Biscuit Making, Take II & What I’m Stalking-Loving for the Table

Welcome to the 421st Tablescape Thursday!

Every so often I have to spend some time working on the technical end of the blog…this past week was that time. With my hosting services help, BNOTP was moved to a newer, faster server, so hopefully you’re finding things a bit speedier each time you visit.

Pagination Now Works!

If you were one of the dearhearts who has emailed or asked how to get to the very first blog post I ever wrote for BNOTP in order to read the blog from the beginning, the pagination is now finally working as it should at the end of the home page.

Click over to the home page HERE, scroll down to where you see the page numbers and click the last page which is currently number 277. It should take you to the very first post. I’m not sure why it wasn’t working correctly before but it magically fixed itself with some of the recent changes I made this past week. Yay! πŸ™‚

Biscuit Making: Take II

Since I didn’tΒ get a chance to set a new table this week, I thought I’d give you a little update on my biscuit making trials and share a few things I’m loving for the table.

You may remember these, my first attempt at making biscuits from scratch? Okay, quit laughing! πŸ˜‰ Though they looked quite funny, they actually tasted pretty good!

baked-biscuits-home-made

 

I took everyone’s advice in the comments on that post and the second time I made them using the same recipe (I’m determined to master this recipe before moving on to another one) I handled the dough as little as possible.

To help with that, I mixed up the dough in a much wider bowl. Last time I had used my Kitchenaid bowl which is very deep and kinda narrow. That made it difficult to really mix the cream into the dough. This wide bowl that’s part of a mixing bowl set I was given when I got married, worked much better. I am starting to understand why bakers use those wide, wooden dough bowls! Using the wider bowl, I was able to mix in the cream, without having to stir the dough so much.

wide-bowl-for-making-biscuits

 

I peeked in to see how they were doing part way through the baking process. They were rising pretty well.

biscuits-baking

 

Second Attempt…getting better

Here’s how they turned out, definitely look better than my first attempt! (You’ll find the recipe for these biscuits in this post: Best Biscuits)

Unfortunately, when I made them for a third time during the week my friend Linda was visiting for our Staycation, they turned out more like biscuit pancakes! lol They still tasted good, so they didn’t go to waste, but they were pretty flat. I didn’t think to take a photo, but just imagine biscuits that looked more like small, fat pancakes. πŸ™‚

homemade-biscuits-susan-branchs-recipe

 

Linda mentioned that the biscuit cutter I was using looked a bit too wide. That’s when it dawned on me, it was probably really meant for cookies, not biscuits. I measured it and yep, it was definitely too wide. It measured 3 inches wide and the biscuit recipe I’ve been using from Susan Branch’s book, Heart of the Home, called for a 2-inch biscuit cutter.

left-over-cream

 

I went online and read a ton of reviews and this style biscuit cutter had the best reviews. Folks were complaining about other styles being flimsy and bending. This one is made of stainless steel and has a double handle, so I guess that’s why the reviews were so much better.

biscuit-cutter

 

So I purchased the set seen below. The one you see that’s third from the right is the 2-inch size. You can see the one I’ve been using all the way down on the far left. So I’ve definitely been using a “too big” biscuit cutter for for my biscuit making.

I’m going to give my new 2-inch cutter a try today and if the biscuits spread out too much again, I’m going to break down and purchase a biscuit tin or biscuit pan. I think this new, smaller cutter will help them to rise higher, too–since they won’t be so wide. At least they’ll appear higher since they’ll be skinnier. lol

If you’re in need of a set of stainless steel biscuit cutter or cookies cutter in varying sizes, you’ll find the set I purchased here: Biscuit Cutter: 5 sizes. I really do like this set because it feels super sturdy. Will let you know how my 4th attempt comes out!

5-biscuit-cutters-different-sizes

 

Update: I discovered recently that Natalie Dupee wrote an entire book on just the topic of making biscuits! I haven’t ordered it yet, but I’m thinking about. The book is available HERE.

southern-biscuits-by-natalie-dupree

 

Tabletop Goodies I’m Stalking Right Now

Halloween Glasses:Β These are on sale and I’m OBSESSED!Β Love ’em!

halloween-glasses

 

Halloween Haunted House Mug Toppers: I love these adorable mug toppers! What a great way to top off a mug of hot chocolate, coffee or hot cider, especially when entertaining. They’re also on sale at that link.

halloween-haunted-house-mug-topper

 

PSSST: Not table related, but I just noticed the Christmas pillow I purchased last year for my bed is back in stock and is actually on sale.

Road Trip Santa Pillow and Tartan Bedding

 

If this pillow stole your heart like it did mine, you’ll find it available here: Christmas Pillow with Santa & Reindeer

Road Trip Santa Christmas Pillow_wm

 

 

Looking forward to the beautiful table settings shared for this week’s Tablescape Thursday!

Tablescape Thursday

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Comments

  1. Those little toppers are so adorable! Definitely going to try and get those for the grand kids.
    Biscuits are tough ones. Mine are always more crumbly than I want. I want to be able to make ones like restaurants have – high, moist and not crumbly! I am sure my cutter is too big too. Great info! Thanks for hosting. Always fun!

  2. Good luck! Isn’t it nice thought that they still taste good?!

  3. I think your biscuits look great! Of course, this is from someone who buys the refrigerated biscuits and cooks them and thinks she’s done something wonderful. I love the illustrations in the Susan Branch books. Love those little haunted house cup sitters. Thanks for hosting.

  4. I need to learn to make home made biscuits too. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  5. kim domingue says:

    Hmmmm, Grandmama would roll out her dough, flip it in half, roll it out again, flip it in half, repeat, repeat……total of four roll outs. Each roll out was three strokes….from 6 to 12 o’clock, 8 to 2 and 4 to 10. Beautiful, round biscuits with flat tops.

  6. Nan, Odessa, DE says:

    You are the best at keeping us aware of sales. Thank you.

    I buy frozen biscuits. They are the best.
    Take up a new project and enjoy the frozen biscuits.

    • I buy those sometimes too, but they always leave a weird coating on the roof of my mouth after eating them, especially if they are room temperature. Not sure what that coating is, but kinda worries me. Nan, do you ever notice that with canned or frozen biscuits when they aren’t really hot?

  7. Susan, I found early on, that making a perfect biscuit takes practice! My Mother made the best biscuits ever, light as a feather. Thanks for hosting and Happy Thursday! Pam @ Everysay Living

  8. Linda Page says:

    Let me say that I have first hand knowledge of Susan’s biscuits and they are wonderful!! No matter how they look, they taste like a little bit of heaven. I even made some when I got back home after visiting with Susan and the biscuits turned out really good. I used a smaller biscuit cutter than what Susan had used and my biscuits rose nicely. I think I may have rolled out the dough a little thicker than Susan, also. I baked them on a cookie sheet just like Susan did and I was pleased with the results. Give her recipe a try. No matter how they look, you will love them. I appreciate all the effort Susan went to in baking biscuits for my stay. I loved every bite!!! Susan, you are definitely the Hostess with the Mostest!!!! The Williams-Sonoma mug toppers for hot chocolate are too cute! I have never seen anything like that before. Just add a roaring fire in the fireplace, a good book and a throw and you are all set!!

    • Susan Branch’s recipe is tasty, for sure! Aww, thanks Linda, it was wonderful having you here! Looking forward to the next time you can come out to play! πŸ™‚

  9. Use a cake pan to bake your biscuits. Put the biscuits in with sides touching…they will help each other rise. Do not over bake or biscuits will be dry. Brush some melted butter on the tops of the biscuits. Good luck.

    • Kathy, thanks for mentioning that. I remember some folks mentioned doing that in my other post. I will have to try that next time, just to see if that helps, too. Yeah, I think I over-baked them the second time but I did add butter across the top and that worked great!

    • I agree–biscuits need to cuddle up to each other to rise! I bake mine in a round cake pan, too, or a glass pie pan. I always melt butter (about 4 tbsp.) in the pan and then flip each biscuit after I put it in the pan, so it bakes with butter on the top and bottom. My favorite recipe is Pioneer Buttermilk Baking Mix–Sorry, I can’t make a biscuit from scratch that is worth eating.

  10. My grandfather was known for his “pretty biscuits”. They were pretty and he made them on large jelly roll pans, but they were what we call baking soda biscuits. And that is exactly what they tasted like to me!! My mom and her mom always made biscuits using self rising flour so you didn’t have to worry about adding baking soda or powder and salt. They weren’t cut, but rolled out by hand. They were always good, and that was the biscuit I learned to make. Oh, they were never stirred with a spoon either. All mixing was done with your hands. Now I just buy the frozen biscuits so I don’t have to make a whole batch and can just bake a couple if that is all I need.

    • I think I’m going to try the Lily White Self-Rising next time. I keep hearing and reading good stuff about that particular flour. It’s more fun getting in there with your hands anyway! πŸ™‚

      • Carol Faver says:

        Susan….White Lily is a wonderful choice! It used to be made only for Southern baking due to the humidity we have here most of the time. I love the self-rising cause if you don’t make biscuits often, I worry about my baking powder not being fresh enough….plus it is just one less additional step saved. Try Paula Deen’s Whipping Cream biscuits. They are light as a feather and none better. Don’t roll, just pat out and cut them. You’ll look like an expert and I always say this recipe is for people who think they can’t make biscuits! It is that easy….and delicious.

  11. My MIL made the best biscuits ever and I was never able to duplicate them even using her recipe. Her biscuits were small in width but very tall. She cut her biscuits with an empty orange juice concentrate can (the small one) and they rose high and beautiful every time. Of course, I’m not sure OJ comes in metal cans now – I think they are cardboard. Good luck with your biscuits. My MIL always told me it took practice.

  12. Hi Susan!
    Your biscuits look good to me! I love your Halloween glasses also!
    Thank you for hosting!
    Have a great weekend!
    Rebeca

  13. Debra Bartels says:

    That is the very same bowl I use to make my biscuits. Received it as a wedding gift also. I use my husband’s grandmother’s biscuit recipe. No cutting, and they are thin just the way he likes. She said the trick to a good biscuit is to preheat a greased pan before placing the biscuits on it.
    I moved from SC to Vegas a few years ago and find the flour here not good for biscuit making. I have to order it from back home. Low carbing at my house so no biscuits for us for awhile – sad.

  14. I am from the north and we didn’t eat biscuits so when I married a southerner, biscuits were a priority. I tried different recipes but found that handling dough lightly was one key to great biscuits. (Same advice for pie crusts) The other thing is to put them in a small pan so they rise up not out. Cut them thicker and let them touch each other. As for the size of your cutter, have you not seen super large biscuits at Bob Evans? Let me know how this works

  15. You have reminded me that I need more than one size biscuit cutter. I am always improvising when it comes to size and the effort is a bit frustrating.

  16. Those mug toppers are adorable!

  17. Anxious to see how your 4th attempt will turn out. Thanks for sharing.

  18. I know nothing about making biscuits so can’t help with that. But, I want to thank you for the wonderful party!!! Have a great weekend!

  19. Elizabeth Roderick says:

    Before my mom decided to just plop her dough on a cookie sheet she used to use a small can with both ends cut out..like a tomato sauce can. I don’t know what she did but they were always good. She bragged about how much she hated to cook, and nothing she made was ever very pretty but it sure tasted great.

  20. My husband is the biscuit maker in the family. I’ve all but given up on getting them to turn out like his so I let him make them. Winning!!! Have a great weekend.

  21. Susan, try White Lilly flour self rising! I just bought two 5lb bags from Jet.com. You may be able to purchase in your area. Made my first batch last week and not too bad! Biscuit Bars are really in right now. Did one a few
    weeks ago. And now that I have my White Lilly flour I am ready for another.

    • Mary, it’s funny you mention that because I was just thinking about that today. The recipe called for unbleached flour and you add baking powder, but I’m tempted to just buy some White Lily Self-rising since so many folks say White Lily is good stuff for biscuits. I think I’ll do that.
      Hadn’t heard of biscuit bars. Is that where you just put the dough in a pan and bake it and cut them up afterwards?

  22. Susan, before you purchase the WS Halloween glasses check the customer comment on them. It looks like they may have a paint problem!! They are super cute though…good luck!

    • I drove over to see them in person today, and barely resisted. That’s a shame if they have a paint problem because they are cute! They are just getting in their Christmas goodies.

  23. Those Christmas pillows are lovely. Thanks for sharing.
    Marilyn

  24. Dawn Marie says:

    Thanks Susan! Love the glasses. I have been yearning for the Xmas pillow. Just ordered it. I love your posts. Look forward to receiving them. You’re the best!

  25. Nancy Elizabeth says:

    I have to say, “I am enjoying all the biscuit talk.” I am laughing and having so much fun reading all the comments and all your encouragement on how to make biscuits. You are delightful!

    Thank You Susan

    • Awww, thanks Nancy! The comments on the first post were amazing! I don’t know if you had a chance to read those, but they were packed with awesome ideas. I’m going to go back through all those and try some of the suggestions when I get a chance.
      I’ve already collected two new recipes to try from BNOTP readers. I’m amazed at how many different ways there are to make biscuits! Natalie Dupree wrote an entire book on making biscuits, called Southern Biscuits. πŸ™‚

  26. Cheryl Gordon says:

    Don’t know if anyone mention this yet, but America’s Test Kitchen
    says be sure to cut the biscuits straight up and down. If you twist the cutter as you cut, the biscuits won’t rise as high and will be uneven.

    • I read that somewhere after my first attempt. I was definitely doing the twisting thing. It’s so hard to not do that, you have to consciously think, “don’t twist!” Thanks, Cheryl! Great tip!

  27. Susan…get that Biscuit book! Natalie Duoree is such a Southern Living expert …all the Southern Living books are fabulous for recipes. I use full fat buttermilk for biscuits and they disappear….a great cheat if have a bunch of people coming is called the 7up Biscuits…online recipe and never fails to make large pan of tender buttery biscuits .

    • Nancy, I have to tell you a little story. My sister was always a HUGE Natalie Dupree fan. One day I drove all the way to her home in south Georgia, about a 2 hour drive, picked her up and took her to a Natalie Dupree book signing in Atlanta (I think in Rich’s Department Store) then took her back home. She was thrilled to meet Natalie in person, it’s one of my favorite memories of time spent with my sister who passed away on my birthday last year. I should buy her book for that reason alone, shouldn’t I.
      I need to try those 7up biscuits…those sound wonderful!

  28. Susan, your biscuits look fine to me. I only use Bisquick to make my biscuits and they are perfect every time. I actually make up several batches at a time, and we freeze them. Then we can have hot biscuits quickly any morning we desire. Give it a try. My biscuit cutter is 2.5″ in diameter. It was my grandmother’s cutter, passed on to my aunt, who passed it on to me. πŸ˜‰
    I had been looking on eBay for that pillow. One was listed for, I think, around $75. Thanks for the heads up. I placed my order this evening. Now I want to find the Target pillow from last year. If you see it, please alert me. ‘-)

    • I’m going to start doing that…great idea! When you take them out of the freezer, do you let them defrost or do you pop them in the oven, frozen? That’s so wonderful about using your Grandmother’s cutter. Love that!
      Oh, I didn’t realize you were looking for that one, so glad you snagged one before the sale is gone…and before they are gone.
      I’ll keep my eye out for that Target pillow for you. Wonder if they’ll bring it back this year.

  29. I remember when I was first married and a stay at home lonely person, the lady who owned the house where we rented an apartment showed me how to make biscuits and they were so good. I got really good at it,then she also showed mr how to cut up a chicken. Just thought I would share that LOL

  30. Biscuit pancakes sound hilarious but I can’t picture them; a shame you don’t have any photos. But actually you do sound quite accomplished, since even if they don’t look good (photos say otherwise) they all taste wonderful. So there is that!

  31. My comment has nothing to do with biscuits other than to say that, like some of your readers, my husband is the biscuit-baker and his are always yummy although they may not always look picture-perfect.

    What I’d like to end with is to let you know that when I came back to this post, today, for a 3rd visit, I noticed two of the advertisers to the right of your blog – both women’s fashions. And I took the time to click on both of them and was blown away by the wonderful styles, prices and buyer’s comments. I’m really careful about where I choose to shop online. That both sites are on your blog is a great endorsement because, as a longtime reader of your blog, I know you’re as careful about your own shopping experiences. Thanks for doing that. πŸ™‚

    • I’m so glad, Kathy! That makes my day to hear that you’re seeing quality advertisers when you’re visiting the blog. Thanks for letting me know! πŸ™‚

  32. Hi Susan- your biscuits sound delicious to me and the fact they are misshapen just makes them “special”. They remind me of the way my sister cooks (which means you remind me of family:)). What I’m really waiting for after this is how you make good southern cornbread! Around here in the Chicago area it’s just too sweet- they use yellow cake batter as an ingredient and I just don’t think that’s right. Maybe I should visit Nathalie Duprees website. I’ll be patient about your next project being cornbread- I know you’ve got a lot on your plate- no pun intended.

  33. Regality (aka The Quing) says:

    Baking powder can lose its ooomph after a while. That might be one of the culprits.

  34. Your biscuits look like our Aussie scones. We love them light and airy and serve them with whipped cream and jam (or sometimes with butter if they happen to be date scones). Your biscuits seem to be savoury though. Of course, what we call biscuits you call cookies. I’m sure your biscuits were delicious!

  35. Susan, another tip for your biscuits is to ensure your baking powder is fresh. Must admit though, its been years that I’ve made them. Also, thank you for the link for the mug toppers. Was thinking to myself before I logged on to the website ‘these would be cute done up in a Xmas theme’ and sure enough they do have them. -Brenda-
    P.S.: There also use to be a time that I made my own bread(s)/dinner rolls however my ‘need to knead is not needed’ since the children left the nest a long time ago …. winks! IF you ever require a recipe for same, let me know as I have a fabulous one.

  36. I knew that was a Susan Branch cook book before you mentioned it..i love her water colour art work.
    Yumm biscuits and those Halloween glasses…adorable!!!

  37. Looks good! My hints are…mix the ingredients as little as possible, with your hands…pat out, do not roll, and do not twist the cutter, just straight down and up…and maybe add a touch more baking powder.
    Good luck!

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