You could use pretty much any dried fruit in this—cranberries, chopped apricots, cherries, whatever you like. There are many different methods for shaping biscuits, from drop biscuits that aren't shaped at all, to gentle patting and prodding to rolling them with a rolling pin. These use the rolling pin method. I like this method for biscuits that have large pieces of butter. Buy rolling the dough, the butter flattens out, just like in pie crust, and the folding creates flaky layers.
About the author: Donna Currie has been cooking for fun and writing for pay since the days when typewritten articles traveled by snail mail. When she combined those talents in a food column for a newspaper in her area, she realized that writing about food is almost as much fun as eating. You can find her on her blog, Cookistry or follow her on Twitter at @dbcurrie.
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- Yield:Makes 12 biscuits
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:35 minutes
- 2 cups self-rising flour (or two cups all-purpose flour mixed with 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt)
- 1 tablespoon sugar (plus more for sprinkling)
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) cold butter
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries
- 3/4 cup cold milk (plus more as needed)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, adjust oven rack to center position, and and preheat oven to 425°F.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Cut the butter into several pieces and add it to the bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two knives cut the butter into the flour until the largest pieces are no larger than a pea. Add the blueberries and stir to combine, then the milk. Stir just enough to moisten all the flour.
Turn dough out onto a floured work surface. Shape it into a rough rectangle. Flour the top and roll to a rectangle roughly 12- by 9-inches and 1/4 inch thick. Fold in thirds crosswise like a letter. Rotate dough 90 degrees. Flour the work surface and dough as needed and roll into a rectangle again. Fold in thirds again. Roll once more into a rectangle roughly 9- by 6-inches and 3/4-inch thick.
Using a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter, cut as many rounds from the dough as you can, cutting straight down without twisting the cutter. Place them on the prepared baking sheet.
Gather the scraps, trying not to turn any of the pieces sideways (this keeps the layers running horizontally) and flatten to the same 3/4-inch thickness. Cut as many pieces as possible again. Gather the scraps again. Usually I make the last biscuit or two free-form. They're not as pretty, but that's fine for sampling.
Brush the tops of the biscuits with a little bit of milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 425°F in the center of the oven until the biscuits are light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove the biscuits from the oven and place on a rack to cook just for a moment before serving.