Jana’s Biscuits

I like to think of myself as an honest person and someone others can trust to be so.  However, there are just certain situations in which I find myself that are simply impossible.

Bold face liar example #1:  this morning at the pediatrician’s office.  I was running late (of course) and I just grabbed whatever I could for my two year old’s snack as I ran out the door.   I had carrots on the counter from prepping dinner, so I shoved one in her little hand and bolted.  She was still munching on this monster carrot when her pediatrician saw her.  I was dubbed “Mother of the Year” right there on the spot for “giving my child a perfect snack.”  He went on and on and on (and on) about how proud he was of me and how he wished more mothers followed my example and stopped feeding their children so much junk.

I didn’t have the guts to show him the inside of my purse.  It contained the requisite bribes for a two year old’s good behavior:  fruit snacks and candy.

I’m such a fraud!

By the time we got home from the doctor’s office, it was time for lunch.  My four year old knew I had a bag of homemade biscuits in the freezer and used his best puppy-dog eyes to convince me to bake some up for lunch.  Both my preschoolers were ecstatic when I agreed.

I mean, if you’ve given them a carrot for snack, why not have biscuits for lunch?

This is my go-to recipe for biscuits.  They always turn out perfectly.  Light and fluffy, with those to-die-for flaky layers.  I wish I knew the original source for this recipe.  I mooched it off my sister in law years ago, which is why they will always be “Jana’s Biscuits” in our family.  

When I make a recipe, I get out my biggest mixing bowl and multiply the recipe times five.  I bake off one batch right away, then cram the rest of the raw biscuits onto a cookie sheet.  I freeze them overnight, then toss them in a bag until needed.  Genius!  Just ask my preschoolers who were the beneficiaries of my freezer biscuits.  Believe me, I would have never whipped up a batch from scratch after my exhausting morning as the perfect mother.

Jana’s Biscuits
(makes 12 biscuits)
2 C flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 Tb sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 C shortening
2/3 C milk

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2.  In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients.  Using a pastry cutter, blend in the shortening until evenly distributed and the pieces are the size of small peas.
3.  Make a well in the center of your mixture and add the milk.  Use a wooden spoon mix together your dough, starting from the well of milk and working your way outward.  Your dough will still seem a bit crumbly.
4.  Dump onto a lightly floured counter and knead gently about 15 times until the dough comes together.  Roll to a 1″ thick disk and cut with a floured biscuit cutter.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.  Serve immediately.

**For freezer, prepare the dough as listed above, but do not bake.  Place cut, uncooked biscuits on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer overnight.  Once frozen, toss in a freezer bag.  To prepare, preheat oven to 425 degrees and bake frozen biscuits for 13-15 minutes.


    • says

      Tiffany: it depends. These in the picture are small, about 2″. I like the smaller ones because to my kids it seems like they get a lot :). I also make 3 1/2″ ones as well.

  1. says

    I am so excited to have found your blog. I can’t wait to make and freeze these biscuits. I live by myself, and having things prepared in a way that makes it easy to prepare a me-sized portion is always a blessing.

  2. kristin says

    I just came across your blog via pinterest. I love it and have pinned a ton of recipes to try. I wanted to tell you that this is the same recipe my mom has always used for biscuits. I’m 37 so she’s had the recipe for as long as I can remember. I grew up eating these in the winter with beef stew. Anyway…just found it interesting that it’s the same. I’ve never tried freezing them, though I think now I will! Keep the great recipes coming!

  3. says

    Joanna – You could use a mixer, but run it as absolutely little as possible. The key to light, fluffy biscuits is touching and handling the dough as little as possible. The more you work the dough, the tougher it will become. A food processor would work better than a mixer if you have one.

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