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Nov 26, 2020 - 7:46:35 PM

mander

USA

4486 posts since 10/7/2007

I am used to my biscuits being brag worthy. I stopped baking a few years ago when I finally conceded that I was gluten intolerant, but I hate to admit I lost my touch, so when my son asked me to bake biscuits today, I agreed. He went out and bought all the ingredients fresh this morning.

By the time he asked, the kitchen was blazing hot from all the other cooking, so the butter and milk warmed up quickly, but I've made biscuits under hotter conditions. The oven was unbelievably slow. Normally, the biscuits bake in 7-12 minutes depending on size, and the first batch took over 20 minutes to bake. I raised the temperature for the next batch and I also added more powder as the first batch didn't seem to rise well. It did not help. The batch still took 20 minutes to bake, and were almost flatter coming out then going in. I do NOT over beat them. I stir just enough and no more.

Taste wise, they were adequate, but not brag worthy. Texture was tough and chewy.

This is the recipe I have used for decades:

3 cups flour
6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon pf baking powder
A sprinkling of salt
1 1/2 cup milk

It failed me today, and I'm trying to figure out why.

Can I blame the slow oven? The overly hot kitchen? The change of elevation? My old house was at the 500 foot level and now I'm at 235. Didn't think a drop in elevation that small would make that much of a difference, but I'm grasping at straws. There was a time I could make biscuits as good as Gramma Tiger, and today was just plain disappointing.

I bought element covers recently, and it just occurred to me, they were probably covering the venting elements. Do you think that might have caused a problem?

Nov 26, 2020 - 8:15:46 PM

Owen

Canada

7417 posts since 6/5/2011

I can offer no suggestions.... my wife's biscuits always make the grade.  wink     

Edit: I used to enter some stuff at our yocal ag. fair.... sometimes in the men's only, sometimes in the open section.  One time  there were 2 entries in the mens' only section.... they gave my bannock 3rd. place.   crying    [Fwiw, my wife said I was lucky to have it judged worthy of third.... apparently the middle was undercooked???]  

Edited by - Owen on 11/26/2020 20:25:13

Nov 26, 2020 - 10:05:41 PM
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Brian T

Canada

17544 posts since 6/5/2008
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The way you talk, I suspect a bad oven element. Some ovens have two( yours?).
If one is hooped, there's your problem that fresh ingredients can't fix.

Nov 26, 2020 - 10:49:17 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

24240 posts since 6/25/2005

How old is the baking powder? .... Suggestion: Get a ready-made biscuit mix, the kind you add just water to. Bake a batch following the directions exactly. If they fail, it's the oven.  If not,try your recipe again in a cooler kitchen, first as you tried it on Thanksgiving, then, if it flops, changing out one major ingredient at a time. As long as you get failure, change out a different ingredient.  The answer will be self-evident.

Edited by - Bill Rogers on 11/26/2020 22:58:27

Nov 27, 2020 - 12:02:28 AM

2619 posts since 4/22/2018
Online Now

From the recipe you listed it looks to me that yo may have inadvertently used a mix best suited for scones rather than a biscuit smiley.  
 

Do you have a bbq thermometer?  I recently changed our oven and have been cooking with a remote thermometer in the oven to see how the temp stacks up between the oven dials and the thermometer.  Turn out the new one is more accurate than the old one that I've been having to compensate for a 20 degree c 'delta' between dial and actual temp.

Nov 27, 2020 - 5:26:09 AM
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rinemb

USA

12864 posts since 5/24/2005

you need a lot of heat. 425*F will do. Do you chill and cut in the butter? Do you roll and cut or drop the dough?
I cook on a 1933 gas oven and stove. So, I am always concerned about thermostat.
Last year I bought about six oven thermometers. 5 best rated new, one antique with mercury, and I stuck them all in the oven, including the probe of my digital thermometer, at 350*F. Then I moved them around in the bigger oven. Readings were all over. I got rid of the three with that didn't meet the average range, and use the others.
Brad

Nov 27, 2020 - 5:45:03 AM
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rinemb

USA

12864 posts since 5/24/2005

Don't lose your biscuit mojo again, get back in the saddle and stay there until you figure it out. You just cannot leave this world having people say: "You know, Mander was a good ol gal, but, damn, her biscuits sure sucked!"
Brad

Nov 27, 2020 - 6:01:23 AM
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DC5

USA

15874 posts since 6/30/2015

I agree with the others, it's either the baking powder or the oven.

Nov 27, 2020 - 6:07:38 AM
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rinemb

USA

12864 posts since 5/24/2005

I have used this site for years, for baking questions, problems, and ideas. Brad

https://www.baking-forums.com/

Nov 27, 2020 - 6:24:32 AM

mbanza

USA

2271 posts since 9/16/2007

I would include about 3/4 tsp baking soda.

Nov 27, 2020 - 6:36:55 AM

Owen

Canada

7417 posts since 6/5/2011

7.5 minutes   ---->  20 minutes??  Did the oven ever reach the "set"  temp.?   

The question of one or two elements has me thinking..... mainly a) where was this question when the "physics questions" thread was humming, but also b) how much additional time [i.e. more baking time] would be a reasonable estimate for one element to bring it back up to set temp. after opening the door, as opposed to two elements working?   My top-of-the-head guess would be a couple of minutes??     

When there are two elements is one "bake" and one "broil"?.... or are there other [common-ish] set-ups?

Nov 27, 2020 - 7:33:36 AM

Paul R

Canada

13634 posts since 1/28/2010

I have no solution, but I can say you're not alone. Many years ago the Mrs. baked a lemon meringue pie. She used a recipe called "Mile High Meringue". The meringue came out flat as a pancake. Live 'n' learn.

Nov 27, 2020 - 9:00:53 AM

547 posts since 10/9/2017

For the rise, I concur with the comments about the oven/baking powder issue. The only other thing might be a change in flour. If you’ve moved regions, different flours definitely produce different biscuit results. Biscuits do best with soft flours like we have in the South, especially, dare I say it, the bleached kind. i bought organic AP flour from a local mill that had a much higher amount of bran in it and my biscuits were flat, if tasty. I switched back to White Lily for biscuits.

I hate to say it, but tough biscuits are usually the result of overworking the dough.

Nov 27, 2020 - 10:55:23 AM

Banjo Lefty

Canada

2095 posts since 6/19/2014

Calibrate your oven thermometer. Just because it say 400, doesn't mean it's right. Get a reliable meat thermometer and put it in the hot oven for a few minutes. If the meat thermometer doesn't match the oven reading, then your oven thermometer is out of whack.

Nov 27, 2020 - 11:03:30 AM
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Brian T

Canada

17544 posts since 6/5/2008
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I bought 3 oven thermometers. Two of them were STILL reading 375F when I took them back to the store for replacements.

"The oven was unbelievably slow." Direct quote.
That, to me, spells burnt out element, not baking powder.

". . . all fresh ingredients. . . " cannot mean stale ingredients.

Turn the oven on to 400F. Wait no more than 2-3 minutes. Open the door and look at the elements. They should be visibly red-hot, preheating.

Nov 27, 2020 - 11:18:29 AM
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J e f f

USA

3420 posts since 12/16/2009

Baking is a science, not an art. Use a pinch of salt instead of a sprinkling of salt and you'll be good to go.

Nov 27, 2020 - 12:16:10 PM

Owen

Canada

7417 posts since 6/5/2011

...  I've been known to use the expression: "If you can read, you can cook."     [Though I acknowledge that it isn't a prerequisite, and the reverse isn't a truism.]

Nov 27, 2020 - 12:39:45 PM

RB3

USA

883 posts since 4/12/2004

You're probably using the wrong flour. Below is some advice on the matter.

Martha White

Nov 27, 2020 - 3:24:26 PM
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Brian T

Canada

17544 posts since 6/5/2008
Online Now

Read: Professional Baking by W. Gisslen. The Cordon Bleu textbook used all over the world, it's that good. abeBooks has a bazillion used copies.

If the oven is not working properly, everything else is a waste of ingredients.

Nov 27, 2020 - 3:51:38 PM

rcc56

USA

3266 posts since 2/20/2016

Although I am not a biscuit maker, I do live in the same part of the world in which the best biscuit makers reside.
Matter of fact, I had some homemade mile-high tall, fluffy biscuits yesterday. I wish they had offered me a few to take home.
I was going to wax rhapsodically about buttermilk, cutting in shortening, handling dough as little as possible, and curing . . .

But, after reading Sally's original post again, it is clear that she knows what she is doing.
So I looked up "element covers" on google, and I believe that they may indeed be the cause of the problem. They may be affecting the way the oven's thermostat is operating, and throwing the temperature off.

Sally, remove the covers and try another batch.

Nov 27, 2020 - 4:03:34 PM

Owen

Canada

7417 posts since 6/5/2011

Re.: "....the same part of the world in which the best biscuit makers reside.
Matter of fact, I had some homemade mile-high tall, fluffy biscuits yesterday."

Methinks you'd better exercise much care Bob.... be sure to chew very thoroughly; iffin too much of that air that's making them fluffy gets into yer stomach, there's only 2 escape routes.... neither of 'em acceptable in polite company.   cheeky

Wouldn't element covers give the opposite effect of an oven that's "too slow"?

Edited by - Owen on 11/27/2020 16:05:37

Nov 27, 2020 - 4:37:33 PM

rcc56

USA

3266 posts since 2/20/2016

Depending on where the thermostat is located, the trapped heat may be causing it to cut off too soon, and the elements might not be burning long enough to build up sufficient heat.

The long baking time is a clue that the oven's not operating normally.

Nov 27, 2020 - 4:50:04 PM

Owen

Canada

7417 posts since 6/5/2011

The temp. sensor has gotta be in the oven, no?   [Do we know whether the stove is electric / gas / ??   Is that relevant?   Fwiw, my limited knowledge is limited to electric.]

However, apparently the sensor itself could be wonky:   https://www.searspartsdirect.com/diy/repair-guide/how-to-replace-an-oven-temperature-sensor-on-an-electric range#:~:text=Find%20the%20temperature%20sensor%20probe,wall%20of%20the%20oven%20interior.

Edited by - Owen on 11/27/2020 16:53:42

Nov 27, 2020 - 4:57:56 PM
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56457 posts since 12/14/2005
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by rinemb

Don't lose your biscuit mojo again, get back in the saddle and stay there until you figure it out. You just cannot leave this world having people say: "You know, Mander was a good ol gal, but, damn, her biscuits sure sucked!"
Brad


Reminds me of a verse from "Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill!"

====================

The boss was a fine man down to the ground
And he married a lady six feet 'round
She baked good biscuits,  and she baked 'em well
But she baked 'em harder than the walls  of Hell

===============================

Stick an oven thermometer in there.

If you can borrow two or three, so much the better.

If your oven is set at X degrees, and ALL the thermometers agree with each other that the temp is the same to THEM, but different from the setting, the thingamajig which controls the setting is definitely upfucculated.

OR! !

Make friends with some neighbor, tell 'em they can have half the batch, if you can bake it in THEIR oven.

If they come out like fresh-baked zombies from another oven in the same general area, it's YOUR FAULT!

Nov 27, 2020 - 5:45:26 PM

9787 posts since 8/22/2006

I could be something as simple, well maybe not simple, the seal on the oven door maybe faulty.
Thus the kitchen getting hot and the oven not holding the adequate heat.

Nov 28, 2020 - 5:16:14 AM
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rinemb

USA

12864 posts since 5/24/2005

So, Mander, have you given it another go? Brad

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