Disappointment And Huckleberry’s Comforting Biscuits
Azita from Fig and Quince designed our flyer for the block party, cute right? Here is it hanging on a post getting soggy. The rain was relentless, canceling the block party was the only option.
Our block, one lonely dog walker out. What a miserable day.
I love the Fall, the leaves turning and falling. The dogs love walking in the leaves that fall to the ground. It should have been a happy fun day, but we got rained out. All in all it was very disappointing, so I wanted to make something comforting. I haven’t made anything yet from Huckleberry, thumbing through the book my eyes were immediately drawn to this recipe for Comfort Food Biscuits, how appropriate. If you have followed my blog for any length of time you know I am biscuit/scone challenged. My biscuits have been likened to paper weights, hockey pucks, rocks. I am constantly searching for the elusive biscuit recipe that will be light and fluffy and pillowy. I thought this recipe sounded really good, lots of fat in the way of butter, cream cheese and heavy cream so it should produce a nice moist biscuit. Great step by step instructions. The only thing I was perplexed about was the baking temperature. It’s counter intuitive really, baking biscuits in a 350 degree oven didn’t make sense to me, every biscuit recipe I have ever made uses a hot oven 425 -450 degrees.
Comfort Food Biscuits
Makes 13 2 inch biscuits
3 cups (380 grams) all purpose flour
1 tbs +2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbs sugar plus more for sprinkling
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup (170 grams) cold unsalted butter cubed
3/4 cup (180 grams) cold cream cheese cubed
6 tbs (90 ml) cold heavy cream
fleur de sel for sprinkling
In a very large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and toss well. Throw in the cold butter and work it with your fingertips until the pieces are pea and lima bean size. Then do the same with the cream cheese. Add the cream. Lightly toss to distribute.
Immediately dump everything onto a clean surface with more than enough space to work the dough. Using only the heel of your palm, quickly flatten out the dough. Gather the dough back together in a mound and repeat. After two or three repetitions, the dough should begin holding together. Be sure to avoid overworking. You should still see some pea size bits of butter through it.
Flatten the dough to a 1 inch (2.5 cm) thickness and cout the biscuits. Transfer them to an ungreased sheet pan. Very gently push the scraps back together and cut once more. Freeze for at least 2 hours before baking, or up to 1 one month, tightly wrapped.
Preheat your oven to 350 degree F or 180 degrees Centigrade. Remove the biscuits from the freezer Space them with plenty of breathing room on two ungreased sheet pans, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with both sugar and salt. Bake from frozen until cooked through, nicely browned, and easily lifted off the pan about 30 minutes.
Disclosure: My results in no way reflect on the actual recipe since I am biscuit challenged.
I followed the instructions or at least I tried, the dough felt dry to me. I weighed the ingredients except for the flour and the heavy cream, in retrospect I should have weighed the flour also, that might be the key as to why the dough felt dry. Have I said I am biscuit challenged, well I am. Overworking the dough seems to be my mantra. I used the heel of my palm pressed and gathered and eventually it came together but only after a lot of work (overwork?). When I cut a biscuit with the cutter and picked it up it sort of fell apart,it was too dry. I had to put the dough back in the bowl and add another tbs of cream and really carefully incorporate, press it into another disc and cut the biscuits, this time they held together but my fear is that at this point I overworked the dough, in the photo’s above the dough looks soft mine was not it was tightly packed. They made exactly the amount indicated, I placed in the freezer for the requisite time (2 hours). I pre heated the oven to 350 degrees. I had to smack my hand to keep me from taking the temp up over 400 degree’s. To be fair it looks like the biscuit dough in the photo’s above is not the same recipe, it looks like the Herb biscuits which has more liquid in the form of buttermilk but a bit less fat so it should have evened out I would think. We’ll see what happens when I bake them. Note: I decided to try weighing three cups of flour using the same measuring cup and method and it was 420 grams and the recipe calls for 380 grams, hence the dry biscuits, I removed approximately 1/2 cup of flour to make it 380. You see why it’s important to weigh ingredients when you bake. When I cut 3/4 cup of butter it was less than the 170 grams so I added a smidge more.
Well, I think I overworked them, they were not pillowy, light and fluffy as I hoped. The flavor was good though. I am beginning to think I have unrealistic expectations when it comes to biscuits, I have the same problem with pound cakes. All biscuits are supposed to be like the ones you get in the refrigerator section of the supermarket, you know the ones in the can and pound cake should all be like Sara Lee. On a positive note, they rose nicely, flavor was really good and I am sure they are perfectly acceptable biscuits but one day I will go to LA and taste one from the source Huckleberry Bakery and Cafe. I really look forward to making more recipes from the book.
If I were to make these again I would do a few things differently:
1. weigh the flour and all ingredients
2. add more liquid if it looks to dry, that would help me not over work the dough.
3. Bake at a temperature higher than 350 degree’s, maybe with a commercial oven it works but with my less than wonderful oven it was too low and the biscuits looked anemic ( In all fairness I did not use egg wash, I brushed with cream)
I boosted the color in iphoto so they look more golden brown than they actually came out of the oven so the photo’s have been touched up.
Wonderful autumn photos! And biscuits look great and tasty!
Thanks so much. Love Autumn weather just wish it didn’t rain on our party :o(
Pssh, the biscuits look just wonderful to me, Suzanne. If you don’t want ’em fee free to send them my way. Promise, they won’t go to waste 😉
I’m sorry about your block party getting canceled. It’s been cold and rainy here in Michigan this week too.
Biscuits can be tricky for me too and through much trial and error I’ve learned that if the dough doesn’t seem to be the right texture, I don’t even attempt to start rolling and shaping them out. The consistency of the dough really is key. 🙂
You are so right Jess, I knew the dough wasn’t right. shouldn’t have attempted but wanted to see what they were like. Thanks so much.
Awwwww sweetheart! What a damper on party spirits! That flyer is cute.
Coming to biscuits : I found them very good looking. I still have to try my hands at making the biscuits. Always have read the recipe behind the baking powder boxes.
Thanks Sonal, it was a real bummer about the party, The biscuits well, not great. Trial and error and when it comes to me and biscuits well more error than trial/
:). 🙂 🙂
Gosh, would gladly have traded our 90 degrees and sunshine for some rain! I too am biscuit and scone-challenged. My Midwestern husband would love some biscuits and my Scottish McPherson genes should help my scone-making, but there you go…
I would not have liked 90 at all, didn’t like rain either. I guess I ask too much wanting perfect weather. LOL, thanks LIz.
If it is of any consolation it is pouring here too! We´ve had uninterrupted rain for 3 days already! So much for Spring! Suzanne, your biscuits look gorgeous, and I am sure they taste excellent, too. They look just fine to me!
They are not great, but they taste good. Thanks Viviana. Your biscuits are gorgeous.
Ah, that’s such a shame that you had to cancel the block party after all your hard work. The weather is such a wild card. We had a glorious September here with a ton of sunshine but today there is a distinct Autumnal chill in the air. Will you hold the party at a later date? I too am biscuit (scone) challenged and they never look quite like they do in the recipe book but they usually taste ok so I am happy enough with that. 😉
They do taste good, it’s too bad they are quite heavy and not fluffy, more like paper weights, My usual I’m afraid. Thanks so much.
Suzanne – so sorry about your block party. But your biscuits look perfect to me. I’d be more than happy with a batch that looked like that. 😉
Thank you so much, yes a real shame about the block party, as for the biscuits. Too heavy for my taste but that I am afraid is me not the recipe.
Suzanne… i’m sorry you had such a wet blanket of a day. I know you worked really hard getting that party together.
And i don’t mean to contradict you, but those biscuits look pretty delicious to me! I’d be happy to have one right now. Especially since i haven’t brought my serial any closer to a conclusion. A biscuit would be great! LOL 🙂 Great big hug!
Thanks Teagan, it was truly a bummer about the block party. Really disappointing for me. The biscuits, well I learned from my mistakes but still am looking for the perfect recipe,
I volunteer to take your rejects. 😀 If anybody can achieve the perfect biscuit, it’s you.
Ha, would gladly give you all of them. Thanks Teagan.
What a shame, and after all that work too… will you be able to reschedule the block party? Your biscuits look pretty good – there’s much worse has come out of my oven! I’ve not come across a biscuit/scone recipe that calls for freezing the dough before baking – interesting.
Yes have to say yesterday was a real disappointment for our whole block. I did not put a rain day down on the city permit application, if I had we could have re scheduled as it stands now it will be next year and I will remember to ask the city for a rain date, The biscuits were not great, they were too dry. Back to the drawing board. Thanks so much,
Sorry about your block party- I wish we could have switched weather- it was 90+ degrees here in Northern Ca and we could totally use the rain- even though we’re still harvesting. I am so done with the hot weather- I’m ready for fall!
Well 90+ is no picnic either but we would have had the block party so I think I would have traded just for the day then you could have it back. LOL! Thanks so much,
So sorry about the block party. But the biscuits look great.
Thank you so much, yes sad about the block party but we’ll do it again next year.
It not only rained heavily with us it went from 19C (66F) and sunny (warm summery weather for us) in the morning to around 8C (46F) by the afternoon! By the time I was heading past the beach on the way home I could’ve done with a hat a scarf. Still, what a shame to have to cancel your block party. Will you get the chance another weekend?
I made your cobbler recipe, sort of, earlier today Well, the scone part. Didn’t exactly get much of a rise as my baking powder probably needs replenished. Which I normally do every 3 months. This time around I forgot. Anyway, they tasted great cut out as rounds. But I’m just not sure what to serve them with. I like the idea of them as a scone type thing to go with…party food. Will have to think on that one. 🙂
Yes its quite chilly here also similar temps today was a high of only 63 and it’s going down to the high 40’s tonight but tomorrow, warming again. Oh glad you liked the scone part, would be lovely with some fruit compote and cream. Yum! Thanks Johnny.
Sorry you were rained out-dang it weather! Keep working on biscuit dough I know it is tricky. Anyone know where the Pillsbury can is?! Cheryl
Lol, yes that can of pillsbury looked pretty good after my misstep today. I think I am going to stick with Shirley Corrihers biscuit recipe, it’s really sloppy and wet but it’s the closet to what I look for in a biscuit, very light and very fluffy, Thanks Cheryl.
Well, I just love your humor and your Pugs, too!!!
Psssst. Did the rain stop yet in Brooklyn? Tell it to move to Jersey and get out of the way. HA! Take Care. Cheryl.
We had a rainy event this Saturday here in Long Island that carried on anyway… a bunch of troopers! Just needed a raincoat, boots, a tent, and a glass of wine! 🙂 I know that would be difficult for a block party though. 😦
I think that your biscuits looks tasty! I hate frustrating baking experiences though… the WORST.
We unfortunately did not have a tent or canopy, the blow up rides for the kids run on a generator which cannot operate in rain and the musicians use electric instruments which cannot get wet. I wish we could have gone on but we grill food which can’t happen in the rain, About all we could do was stand outside and get wet. Ugh…. Our street was closed off to traffic and the event happens on the street unprotected. Glad your event went on, a glass of wine does help for sure.
the biscuits look fantastic, Suzanne. Methinks you are setting the bar higher than necessary 😉 So sorry about the rain and party cancel as I know how much you were looking forward. Did you prepare a lot of food you now have to unload? If you can’t have an official reschedule, can you at least have neighbors over? I’ll buy my plane ticket as soon as I know when 😉
Lol, Liz, my bar may be a bit high but the biscuits were dry, not good at all. The rain was a real bummer, but there will always be next year. I failed to ask for a rain day on the city permit, thats my fault. The process to get a city permit to hold a block party takes 3 months at a minimum so next year we will try again.We are going to do an event in a week or two without the street closure. Come on over LIz would love to have you.
I miss the fall, the wind and all the feeling of this season, I’m sorry for your party but your biscuits look really nice, I can imagine a large spoon of jam in the middle, Suzanne 🙂
Oh I really love the changing of the seasons, I would truly miss that if I lived somewhere that didn’t occur. Thank you so much.
I’m sorry to hear that you guys had to cancel your block party Suzanne – will you be able to come together on another weekend? or is that it until next year?
As for scones/biscuits, I can completely relate… it was the source of so much frustration over so many years… though I’ve found my perfect recipe and it works every time now! I’m always particular about using my digital scales with baking (plus I use an American tablespoon in all my recipes), so I’m pretty sure it would work for you too if you wanted to give it a try… It was my very first post. Just be sure not to knead the mixture at all and use a blunt butter knife to cut through and work the liquid into the flour/butter mixture. Mine bake at 400degF, which I find is plenty hot enough. Anyway, let me know if I can further help… M
I am going to look up your recipe and give it a try Margot, thank you. Glad to hear that you had the same predicament as I have had and found a solution. It’s like me and my yellow cake, I found a great recipe and stick to it. I’ll make the scones and let you know how I do. Thank you.
I think the biscuits look just fine! I’m sorry about the rain. The wet weather swept through our parts on Saturday and now things are sunny but COOL. I guess it’s fall creeping in on us. A biscuit would be really nice right about now 🙂
It was funny the rain stopped and sun came out around the time we would have been ending the party, Not good. Thanks so much.
Oh Suzanne – these look wonderful! They are high and golden – they can’t be bad. If you want to mimic Sara Lee and the cookies that come in a can in the freezer section – you have to start adding a ton of preservatives and ingredients you can’t pronounce ;-). I’d rather eat your biscuits/scones than there’s any day!
LOL, yes I don’t want the preservatives and other add ons for sure. I just want a light fluffy biscuit and I am still trying to find that recipe. Thanks so much.
oh no, sorry that your block party got cancelled, that’s a disappointing. Love homemade biscuits!
Me too, it was a real bummer. Thanks but I’m afraid my biscuits leave much to be desired. LOL.
Sorry about the rain…I too am biscuit challenged, but yours look great 🙂
They look ok but are not great. Thanks so much Sarah!
They look just great Suzanne!! Plus no one is perfect and when we fail it only makes us better!! Cheers my friend!! 🙂
You are so right, thank you.
So sorry your block party got rained out! I’m glad to know I am not the only one who is biscuit challenged. They are so hit or miss with me and I too am constantly searching for just the right recipe!
I am feeling better now that I know I am not the only one that has trouble making homemade biscuits. Thanks Christin.
I’m sorry to hear about your block party being rained out, it was a all over bummer kind of day until the sun turned out later that afternoon. Yummy biscuits!
Thank you, yes total bummer of a day, but there is always next year.
I am sorry your block party was rained out. That is a disappointment. However, I think your biscuits look quite good. I am sure I would have enjoyed eating them on a cold, rainy day.
Thanks Michelle, the biscuits were ok, the day was a wash out but I learned to always provide a rain day on a city permit application.
Add mine to the long list of “so sorries” about the block party! And the biscuits LOOKED glorious! I’m sure with enough butter and jam they would be great– Keep trying??? I know I have my own baking deficiency– anything that calls for unflavored gelatin. It’s always comes out lumpy/gritty. ugh. I any case, it was an interesting post… xox
Thanks Rhonda, always keep trying, have for years and am certain one day I will get it right.
OK, I’m smiling at this one. You’re such an accomplished cook…
They look great to me, Suzanne! I’m sorry they didn’t meet your expectations. You should try Bonnie’s scone recipe from Thirsty for Tea. She is an amazing blogger here on WP and her scone recipe was the first one I ever tried. They turned out so well! If I can do it, you can! 😀 Here is the link: http://thirstyfortea.com/2014/02/26/fragrant-orange-english-scones/
Thanks Patty I have gotten the link to two scone recipes I am going to try. Will definitely check out Bonnies. Thanks so much.
I love that you mention how important it is to weigh flours Suzanne! This is precisely why I always include weight measurements in addition to cups on my recipes and always encourage my readers to use a scale. They are only a few dollars and so worth it! While the feedback I receive on my recipes from my readers is always great, I always see some of the photos they share and some of their baked goods didn’t rise nearly as mine did, which is precisely from not measuring accurately. Weight is so important!
Anyways, I’m so sorry to hear about your block party cancelling, what a bummer, but even though you said you were dissapointed with your biscuits…I swear they look perfect and heavenly. I have yet to create a vegan biscuit…it’s on my list along with a thousand others to create, haha!
Thanks Brandi, yes weighing is so important and as long as your scale is accurate always produces consistency in baked goods. Thanks the biscuits were too dry, not good. The flour amount was off so therefore everything was off. They did look good though. Thanks so much. What about using vegetable shortening like spectrum that is natural? I do think however they would lack flavor but you don’t use fat at all right?
So sorry about the block party, so no any luck of rescheduling the party is it?…. biscuits looks absolutely yummm to me and puffed up well… 🙂 🙂
Thanks Chitra, we can’t have it again until next year. Learned some lessons so hopefully next year will be a success. Thanks so much.
A shame the block party was ruined, that sucks so much! Hope you ate some extra biscuits to make yourself happy 🙂
Choc Chip Uru
Thanks so much, yes it sucked, but there is always next year!!
All has been said above but I truly am sorry for you cancellation AND the biscuits look great! I too have difficulties with biscuits but mostly because I have a hard time using all the required fat to make them taste great (although, honestly, the ones I made on my recent post “one”, using corn butter and whole wheat flour were quite exceptional). A little heat in the oven, more butter and good jam are always a good idea too. I hope Nando and Izzy get to go walk in the leaves and breath in the fresh Autumn air.
Thanks Stacey mine don’t turn out even with the requisite amounts of fat and liquid. Maybe it’s just my heavy hand. Thanks, Nando and Izzy do enjoy the cool temps and Izzy loves the leaves, always has.
Oh I’m sorry about your party – what a lot of organisation it must have been and how sad it couldn’t go ahead. Is there any way you could do a small “token” party to make up for it?
Your biscuits look yummy – I love the way you say you are “biscuit challenged” but they don’t by any means look like they’ve been made by someone of that title. I’d eat them all 😀
Thank you so much, yes that cancellation was a huge let down and unfortunately so were my biscuits. I don’t think it’s the recipe it’s me I really am challenged.
So sorry about the party! It was a cold and awful day indeed!
The biscuits look pretty good to me!!! However, keep going with your quest.
You will find the perfect recipe sooner or later! 😉
Thanks Francesca, so far the perfect recipe is elusive but yes I know I will find it.
A real bummer and major damper about the block party. You handled it all with utmost grace I thought and I love the idea of an informal stoop gathering among us neighbors at the first opportunity. The biscuits: look really really good!
Thanks so much Azita, I loved your signs. We are meeting tomorrow to plan the informal gathering, it will be soon before it gets too cold.
I know, it’s Fall: full frontal already 😉
HI Suzanne, I think your biscuits look wonderful, so sorry about the party. Though I love the rain, it would not have stopped me.
Thanks Cheri, I don’t mind the rain and we would have gone on with it except the music, the blow up ride and the grilling could not happen in the rain it put a damper on our good time.
I’d come to your block party! Maybe we can just have a nyc blogger party of 3!
I love your idea Amanda, why don’t we NYC bloggers get together, I would love to meet everyone.
We’ll have to find someone who has an apartment big enough to accommodate more than 2 people 🙂 Let’s work on it.
We always held pot lucks at my place it’s large enough to hold quite a few people I would be happy to host or we could all meet at a restaurant I would be happy either way. Lets definitely work on it. I live in Brooklyn.
So I’ve been making these all through COVID season – I found I had to double the cream to even get the biscuits to remotely stay together. However, these are the best biscuits I’ve ever had. That being said, mine stay flat! I can’t figure it out!