I haven't been able to track down my great-grandma's biscuit recipe yet, but we decided to do a little reenactment of family history without it. The girls donned their vintage aprons and I broke out a cookbook by one of my favourite children's book authors, Tasha Tudor. If I can't have great-grandma's recipe, Tasha Tudor at least evokes the sort of American history feel I was looking to create.
Biscuits turned out to be easier than I expected to make. They are a little messy, but totally worth it. The girls had fun rolling and cutting the dough. We talked about Grandma's stories of making biscuits with her grandmother every day after school and what life must have been like. I actually knew my great-grandmother, so I talked a little bit about my memories of her too.
One of Grandma's favourite memories was using the leftover dough to make "baby biscuits" that fit perfectly on the plates of the Victorian china tea set Grandma Jennie owned. Of course, we had to make some baby biscuits of our own.
Both "mommy biscuits" and "baby biscuits" were delicious served with a batch of sausage gravy. In the future I will try making a double or triple batch and freezing some.
Here's the recipe:
1/2-3/4 c milk
2 c flour
4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/3 c shortening
Preheat oven to 475 F and grease a cookie sheet.
Break egg into 1 c glass measuring cup. Mix with a fork. Add milk to the 3/4 c line and mix again.
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Lightly mix in the shortening with your fingers. Stir in the milk mixture. Do not overwork the dough. On a floured surface, roll the dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut with a biscuit cutter or a drinking glass. Place biscuits 1 inch apart on the cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes until nicely browned.