In North Carolina, Bojangles has a monopoly on chicken and biscuits. It’s impossible to live here and someone not talk about Boberry biscuits. I like them, but I always find myself disappointed in the lack of blueberry taste. It seems like they use the icing to carry the flavor of the biscuit. So I decided to step up to the plate and try my hand at them.
I’ve already written a bit about gluten formation and kneading in many of my other posts. There is one aspect of kneading that I have been negligent about demonstrating, however. You might find yourself asking: “If I use the wax paper kneading method on a wet dough, how do I know when it is ready?”
The answer to that question is a bit difficult, but I want to first recap what the wax paper method is. The best biscuit dough is slightly wet because it offers more steam rising and a moister biscuit. A conundrum inevitably arises when making wet dough, though. “How is it possible to knead dough that sticks to your hand?” The answer is to flour wax paper then to use it to fold the dough and pat/gently rub the dough.
The method is similar to folding a trifold. First grab one end of the wax paper then fold it over the dough. Then pat/rub the dough. Bring the wax paper back down to the table and repeat the process with the other end of the wax paper. Repeat these steps with the right and left end of the wax paper 3-5 times.
Through this rub process, the proteins glutenin and gliadin in flour bond by using water in the dough as an intermediary. You will notice that each time you repeat these steps the dough will be slightly altered. After the first few folds, tiny holes begin to appear in the structure of the dough. If you continue this process, you will notice that the holes and cavities have gotten larger. This is due to the elasticity of the dough. The dough is now able to stretch further before breaking.
When to stop kneading is a bit tricky. It requires a bit of intuition, but I stop when the dough looks like the image above. You can knead a bit more or less, but I wouldn’t go to any extremes. Kneading too much will cause the biscuits to be tough because there is not enough carbon dioxide in the leavening to expand the elastic gluten. And kneading too little will cause the biscuits to not rise enough because the gluten structure is not formed.
All- Purpose Flour- 1 ¼ c
Baking Powder- 2 tsp
Baking Soda- ¼ tsp
Salt- ½ tsp
Unsalted Butter- 2 tbs (in freezer at least 10 min)
Whole Milk- ½ c
Heavy Cream- 2 tbs
Greek Yogurt- 3 tbs
Eggs- 1 egg yolk
Lemon juice- ½ tsp
Vanilla extract- ½ tsp
1 cup of blueberries
2 tbs sugar
- Add sugar into blueberries and fold. Then place blueberries in freezer. (Protects slightly against blueberries bursting).
- Combine Dry ingredients
- Grate frozen butter into dry ingredients
- Use hands to cut butter (pinch and rub butter into flour) until at least half of the butter is coating flour and some pebbles of butter and flour are present
- Mix blueberries into flour mixture and place in freezer
- Combine liquid ingredients together
- Take dry ingredients from the freezer then use a spatula to stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir just until all ingredients are incorporated
- Knead the dough with wax paper. (as detailed above)
- Then use a spoon to separate all of the dough. Place dough in dollops on ungreased baking sheet. Place in freezer for 10 minutes.
- While the dough is cooling, preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Remove baking sheet from freezer and put in oven for 13-15 minutes or until top is browned.
- To make the icing, combine ½ cup of confectioner sugar with 2.5 tsp of milk and ¼ tsp of vanilla extract.
Makes about 8 biscuits