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How do I get my biscuits to be fluffy like I see in magazine pics? I've achieved flaky but not fluffy!

asked by @mskaos208 over 6 years ago

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9 answers 6649 views
3639eee1 5e0d 4861 b1ed 149bd0559f64  gator cake
hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added over 6 years ago

Typically for biscuits you get either flaky or fluffy, but not both. Here's a link to the CI recipe for fluffy biscuits: http://www.cooksillustrated...

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4798a9c2 4c90 45e5 a5be 81bcb1f69c5c  junechamp
ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 6 years ago

handle the dough as little as possible.

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0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 6 years ago

One thing people over look is the baking powder--that powder you've had for a year probably isn't very good-- Even tho the expiration date is still good, if it's been opened don't depend on that date. I always keep small cans, one un-opened) on hand.

Also consider your flour, most Southern Flour is lighter. For example standard All Purpose is 125 grams/cup....while Gold Medal AP is 130/cup...I think White Lilly AP is 128/cup.

Tho most just go by feel---which is trickey until you get your hands on it.

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Fc23ea4b 9ae1 494e 8a6f ba43f6488062  me by barbara tyroler
added over 6 years ago

Do you really want fluffy? I love a flaky biscuit, myself. Especially if it's a little bit crusty on the bottom.

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F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 6 years ago

Getting a flaky result depends on how much you cut in the butter. Try mixing using a stand mixer on the paddle. Only incorporate butter until the size of hazelnuts. When you add liquids, the density will further break down the butter. As for fluffy, try using half AP flour and half cake flour. The lower protein content of cake flour (7% vs 10% of AP) will give you a lighter, "fluffier" consistency. Also, after you've rolled and cut them, let them rest under refrigeration for 30 minutes before baking. That will let the flour proteins recover from the shock of being rolled and cut. Let us know how this works!

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A7132580 ab6d 4637 9b1a ed4f3f514400  scplogoblog
added over 6 years ago

Shirley O'Corriher's Touch of Grace biscuits from her book Cookwise are magnificent. But, as boulangere mentions, the protein content of the flour is very important. I'd love to get my hands on some White Lily (a Southern low protein flour, very unique in this country), but just can't get myself to add another specialty flour to my cabinet. Now that I've mastered fluffy through O'Corriher, I'm dying for a good flaky recipe!

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27e464b9 6273 420b 9546 d6ed6ae12929  anita date
Anitalectric

Anita is a vegan pastry chef & founder of Electric Blue Baking Co. in Brooklyn.

added over 6 years ago

I learned how to make biscuits from the master of biscuits (he has 4 restaurants here in Brooklyn) and the key is definitely, as chefjune suggests, to handle dough as minimally as possible.

I remember that my biscuits were not coming out as good as his and so he spent an evening just showing me the basics. I remember there was a huge knob of butter poking out of his patted-out circle of dough, and I could not figure out how they would come out right but they were perfect!

Key points: Use hands only. No machinery. Cold butter. Cold buttermilk. Work butter into the flour with your fingers, kind of smoosh the cubed butter into the flour. Fold in the buttermilk from the sides: 1, 2, 3, 4. Once for each side, like a square, and no more. Then invert it onto the counter and pat out. There will be unincorporated flour on the top but that is okay.

Don't use a rolling pin. Just pat out a loose circle: use one hand to flatten the top from the center out and the other to tidy the sides. Keep it thick, minimum 2" high. Cut out biscuits and transfer them to baking sheet.

Here is the other very key step: brush tops VERY generously with buttermilk. Really SOP it on. The thick layer of buttermilk on top creates steam inside the biscuits that is KEY for fluffiness. The loose flour left on top helps to bind the buttermilk to the biscuits.

Bake in a super-hot 475 degree oven until golden.

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 6 years ago

Mix an egg into your milk or buttermilk before adding it to the flour/butter mixture. Treat the dough as you would for scones.

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added over 6 years ago

Bakewell Cream has been my staple. If you aren't going to make Southern-style biscuits, but want to make high-rising New England/Maine-style biscuits then I would try it. You can find it in some grocery stores and at the King Arthur Flour website. It's never failed me.

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