Q: I’ve lost my biscuit-making mojo. I use 2 cups of self-rising flour, 4 tablespoons of shortening and 3 to 4 ounces whole milk. But they turn out a bit dry and too crumbly on the inside.
I’ve always thought the trick to making biscuits is to make biscuits: The best biscuit-makers are the people who make them every day. Biscuits are as much about how you handle the dough as what you use to make the dough.
First, make sure you’re working the dough into the flour properly. You want lots of small, flat bits of fat coated with flour, but don’t mix in the fat until it disappears. You can use your fingers, but a pastry cutter does a good job.
Next, make sure you’re using enough liquid. A little extra liquid creates steam, which can make light biscuits. You don’t want the dough to be soupy, but you should use more liquid that you’d use for a pie crust.
Finally, you need to knead. It’s not bread, so don’t overwork it. But you still need to pat the dough together, folding and turning a few times gently to make sure the dough comes together.