Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Attempted Homicide Biscuits

white death flourHave you heard people refer to white flour as White Death Flour? That’s how I’ve come to think of it…but, my family is still rather fond of that stuff.  They eat what’s in the house…and since I’m in charge of all things food, well, they don’t eat a lot of stuff made with that White Death Flour – at least not at home.  And, truth be told, every now and again I get a hankerin’ for some biscuits or tortillas or a nice, thick hunk of white bread fresh out of the oven and kissed with butter.

I made biscuits the other night. Killer biscuits, to be exact. When that descriptor went through my mind, I immediately thought of White Death Flour…BUT, I reasoned, since these biscuits were made from scratch and had raw milk, coconut oil and butter in them…well, they were at least healthier than biscuit mix or those refrigerated cans of dough.  They couldn’t really be classified as killers, could they? Wouldn’t it just be more like attempted murder?

Whatever helps me sleep at night, right?

Strict Real Foodies are probably cringing as they read this. The ones that have banished white flour and sugar completely from their diet…and honestly, I wish I could say that’s where I’m at! I have to emphasize here the Real part of Real Foodie, for me anyway, also includes “being real” about my budget, my time, and my family…and sometimes, well, sometimes we eat stuff I really don’t want to. My family eats what I cook because they’re hungry and their choices are eat that or make your own meal. Which they would, probably, if we had ramen noodles, frozen pizza and blue boxes of mac ‘n cheese in the house.

BUT…making a meal that no one but myself will eat defeats the purpose, too. I certainly don’t have room in my budget for throwing out food, nor do I want to – that is not good stewardship of God’s blessings.  So, I compromise on occasion…and make a loaf of white bread, or pizza dough, or tortillas, or biscuits. We’re still eating healthier versions of store-bought foods, and sometimes that’s just the best we can do. As long as the majority of the time we’re eating better (or the best!) foods, we’re still coming out ahead.

Check out the killer biscuits I made:

killer biscuit dough
Right before on the pic to see it bigger and you can see the layers
killer biscuit fall over
You know that nice looking chunk of dough up there in the first picture? Apparently, there was so much rise on  that biscuit it toppled over!  I think If I had cut them wider, say 6 biscuits instead of 9, they wouldn't have fallen over like they did. But the flaky layers are very evident!
killer biscuit flaky layers
When I was still at home, we loved "flakies" - those refrigerated biscuits with the flaky layers.  I won't buy them now, no matter how cheap they are. They just taste gross to me. Besides, I can make my own flakies  (:
killer biscuit flaky layers close up
It's all in the technique, the cut and the fat: Don't overwork it while mixing, then FOLD the dough over on itself 5-6 times, don't knead it like the recipes usually say. You can see evidence of the folding in this biscuit. For higher rise on biscuits, USE A SHARP KNIFE OR BISCUIT CUTTER. The right side of this biscuit was the edge of the dough, the left side was cut with a Cutco bread knife...ubersharp! I don't make round biscuits anymore but squares because a knife is sharper than a glass dipped in flour and I get much taller biscuits that way. Sometimes I trim off the edges of the dough and have darned near perfect biscuits. And the fat secret? Most recipes say cut in the fat until it resembles cornmeal, but you actually need small chunks of fat to improve rise and flakiness. You need to leave some pea-sized chunks of fat in the flour. Also make sure the fat is COLD. I also use a baking stone and preheat it in the oven while making the biscuits.
killer biscuits on platter
These biscuits not only looked beautiful (in spite of some oddly-shaped ones) but tasted  absolutely divine! If  I'm gonna die from eating white flour, this is the way to go...

killer biscuits and butter
No self-respecting biscuit would be caught dead dressed in anything but real, honest to goodness least not at MY house!

I debated on whether or not to include this recipe, since the "best" results (as far as rise goes, anyway) come from using White Death Flour. But, since I started out on this Real Food journey in baby steps, switching from canned biscuits or biscuit mix to making them from scratch, for example, I decided maybe someone else who is in that same place would like this recipe. I usually make these now with half whole wheat flour...and am journeying into the world of soaked grains...but I still fall back to this recipe when the urge for Death by Biscuit hits.


  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 c traditional fat (coconut oil, lard, butter or combination)
  • 2/3 c milk (raw, whole fat, or buttermilk will work wonderfully)

Preheat your oven to 450, throw in your baking stone to preheat if using one. Mix dry ingredients, cut in fat with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse crumbs, making sure to have some pea-sized chunks. Add milk and stir gently with a fork just until moistened and the dough will follow the fork around the bowl. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and gently pat into a ball, then press out and fold the dough over onto itself 5 or 6 times. I usually try to shape it into a square or rectangle during this process to eliminate handling it too much before cutting. Using a SHARP knife or biscuit cutter, cut out your biscuits. Place on stone or baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.


It takes practice to get good at doing anything, and baking and cooking are no exceptions. Especially when learning to cook from scratch or learning traditional methods of preparing give yourself some grace if they don't turn out perfectly the first time. Sometimes it's your flour, sometimes it's how you worked the dough, sometimes it's the weather (seriously...humidity will jack up a baking day, trust me!). I've been working on biscuits for over a year now and believe me, I've had some flops. But when they do turn out oh man, there's just nothing like a good homemade biscuit!


  1. Looks delish. I love me some good 'ole white biscuits too! I like my recipe, but I'm gonna have to try yours. Thanks for the layer tip - never heard that one before.

  2. You're welcome Esther (: I just found a website while looking around for something that shows not only cutting butter into the flour, but then spreading butter on top of the dough before folding. The pics looked amazing, i'm going to have to find that recipe again and try it!