Making Biscuits

Reading Guide

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Content Vocabulary

• blending method • drop batter

Academic Vocabulary consistency separation

Read to Learn Key Concepts

• Compare and contrast the biscuit, blending, and creaming methods of mixing.

• Deconstruct the steps required to make quality biscuits.

Main Idea

Quick breads are products with a bread- or cake-like texture that do not contain yeast. They do not require a lot of time or equipment to produce.

Graphic Organizer

As you read, use a web diagram like this one to show the seven different typical ingredients in a quick bread.

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Quick breads are baked goods that can be served at breakfast, at lunch, or with dinner. Some examples of quick breads are pancakes, biscuits, muffins, scones, waffles, and loaf breads.

Quick breads are those products that have a bread- or cake-like texture, but do not contain yeast. Therefore, quick breads do not need to rise or proof before baking. Instead of using yeast, quick breads use chemical leavening agents such as double-acting baking powder and baking soda.

Quick breads are typically baked on sheet pans or in loaf and muffin pans. Quick breads can be plain, lightly glazed, sprinkled with confectioner's sugar, or frosted. They can be served warm or cold. Quick breads can be part of a more complex dish, or can be served as a main dish of their own.

Typical ingredients in a quick bread product are flour, eggs, fat, sugar, salt, a chemical leavening agent, and a liquid. Flour is the foundation of quick breads. A combination of hard and soft wheat flours produces the best quick bread products. Eggs provide added volume and structure. They are a natural leavening agent. Fat is used to keep the baked product moist and tender. It also helps in creaming, or mixing. Sugar and other sweeteners, such as brown sugar or molasses, improve the flavor and color of quick breads. Sugar also helps in creaming. Salt strengthens gluten and adds flavor.

In addition, leavening agents, such as double-acting baking powder or baking soda, allow quick breads to leaven, or rise. The liquid, typically milk, adds moisture. It allows the dry ingredients to be blended into a batter or dough. Liquid also helps produce gluten.

The same ingredients are used in most quick breads. However, the proportion of these ingredients varies. The proportion of i ngredients is determined by the product that is being made. Some specialty quick bread doughs, such as phyllo dough and pâte à choux can be used for both appetizers and desserts.

The flour used in quick breads ranges from wheat to oatmeal. Grains such as bran and cornmeal are often added for flavor and texture. Spices, nuts, fruits, and other ingredients may be added to create interesting flavors.

Images Types Batters

Types of Batter Pour batters and drop batters have different consistencies. Why do you think there is a difference in consistency between the two batter types?

[M FIGURE 28«1 Quick Bread Ingredient Proportions

' Quick Breads Quick breads can be made from thick and thin batters and doughs. Why do you think different quick breads require different forms of batter and dough?

Quick Bread Products

: Amount of ; Flour

: Amount of ; Liquid


Biscuits (soft doughs)

Three parts

One part

Sticky, pliable

Pancakes (pour batters)

One part

One part

Thin, pours

Muffins and Fritters (drop batters)

Two parts

One part

Thick, forms in drops

Quick Bread Methods

Quick breads are produced by one of three methods: the biscuit method, the blending method, or the creaming method.

• The biscuit method requires cutting the fat into the dry ingredients. This is done until the fat and dry ingredients resemble cornmeal. Then, the liquid ingredients are added. This process produces flaky items such as biscuits.

• The blending method combines the liquid, sugar, liquid fat, and eggs at the same time. Then, the dry ingredients are added to the mixture. The liquid fat and sugar act as a tenderizer. The blending method is most commonly used to make muffins and fruit breads.

• The creaming method involves using solid shortening instead of liquid fat. In this method, the sugar and pre-softened shortening are creamed together with a mixer on low speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. The eggs are then added one at a time. After the eggs are added, the dry and liquid ingredients are alternately added. Muffins made by the creaming method are more cake-like in texture.

The type of quick bread and the consistency, or texture, of its dough or batter determine which method you should use.

Quick breads can be made from soft doughs or batters. (See Figure 28.1.) Soft doughs are thicker in consistency than batters. They can be rolled and cut into shapes prior to baking while batters cannot. Baking powder biscuits and scones are examples of soft dough quick breads.

Quick bread products, such as pancakes and muffins, are made from either a pour batter or drop batter. A pour batter will often vary in consistency. Some are so thin they can be poured from the mixing bowl to the cookware just like water. Others are almost as thick as drop batters. A drop batter is usually so thick it needs to be scraped or dropped from a portion or ice cream scoop to the cookware.

tliimiidil Describe What are two characteristics of quick breads?

Continue reading here: The Biscuit Method

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