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The Perfect Biscuits

Q. Do you have any tips for getting homemade biscuits to be light and flaky? Mine always seem to come out dense. — Levi, Neenah

A. Turning out beautiful baked goods can only be achieved if the recipe has the correct ratios. For example, a cookie recipe with an incorrect ratio of fat to flour will produce either a doughy lump that does not spread out or a flat pancake cookie that spreads out way too much. If your biscuits come out dense, the first thing I would check would be the amount of baking powder in the recipe. It is possible that the ratio of baking powder to flour is insufficient to provide the proper amount of leavening. The next thing I would check is the amount of liquid in the recipe as the biscuit dough may be too stiff to allow the baking powder to provide adequate leavening. The other thing I would consider would be the number of layers of fat (butter, margarine or other shortening) rolled into to the biscuit dough. Each layer of fat that gets added provides the tenderness that makes biscuits characteristically nice and flaky. Biscuits should include at least four layers of fat in the dough, folded over and rolled out again.       

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