Ask Carb Diva: Questions & Answers About Food, Recipes, & Cooking, #102
I'm Not Here
As I write this I'm enjoying my first morning cup of coffee and Day No. 2 of the month of September has just begun. The days are still warm and sunny bright, but the evenings are cool and crisp. What is happing as you read this? I have not a clue.
Why you may ask, did I begin this article so long ago? I knew that mid-month my family and I would be going on a short road trip, exploring whatever museums, hiking trails, or brewpubs we find along the way. This little column takes at least 4 hours of work each week, and if I'm taking in the beauty of nature, poking around in an antique shop, or exploring dusty relics there are not 4 hours to spare.
So, this episode will be different from the rest.
Built upon a some questions that were posted on one of my other articles and came from an unknown source. Let's get started with two pieces of mail from 'anonymous.'
Questions About Biscuits
Several years ago I wrote, "How to Make Perfect Biscuits." It's my 4th most popular topic, with 10,000 page views to date. And, as new people find it, I continue to get questions, such as:
"Thanks for sharing your biscuit baking insight! Are there variables to time & temperature if using an electric oven and which oven rack position is best? Also after 12 minutes of baking how should the biscuits look and know they're done?"
Thanks for a great question. Honestly, I have an electric oven (not gas, not convection), so the instructions that I provided should work for you. I place my oven rack on the 2nd row from the bottom (my oven has 4 positions).
My oven is new-ish (purchased 2 years ago) and the heating in it seems to be consistent (no hot spots). If you have an older oven or have noticed that (for example) that food in the back of the oven gets darker, rotate your pan at the half-way point (6 minutes into baking).
Watch your biscuits carefully. Twelve minutes isn’t etched in stone. Your biscuits might be done at 10 or 11 minutes. They should be golden but not dark brown. If uncertain if they are “done” inside stick a wooden toothpick into the center of one. If it comes out clean or almost clean, you can remove them from the oven. It’s best to let them rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes before placing on in your breadbasket (they will continue to cook a tiny bit there).
If any of the readers have a convection (fan-assisted) oven, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees, don’t rotate the pan, and reduce baking time by 10 percent.
"Can you use this recipe for drop biscuits?"
No, as written this recipe will not produce dough suitable for drop biscuits. Rolled biscuit dough is quite firm and sturdy; dropped biscuits result from dough that is much looser and sticky. You could try adding 2 additional tablespoons of buttermilk to the dough, but I haven’t tested that theory.
Did you know that there is a Table of Contents for this series? I have created an article that provides a detailed listing of each question I've received. It's broken down by category, and within each category, the questions are listed alphabetically. Each question is actually a hotlink back to the original post.
Here's a link to that Table of Contents.
I have also cataloged all of my personal recipes that I have shared with you in this weekly Q&A series and in all of my other articles as well. The link to that Index is here. There are hotlinks to each recipe and this will be updated as new recipes are shared.
I Shall Return
Let's do this again next week. I'll be back.
If you have questions about foods, cooking techniques, or nutrition you can ask them here. If you are in search of an old recipe or need ideas on how to improve an existing one I can help you. If you want to learn more, let's do it together. Present your questions, your ideas, your comments below. Or, you can write to me personally at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, I promise that there will always be at least one photo of a kitty in every Monday post.