Easiest Ever Drop Biscuits Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (240g) All-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) Baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5g) Salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) Cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup (240ml) Milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven: Set your oven to 425°F (220°C). This high temperature is crucial for achieving a good rise.
  2. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
    • Flour: Provides structure through gluten, though less is developed in biscuits than in bread.
    • Baking Powder: A leavening agent that releases CO₂ when it gets wet and when heated, causing the dough to rise.
    • Sugar & Salt: Sugar slightly sweetens, and salt enhances overall flavor.
  3. Cut in Butter: Add the cold butter pieces to the flour mixture. Use a pastry cutter or your fingers to mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    • Cold Butter: The key to flaky biscuits. When butter melts in the oven, it releases steam, creating layers and contributing to the rise.
  4. Add Milk: Pour in the milk and stir until just combined. Overmixing can result in tough biscuits due to gluten development.
    • Milk: Hydrates the dry ingredients, activates the baking powder, and adds flavor.
  5. Drop Biscuits onto Baking Sheet: Use a spoon to drop mounds of the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The dough should be sticky and rough.
    • No need to knead or roll, which keeps the gluten development minimal for tender biscuits.
  6. Bake: Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
    • The high heat causes rapid rising (oven spring) and browning. The Maillard reaction and caramelization occur, giving flavor and color to the crust.
  7. Cool and Serve: Let the biscuits cool for a few minutes before serving.

Scientific Explanations

  • Oven Temperature: High heat is crucial for a rapid rise. The heat quickly activates the baking powder and melts the butter, creating steam and gas pockets for a light, airy texture.
  • Working with Cold Butter: Ensures the butter doesn’t melt during mixing. When it melts in the oven instead, it creates steam pockets, leading to flaky layers.
  • Minimizing Gluten Development: Unlike bread, you want minimal gluten development in biscuits for a tender, crumbly texture. This is why you mix until just combined and don’t knead the dough.
  • Baking Powder Activation: It releases CO₂ twice – once when wet and again when heated, which is essential for the rise of the biscuits.
  • Sugar and Salt: Sugar aids in browning and provides slight sweetness. Salt enhances the flavors and balances the sweetness.

This recipe is simple and straightforward, making it perfect for beginners. The scientific explanations provide insight into why each step and ingredient is important, helping you understand the process and potentially experiment with your variations in the future.

John Nguyen
John Nguyen
Articles: 103

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