Tips & Hints > Baking > Biscuits, Rolls, Muffins, Etc.

Biscuits, Rolls, Muffins, Etc.

General Suggestions

In making batter-cakes, the ingredients should be put together over night to rise, and the eggs and butter added in the morning; the butter melted and eggs well beaten. If the batter appears sour in the least, dissolve a little soda and stir into it; this should be done early enough to rise some time before baking.

Water can be used in place of milk in all raised dough, and the dough should be thoroughly light before making into loaves or biscuits; then when molding them use as little flour as possible; the kneading to be done when first made from the sponge, and should be done well and for some length of time, as this makes the pores fine, the bread cut smooth and tender. Care should be taken not to get the dough too stiff.

Where any recipe calls for baking powder, and you do not have it, you can use cream of tartar and soda, in the proportion of one level teaspoonful of soda to two of cream of tartar.

When the recipe calls for sweet milk or cream, and you do not have it, you may use in place of it sour milk or cream, and, in that case, baking powder or cream of tartar must not be used, but baking-soda, using a level teaspoonful to a quart of sour milk; the milk is always best when just turned, so that it is solid, and not sour enough to whey or to be watery.

When making biscuits or bread with baking powder or soda and cream of tartar, the oven should be prepared first; the dough handled quickly and put into the oven immediately, as soon as it becomes the proper lightness, to ensure good success. If the oven is too slow, the article baked will be heavy and hard.

As in beating cake, never stir ingredients into batter, but beat them in, by beating down from the bottom, and up, and over again. This laps the air into the batter which produces little air-cells and causes the dough to puff and swell as it comes in contact with the heat while cooking.

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Source

The White House Cookbook (1887).


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