What did I do wrong?

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by cristiana bella, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. cristiana bella

    cristiana bella

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    Culinary Student
    Earlier the same day with the exact same ingredients I made Southern Biscuits that gave me a yield of a dozen.  That was my test batch, I needed three dozen so I went back to the same recipe and tripled all of the ingredients.  By time I added the butter and shortening to the flour, baking power, baking soda, and salt (kosher) it looked and felt nothing like the first time (which was moist and like bread crumbs).  Once I added in the Buttermilk it still had too much flour so I added a little more buttermilk and butter.  Once the dough was the right consistency I rolled it out and began forming my biscuits to cook.  Once done, on my... what a disaster... they were tasteless and the inside felt a little soft but not quite undercooked. 

    I'm very new at multiplying recipes, and I know my math was right because I double checked it online, but this batch was so horrible I didn't even want to torture my dogs with it, it just went straight into the trash.   Any ideas why that happened?

  2. boar_d_laze


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    Cook At Home
    You can scale up biscuit recipes pretty well with simple multiplication.

    So, what went wrong?  Baking problems can be hard to nail down, but your description tells me your biscuits were probably slightly too slack (wet) and slightly underdone.
    • Probably too much liquid.  I don't think you gave the buttermilk enough time to fully hydrate the flour before panicking and adding more buttermilk.  Given that you'd made the same recipe (scaled down) a little earlier, the best way to handle the situation was to trust your old ratios, and allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so before patting (or rolling) out. 
    • Not to be repetitive, but you never mentioned a rest.  The dough needed more rest in the fridge before rolling or patting out and cutting.  The further rest would have allowed more time for hydration, it also makes for a more tender and tastier biscuit.
    • I'd also like to know your oven temps and baking times.  You want to bake at 400F or maybe a little higher, and allow enough time to get some good color on the tops. 
    • Possibly the dough was under-worked.  The most common problem is too much handling; but people often over-react and don't touch the dough with anything stronger than "feather fingers."  The dough actually needs working -- either a very little bit of kneading, say five or six gentle kneads; or some turning (makes flaky layers).
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  3. indygal


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    At home cook
    Hi BDL

    I have nothing to add to address the problem that Christiana is having, since I've only made "normal sized" batches of them.   However, I heartily second your suggestion that a few kneads are a good idea.  Personally I "book" my dough folding it in on itself (in thirds) a few times before cutting.   My dough is quite wet, but it picks up enough flour as it is being worked on the waxed paper I use (because it is so wet), and they turn out very well.  And the wet layers, & floury layers makes them flaky even.  My biggest problem is that my favorite brand of self-rising flour is no longer being carried by my store.  :(