Baking Powder Biscuits

baking powder biscuitsMy mother has been making these biscuits since I was young. They go very well with soup, and are sturdy enough to dip in broth, but also tender inside. You can also vary them up in different ways including sweet versions (see the bottom of this post).

Ingredients
2 cups (260g) flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
2/3 cup (160mL) milk
1/2 cup (100g) shortening

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425F (220C) and grease a cookie sheet.

Put the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a bowl. Cut the shortening into the flour with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Add the milk all at once and stir just until dough forms a ball. Knead 15 times on a lightly floured board, then pat it into a 1/2 inch (1.5cm) thick pancake. Cut into rounds or squares and place on cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until browned.

Variations:
– pat thinner for crustier biscuits (reduce baking time slightly)
– for drop biscuits, increase milk to 1 cup and drop by spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet
– for other savory variations, add thinly grated cheese, garlic, or herbs such as rosemary, basil, or oregano
– for sweet variations, add honey and/or spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves

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Autumn Soup

This recipe is known as Autumn Soup, and it really is a great soup for autumn (and winter too). It’s made with ground beef and veggies like carrots, potatoes, and onion, so it’s inexpensive, but also warm and delicious. This recipe was originally a microwave recipe, but I usually make it on the stove these days.

Ingredients
1 lb (400g) lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
4 cups (950mL) hot water
3 cubes beef bouillon
2 cups ½-inch diced potatoes
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
½ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf
14-oz (400g) can diced tomatoes, undrained

Japan notes: here in Japan, beef can be expensive, so I sometimes make this soup with ground beef/pork mixture, or of course you can lower the amount of meat you use in the soup with no problem.

Instructions

Put ground beef, onion, and celery in a saucepan; cook and stir until meat is browned.

Add hot water, bouillon cubes, potatoes, carrots, basil, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes).

Remove the bay leaf. Stir in tomatoes and their juice. Cook for a few minutes more until back to a simmer, then turn off the heat and serve.

This soup is great together with bread or biscuits. My family always ate it with baking powder biscuits.