simple biscuits

I don’t know about the habits at your house, but for my family, these quick biscuits are a hit.

Tea biscuits, if you prefer that name.

I make them regularly for my kids because they’ll eat them for breakfast or after school, but also as their lunch. Loaded up with jam or peanut butter, turned into a quick sandwich with a thick slice of cheese, or simply smeared with butter so it melts into all the hot crevices… because they’re best right out of the oven.

But while plain biscuits are delicious, they are still, well, plain. That’s why you usually find a variety of biscuits on offer, when you see them at a bakery, or the grocery store, or your local cafe.

So I recently made a larger batch: eighteen pieces. I divided the dough into three, and we had different types to choose from: plain, old cheddar and green onion, and cinnamon-raisin.

Biscuits are simple to make; the trick is that biscuit dough doesn’t like to be messed around with. You can’t over-mix it and still get light fluffy biscuits. So have your add-ins ready, mix quickly but thoroughly, and get them into the oven while that cold butter is still cold!

Then enjoy, slathered with butter, spread with jam, or, ok, plain.

a bowl of mixed biscuit dough

Here’s a simple, basic recipe to get you started (adapted from a Betty Crocker cookbook):

Simple biscuit INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup raisins + 1 tsp ground cinnamon, optional
  • ⅓ cup grated cheddar + 1 green onion, chopped, optional
  • 1 cup milk

Simple biscuit METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 425F
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl mix the flour with salt, and baking powder.
  • Add ¼ cup cold butter, coarsely grated or roughly chopped, and mix with a fork to break the butter into smaller pieces, but don’t make it smooth
  • Add 1 cup milk, plus optional add-in (raisins and cinnamon, or cheddar and onion) and quickly mix into a sticky dough. Don’t mix it so thoroughly that it becomes smooth, and don’t worry about getting the bowl entirely clean of flour.
  • Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces: either turn the dough out onto the counter, pat it into a rough rectangle shape and cut into 12 pieces, or use spoonfuls to make 12 mounds of dough on a baking tray. You can also fill the cups of a 12-cup muffin pan (don’t use paper liners). Place the divided biscuit dough evenly spaced on a baking sheet, if using a baking sheet rather than muffin tins; bake for 12 minutes.

Enjoy them hot. 

raisin, and cheddar-onion biscuits

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