Sunday, September 29, 2013

Skillet Biscuits

The perfect camping biscuit, these are ready from start to finish in 15 minutes. I also call these “It’s Quick” Biscuits, because they’re every bit as fast as the mix with the similar name.

Skillet Biscuits:

1 tbsp. white vinegar or lemon juice
1 c. milk
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
Dash of salt
½ c. butter or margarine
Strained bacon drippings, as needed

See the Note that follows this recipe before starting. I prepared these in a skillet, but you may prefer to bake them in the oven. If so, preheat oven to 425 deg. F. 

Stir vinegar or lemon juice into milk in measuring cup. Let stand 5 min. Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl, mixing well. Cut butter or margarine into dry ingredients until butter is the consistency of small peas. Add milk to dry ingredients, mixing with a fork just until blended. Dough will be soft. Knead 15-to-20 times on floured board. Pat to ½-in. thickness and cut into 2-in. rounds, using a floured glass or biscuit cutter.

Oven Method: Bake buns on lightly greased sheet 12 min., or until lightly browned. Yields 10-to-12.

Skillet Method: Add bacon drippings to a depth of about ¼-in. until hot but not sizzling. Using method above or described in Note below, drop flattened biscuit dough into hot fat about 1 min., or until lightly browned. Turn once to brown second side. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low for 5 min. Remove from heat, allowing to stand, covered, 3-to-5 min. longer. Serve at once. Yields 10-to-12.

Note: I diverted from the usual method of using two knives or a pastry blender to cut the fat into the dry ingredients. I also broke with the normal method of blending the dough with a fork. Although this recipe presents those traditional instructions, I used my fingers for both steps because these were camp biscuits and I wasn’t seeking perfection (Recipes normally call for two knives and a fork because warm fingers warm the fat, changing the dough’s consistency and the texture of the product). 

I nonetheless waded further into Recipe No-No Land, kneading the dough right in the mixing bowl instead of on a flat, floured surface. Rather than pat out the dough and cut it into biscuit sizes, I rolled chunks of it into balls, flattening them between my palms. My methods were unconventional, but quick - and the biscuits turned out fine. 

Roll dough into balls

Flatten with palms

Strained bacon drippings are useful in any camp kitchen

Add biscuit dough to hot fat

Cook as directed

Serve hot, with a little butter on the side

Nothing fancy ... We’re camping!

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