COOKING FOR A CROWD - BAKING POWDER BISCUITS

COOKING FOR A CROWD - BAKING POWDER BISCUITS
MAKES 100 BISCUITS

5 pounds all-purpose flour
5 ounces baking powder
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/4 pounds shortening, hydrogenated
1 3/4 quarts milk

  1. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until blended, approximately 10 seconds, using flat beater.

  2. Add shortening to flour mixture. Mix on low speed for 1 minute. Stop and scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Mix 1 minute longer. The mixture will be crumbly.

  3. Add milk. Mix on low speed to form a soft dough, about 30 seconds. Do not overmix. Dough should be as soft as can be handled.

  4. Place one-half of dough on lightly floured board or table. Knead lightly 15-20 times.

  5. Roll to 3/4-inch thickness. Biscuits will approximately double in height during baking. Cut with a 2 1/2-inch (or 2-inch) cutter; or cut into 2- inch squares with a knife. When using round hand cutters, cut straight down and do not twist to produce the best shape. Space the cuts close together to minimize scraps. Use of a roller cutter or cutting the dough into squares eliminates or reduces scraps. The scraps can be rerolled, but the biscuits may not be as tender.

  6. Place on ungreased baking sheets 1/2 inch apart for crusty biscuits, just touching for softer biscuits. Repeat, using remaining dough.

  7. Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. (See Exhibit V in the color insert.)

  8. Biscuits may be held 2-3 hours in the refrigerator until time to bake.

Notes: 7 oz nonfat dry milk and 1 3/4 qt water may be substituted for fluid milk. Combine dry milk with other dry ingredients. Increase shortening to 1 lb 6 oz.

VARIATIONS:

Buttermilk Biscuits. Substitute cultured buttermilk (or 7 oz dry buttermilk and 1 3/4 qt water) for milk. Add 1 Tbsp baking soda to dry ingredients.

Butterscotch Biscuits. Divide dough into eight parts. Roll each part into a rectangle 1/4 inch thick. Spread with melted margarine or butter and brown sugar. Roll the dough as for jelly roll. Cut off slices 3/4 inch thick. Bake at 375°F for 15 minutes.

Cheese Biscuits. Reduce shortening to 1 lb and add 1 lb grated cheddar cheese.

Cinnamon Raisin Biscuits. Substitute 2 lb 8 oz margarine for shortening. Combine 8 oz sugar and 2 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon with dry ingredients. Add 1 lb 12 oz raisins to mixture after margarine has been mixed in. When baked, ice with Powdered Sugar Glaze (p. 196).

Drop Biscuits. Increase milk to 2 qt. Drop by spoon or No. 30 dipper onto greased baking sheets.

Orange Biscuits. Proceed as for Butterscotch Biscuits. Spread with orange marmalade.

Raisin Biscuits. Reduce shortening to 14 oz and use 1/2 cup less milk; add 4 whole eggs, beaten, 3 Tbsp grated orange rind, 8 oz sugar, and 8 oz chopped raisins.

Scotch Scones. Add 10 oz sugar and 7 oz currants to dry ingredients. Add 5 eggs, beaten, mixed with the milk. Cut dough into squares and then cut diagonally to form triangles. Brush lightly with milk before baking. (See Exhibit V in the color insert.)

Shortcake. Increase shortening to 1 lb 12 oz. Add 8 oz sugar.

Whole Wheat Biscuits. Substitute 2 lb whole wheat flour for 2 lb all-purpose flour.