Published February 7, 2008.
Biscuits make a great accompaniment to meals, if you have the time. We discovered how to make fresh, hot biscuits a weeknight reality.
Biscuits may be simple, but they still take too long to make for most weeknight meals.
Buttery, flaky biscuits that could be made ahead of time and kept at the ready in the refrigerator.
The test kitchen has produced countless biscuit recipes through the years, so we began our investigation by making a number of them to see what variety (and mixing method) might be the most durable. When everything was baked, tested, and compared, we were surprised to find that our simplest recipe, for basic cream biscuits, was remarkably resilient. These biscuits require little more than gingerly blending the dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt) with heavy cream, quickly kneading the dough to ensure thorough hydration (for a modicum of structure), and then punching out biscuit-sized rounds from the rolled dough.
So which storage method worked best? Well, the refrigerator was a bust: biscuits refrigerated overnight turned out squat and dense, likely due to the dough’s gluten relaxing too much. We tried rectifying this via additional kneading, but this only made the biscuits squatter and denser.
Fortunately, freezing came through. Frozen biscuits baked up as brown, crisp, flaky, and high as those freshly prepared. All we needed to do was freeze the biscuits on baking sheets (which prevented the gluten from relaxing)—tightly wrapped under plastic wrap, after which they could be popped into zipper-lock bags and stored for up to one month. Now, when the time allows, we can stock our freezers with biscuits, ready to accessorize any meal, anytime.list of recipes