I love nothing better than a homemade biscuit and cup of tea! When starting out baking, biscuits are a great place to start. However, like any baked good, biscuits can present problems! I am here to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about biscuits…..bis-queries if you will!
Dough is too sticky?
If your dough is too sticky, you may have added too much liquid to your mix. Add in some flour, a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. Your dough should be soft, not sticky. Cover the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 20-30 minutes before rolling it out. By chilling the dough, it makes it easier to roll out.
If you are a first time biscuit maker, you may not cutters. Not to worry, use a glass to cut out a simple circle biscuit. Dip the rim of the glass in flour and stamp out your biscuits. You can also just cut out some shapes with a knife. Give baking biscuits a go before investing in different cutters.
My biscuits baked into each other?
When it comes to biscuits it is essential to chill your dough! When you make the biscuit dough, wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for at least 20-30 minutes. Roll the dough onto a floured surface, cut out your shapes, place onto a lined baking tray and refrigerate again for as long as possible. By chilling the dough a second time, it helps to eliminate the biscuits spreading during baking.
It is also important to leave space between the biscuits to help avoid this problem.
If your biscuits spread slightly and lose some of their shape, don’t be afraid to tidy them up. As soon as the biscuits come out of the oven, they are still soft so cut off any wonky edges or burnt bits. Don’t forget, icing can hide a world of sins!
Are they done yet?
Biscuits are “tough cookies” to know if they’re done. When baking a biscuits, you are looking for light golden edges. The middle will seem soft and underdone but don’t fear! Once you remove the tray from the oven, allow the biscuits to cool completely on the tray. By leaving your biscuits on the tray, the heat of the tray will finish off the bake. This gives biscuits their signature snap and cookies their bend.
Biscuits in bits!
If you find your biscuits are too crumbly, your recipe may need more liquid or there is too high a ratio of flour. Be sure to have a light dusting of flour on your work surface when rolling out the dough. If there is too much flour, it can dry out the biscuit dough and result in a brittle biscuit.
One tough cookie!
If your biscuits are tough and don’t have that amazing melt in the mouth feeling, they may have been over worked. Similar to pastry, the more you work the dough the tougher it’s going to get as the gluten develops. Once you add the wet ingredients to the mix, give it a quick mix with the electric mixer or food processor and then finish it off by hand. Tip the mix onto the counter and bring together using your hands. When the dough just comes together to form a ball, stop! Wrap the dough and chill. I like to always make biscuits by hand as there is less chance of over working the dough.
If your biscuits come out unevenly baked, it may be because the dough wasn’t rolled out evenly. When rolling out biscuit dough, you should turn the dough as you roll. By turning the dough as you role, you are ensuring even pressure and a nice even dough height.
After baking your biscuits, storage is key to keep your delicious bakes fresh and crisp. Sugar attracts moisture and homemade biccies often have A LOT of sugar, so they are often prone to losing their crunch. Store your biscuits in an airtight tin. However, if you need to revive your biscuits, bake them again on a lined baking tray at about 160˚C for a few minutes. This method helps to remove any excess moisture. This doesn’t work every time but hey, it’s worth a try.
Biscuit back up
If you love fresh biscuits as much as I do, why not keep a stash in your freezer? Follow your favourite biscuit recipe, cut your biscuits into whatever shape you like, chill the biscuits on a tray until firm and then transfer to a container. The biscuits should be firm enough to stack in the container and then freeze. You can bake the biscuits at a moments notice!
For our best biscuits, check out https://easyfood.ie/?s=biscuits