Saturday, November 5, 2016

How to make biscuits in a pressure cooker

No, you don’t pressure cook them. You use a pressure cooker only as a stove top oven. Just like I did for the bread, I also made biscuits in an old, rather large pressure cooker that doesn’t have a gasket, a weight, or even an over-pressure safety plug anymore. If yours has all those things, just remove the gasket and leave the weight off for baking. Then, follow what I do. It doesn’t warp the cooker bottom using the dry heat because it’s not under pressure when you do this.

You can use store bought canned biscuits if you prefer. A can of those fits very nicely in an 8 inch round cake pan. I bought some disposable aluminum ones because my only round cake pan is 9 inch, so it’s really too large to go down in the cooker very well.

Here’s my biscuit recipe, more or less. You know how it is when you do things homemade. After awhile you do them by feel more than strict measurements, but this will work.

Homemade Biscuits
  • 3 cups self rising flour (or 3 cups flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • Milk to make stiff dough (Even better with buttermilk! If you use buttermilk, add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the dry mix.)
Mix the sugar into the flour mixture (if you use sugar), then cut in the shortening with a pastry blender, two knives, a fork, or your hands. Slowly add milk until you get a rather stiff dough.

Turn dough out on a well floured surface and pat it out to about 3/4 inch thick. You can use your clean counter top, a cutting board, or a smooth kitchen towel dedicated to baking only. (I keep mine in a gallon zip bag.)

Do not knead the dough!
Cut out biscuits with a biscuit cutter. I actually use an old tomato sauce can that I’ve popped holes in the bottom. I’ve had it for many years and it’s exactly 1 cup for measuring flour plus it cuts out nice sized biscuits. The holes in the bottom let air escape so the biscuits don’t get stuck in the can due to a vacuum.

Gently place the cut biscuits into your baking pan. You may be able to push the remaining dough together and cut more biscuits until you’ve got it all used up.(Waste not, want not!)  Lower the pan into your pressure cooker that has a couple of layers of canning rings or something else to raise the pan off the direct heat of the bottom.

Turn on the heat to medium high, put the lid on the pan, and let it bake about 20 to 25 minutes. Check on things around the 20 minute mark to see if they’re getting done.

When the bottoms are golden brown, take the baking pan out of the cooker, flip the biscuits over on a plate, then slide them back into the baking pan to finish browning. That will take about another 5 or 10 minutes. (I did try flipping them with tongs but I found that I wrecked the biscuits too much doing that. Now I just flip the whole thing out as described above.)

When done, turn them out onto a plate and enjoy warm with butter and jelly, or with your meal.

Here’s a little video to help you see what I was doing with the pan.

Of course, these biscuits can also be baked in a conventional oven. Preheat to 400*F and bake them off till the tops are light golden brown.

Comment and let me know if you made these and how they turned out for you!

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