A Southern-style biscuit recipe with Caltech’s Tom Mannion

A Southern-style biscuit recipe with Caltech’s Tom Mannion


Hi, I’m Tom Mannion. I’m the senior director for
student activities and programs at Caltech. Today we’re going to have
an opportunity to talk about how to cook biscuits in the southern style,
and talk a little bit about the science, which is a really important feature
of making a biscuit. When you add water to a flour,
it adds to the gluten and expands and makes it nice and gummy
or chewy if we’re eating a bagel. But if you’re making a fast bread or biscuit, you want it crumbly and flaky, so it has to be lower gluten. All-purpose flour is about 12% protein, or
gluten, and the soft winter wheat is 9%. So we have flour, we have shortening,
and we have buttermilk and that’s all. This is two cups of the self-rising White Lilly flour,
now we’re gonna add shortening. Our first step is to cut the shortening into the flour;
look for pea-shaped balls of dough to form. If you don’t have a pastry cutter,
this is all you need – two forks. Last but not least: buttermilk. Now I’m just gonna use a fork. You do not want to overwork this, again because you don’t want the gluten to really bind too much. Now the flour is making the dough
not stick to my hands. I don’t want to overwork this dough.
Now I am pushing it out to about one inch. Then we just get the biscuit cutter, and cut biscuits! Now this is important: we’re going to
actually make sure they touch. The reason you want to make sure they touch
is you want them to rise upward, not out. You want to get some depth and height so
it keeps it moist and nice and fluffy inside. We’re gonna put it in the oven, preheated to 475, and cook them for about 8 to 10 minutes. It’s time to take the biscuits out, and they look great! The last step is a little bit of butter
melted and brushed on the top. There we go, ready to eat!

2 thoughts on “A Southern-style biscuit recipe with Caltech’s Tom Mannion

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