New Basic Biscuits

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 8


Appears in

The New Basics Cookbook

By Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso

Published 1989

  • About

This basic dough can be made sweet or savory: just adapt the recipe one way to make a great accompaniment to Spicy Breakfast Patties, another way for a fresh berry shortcake.


  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
  • ¾ cup half-and-half


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces, and cut it into the flour using two knives, a pastry blender, or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Add the half-and-half, and stir gently until the mixture forms a mass. Gather it into a ball.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead it for about 30 seconds, and then pat it out to form a ¾-inch-thick rectangle. Using a 2¾-inch cookie cutter, cut out 8 circles; use up all the dough.
  5. Arrange the biscuits about 1 inch apart on a baking sheet. Bake until puffed and golden, 14 minutes. Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack and allow them to cool.

To the flour mixture in Step 2 add 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives, ¼ teaspoon paprika, and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Increase the sugar to 2 tablespoons and reduce the flour to 1¾ cups. Before baking, brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter and sprinkle with additional sugar.