Stir dry ingredients well to distribute the leavening agent.
When a recipe calls for butter, make sure it’s cold when you begin.
Cut in shortening thoroughly. Use a pastry blender or fork to distribute the shortening evenly to give the biscuits a flaky texture.
Knead dough quickly and lightly. Kneading helps make biscuits and scones flaky, but should be done just until the dough is no longer sticky. Kneading also helps distribute the leavening agent.
Roll or pat the dough to an even thickness. Not only will biscuits be more attractive, they will bake more evenly.
Use a floured cutter, and don’t twist the cutter.
Cut out as many of the biscuits or scones as possible from a single rolling of the dough (the second rolling and the additional flour will make them a bit tougher than the first batch).
Place biscuits and scones close together on the baking sheet for a soft crust; for a crispy crust, place them about 1 inch apart.
Brush the tops with butter or milk before baking for a rich brown top.
Remove from the oven when top and bottom crusts are an even golden brown.
Store cooked biscuits or scones in a sealed plastic bag at room temperature for 2 to 3 days, or freeze them for up to 3 months.
Reheat foil-wrapped biscuits or scones in a 300°F oven for 10 to 12 minutes; reheat frozen biscuits for 20 to 25 minutes.
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