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How To Make Cream Biscuits

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Forget all that mess with cutting in the butter and messing with baking soda vs baking powder -- just make cream biscuits and be done with it.

I usually halve this recipe to make 4 smallish biscuits or 3 scone-sized ones. The way I think of it is that every 4 biscuits = 1 cup of flour, 1 t baking powder, half t salt, and a variable amount of sugar depending on the intended use case. Once you get that basic formula down -- and what is easier than a cup of flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, half a teaspoon of salt, and some sugar? -- you can easily whip up cream biscuits without a recipe. For some reason there is nothing more impressive to dinner guests, especially single men, than making biscuits without a recipe.

My biggest deviation from this recipe is that I think they call for too much cream. My experience after making the recipe numerous times is that you need something a lot closer to 1/2 cup cream for each cup of flour. So what I suggest is that you measure out the half cup of cream and dump it into the dry ingredients, stir it all around with a spatula, and then dump out the main dough onto a heavily floured surface. If you have a significant amount of dry-looking floury crumbles at the bottom of the bowl at this stage, then pour a little bit of cream straight from the container into the mixing bowl; otherwise, beardy bits can just be scraped into the main mass, which will be moister than most biscuits. Remember that you knead and dust with flour until the dough JUST doesn't stick to your fingers any more.

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