metal spoon, and scraper to fold and bring my dough together. I don't use my hands directly otherwise.