Basic Homemade Biscuits

Basic homemade biscuits cooling off on cookie rack. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Basic homemade biscuits cooling off on cookie rack. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Basic Homemade Biscuits

This is one of those must have basic recipes that takes less than 5 minutes to make and, once baked, can be frozen for later use.

I like these in winter but I keep a supply handy in the freezer all year for visitors who want to share a cup of tea with really fresh honey and strawberry jam.

Basic Homemade Biscuit Recipe

Sift together:

2 cups all purpose flour

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

Add 1/4 cup shortening and use two knives to cut it into small pieces.

Add 3/4 cup milk.

Mix gently, then roll out onto floured board. Cut into 3/4” biscuits.

Bake at 400F for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

Allow to cool on cookie rack.

To freeze, I place the biscuits on cookie rack in freezer. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

To freeze, I place the biscuits on cookie rack in freezer. (Photo by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins)

Place cookie rack in freezer to individually freeze biscuits. Store in freezer bag.

To defrost, place in microwave for 30 seconds or allow to defrost at room temperature.

You can turn these biscuits into breakfast if you like gravy, or make your own breakfast sandwich with an omelet or scrambled eggs.

Or so I hear. I haven’t moved past adding honey from my apiary or strawberry jam from our local farmer’s market.

These basic recipes are the foundation of cooking. You will find others in our American Cooking Illustrated Encyclopaedia.

Maybe I will get adventurous this winter.


Rabbit Rolls Recipe

Here is my Rabbit Dinner Rolls recipe, which I understand is an old-fashioned angel biscuit recipe, replete with instructions on how to make the rolls look like rabbits. These will be lighter if made with all white flour but I mixed half white and half wheat.

Rabbit Dinner Rolls

2.5 cups *white all purpose flour

2.5 cups *whole wheat flour

*you can use all white flour, I mixed them to give the bunnies a little color. Wheat flour makes the rolls more dense.

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tablespoon salt

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup chilled vegetable shortening

2 cups buttermilk

2 ¼ tsp active yeast (one package)

1/4 cup warm water

1 egg, beaten (optional)


Empty active yeast into warm water. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.

Mix dry ingredients together.

Cut in shortening with two knives until shortening is in tiny pieces and dissolves into the mixture.

Add buttermilk and yeast mixture. Mix until all ingredients are "mushed" together into one big ball of dough.

Cover. Chill for 1 hour.

To Make Rabbit Rolls:

Liberally dust a cutting board with flour and knead 4-5 times until dough is easy to handle.

Roll into a biscuit-size oblong shape with a narrow end for a face. Roll smaller round dough piece and attach withdab of milk as a tail.

With kitchen scissors, cut two long “ears” and shape to remove the pointed tip. Using a toothpick, add a line inside each ear. Add two holes in the front for eyes. Brush with egg for a golden finish.

Bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. These freeze nicely.

How do you eat your rabbit rolls – ears or tails first?


Rabbit Rolls

The picture of the “easy to make” rabbit rolls was too cute to quickly be thrown together. The idea, however, stuck with me long enough that I had to try.

As a bunny lover going back to my first stuffed toy, a little music box rabbit, the idea that I could nestle a yeast roll that looks like a rabbit in a pile of salad made me smile. I also know that a number of do-it-yourself online projects and recipes are made by professionals with years of experience and a good half dozen or more assistants. Few things are as easy as they are made out to be.

Sure enough, this bunny roll recipe making the rounds started to collect disclaimers. These are made by an experienced professional chef, the first one said, suggesting we really should not be attempting to do this at home. I looked at the picture again. This may mean it will take a few dozen tries to even come close to having rolls have a shape, let alone look like a rabbit.

The second disclaimer was that it takes more than cutting the dough with kitchen scissors to make the rabbit ears. I noticed that the first time I saw the recipe, cutting the ears only made the rolls look more like cats than rabbits. The key was in the length of the cut and adding a center indentation so that they look more like rabbit ears.

The last disclaimer was that even though the picture of the rolls was with a particular recipe, the recipe was not the one the professional chef with years of experience had used to make the sample bunny rolls. The rabbit rolls in the original picture had been made out of an, as of yet, unidentified pastry dough recipe.

I will share my Rabbit Dinner Rolls recipe, replete with instructions on how to make the rolls look more like rabbits than cats although cat rolls will come in handy around Halloween.