All of my biscuits turn out really dense, I was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to make a lighter fluffier biscuit?

asked 15 Oct '09, 17:45

mleighcannon's gravatar image

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Things that make biscuits dense - too much water, too much sugar, and working slowly. Using syrup instead of sugar makes even harder biscuits!

If you learn to judge the least amount of water that will give you a workable dough, instead of just adding the recommended amount, that is your best start. Then, work as quick as you can, and you should start to see an improvement.

There's only one real trick that works - substitute a little vodka for some of the water. The alcohol bakes off, so it doesn't combine with the mixture, and you get a flakier biscuit. It can make the biscuits taste a little odd with some recipes, but a couple of drops of vanilla essence usually sorts that problem.


answered 15 Oct '09, 18:40

klypos's gravatar image

klypos ♦♦
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One thing i discovered as far as cutting in butter is that if you have a cheese grater you can quickly grate the very cold butter into the flour and it is much easier than doing it by hand.


answered 14 Nov '09, 07:50

Adam's gravatar image

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I would say that klypos is right. when you add to much water and other heavy agents to the mix they will be harder. Good luck with this.


answered 16 Oct '09, 00:53

drazon's gravatar image

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Another trick is keep the butter or shortening cold. You want to "cut" the butter or shortening into the dry ingredients without getting them so warm that they melt into the mix. If it's a very hot kitchen, you may want to put the dough into the fridge to re-chill a bit before working it. If the butter/shortening is too "blended in" from warmth, you lose the flakiness.

Hope this helps.


answered 17 Oct '09, 10:23

AnnaRaven's gravatar image

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The main thing is you don't want to develop the gluten, the protein in flour activated by water and vigorous mixing. So the less that you mix, the better. Mix just until combined and when you roll it, try placing between 2 sheets of parchment paper after flouring because the dough will be sticky but you also don't want to add too much flour or agitate the dough too much. Both these actions will lead to hockey puck biscuits.

If you truly want to invest in making light, Southern-style biscuits, use low protein flour like White Lily All-Purpose. Bread flour is definitely not recommended as it has a high protein content, the better for a chewy, stretchy texture; nice for bread but not for biscuits. Here's an interesting article about how White Lily is milled and why southerners are known for their light and tender biscuits. Unfortunately, also mentions why it might not be the same:

Biscuit baker's treasured mill moves north

I would be very interested in seeing anyone's experiment with using vodka for biscuits as it has been utilized in pie crusts, mainly due to its ability to not develop gluten as water does, the goal of biscuit making. I've never really seen a biscuit recipe that uses water so imagine you will be subbing it for milk, so in that case the flavor might be a bit off and won't brown as well.


answered 23 Nov '09, 22:00

user-390%20%28google%29's gravatar image

user-390 (go...
accept rate: 16%

Cook in a wood burning stove. They will have a nice natural, smokey tasteeee.


answered 02 Feb '11, 16:59

Marge's gravatar image

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Asked: 15 Oct '09, 17:45

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Last updated: 02 Feb '11, 16:59

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