12.3 Biscuit or Pastry Method


  • To apply principles of gluten development in the preparation of soft doughs.
  • To develop techniques of light kneading and rolling.


Laboratory Problems

  • Prepare rolled biscuits.
  • Compare examples of convenience products with biscuits prepared from basic ingredients.


Yield: 6 Biscuits

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour 1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt 3 tbsp. shortening
⅓ cup milk (approximate)

Heat oven to 425°F.  Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together three times.  Cut fat into dry ingredients scraping pastry blender as needed until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; add milk and stir with a fork vigorously and quickly until blended (about 20-30 strokes) or until dough follows the fork.  Sprinkle about 1 tsp. of flour onto counter.  Form dough into a ball and knead lightly with finger tips 10 to 15 times.

Roll to ½ -inch thickness for 6 biscuits.  Handle carefully to avoid distorting the shape.  Dip cutter or knife into flour.  Hold the cutter so that the pressure while cutting is even.  Place cut biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake at 425°F until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.


Drop Biscuits

Prepare dry ingredients and shortening according to biscuit recipe above.  Increase milk to ½  cup and stir only until dry ingredients are moistened.  Do not knead or roll dough.  Drop dough from a tablespoon onto a greased baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes.


Characteristics of a Standard Product for Biscuits:

Appearance Texture Flavor

Symmetrical shape, vertical sides with a fairly smooth level top.

Golden brown exterior.

Biscuits should double in volume during baking, and seem light in relation to volume.

Medium-fine grain with relatively thin cell walls.

Light, creamy white crumb that peels off in layers.

Crisp yet tender crust.

Moist, tender crumb with a mild, pleasing flavor.


Product Appearance Texture Flavor
Rolled Biscuits
Dropped Biscuits


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Basic Scientific Food Preparation Lab Manual Copyright © 2023 by Iowa State University Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.