Tall and flaky Pumpkin Raisins Biscuit for people who loves to enjoy pumpkin during Fall or even on any day of the week.
From all sorts of apple desserts, I’m moving on to pumpkin pastry. I thought you might be having an apple overload already so a break will be nice before I continue my remaining apple treats. When I was thinking of what pumpkin treats to make, I had narrowed it down to either biscuits, scones, muffin, bread or cookie which I think is something interesting to be flavored with pumpkin. I wanted something with subtle pumpkin flavor because I wouldn’t call myself a huge fan of pumpkin. Something not overwhelming but satisfying. I decided to go for the biscuit first then I’ll do bread too. These two are among my favorites, but believe it or not few years ago, bread making was something that never even crossed my mind. But once I’ve tried it and experienced the sense of accomplishment of being able to make my own bread, I got hooked to it. I make my bread now more than I buy them. So expect the pumpkin bread roll to come soon.
Back to this Raisins Pumpkin Buttermilk Biscuit, it taste as good as it looks, promise. It’s undeniably tall, light and not too dense. I used 1/2 cup of pumpkin purée, its subtle but good. The dough is going to be sticky so having a well floured surface while working on the dough was very helpful. The recipe doesn’t use any egg because we already have the pumpkin purée.
This recipe makes about 8 pieces. I used a 2 1/2 cookie cutter but you can definitely cut this into wedges or triangles. I like to keep it 8 pieces to have a taller piece, nothing makes a biscuit even more attractive than seeing it tall and flaky.
Cutting the Dough
Few tips here that worked for me in achieving a tall scones.
- Divide the Dough into Two Portion: Overworking the dough could make the biscuit tough and not flaky and tall. Normally what happens is you flatten the dough and cut as much as you can using a cookie cutter. Then you gather up the scraps flatten it again and make as much cut as you can. The batch of biscuits from the scraps that you gathered will end up not as tall as the first batch because the dough was overworked, and sometimes even dense and flat. To avoid this, what I did was to divide the dough into 2 portions. Form the dough into a square of 5×5″. The size 5×5 was because I used 2 1/2″ cookie cutter. If you have them side by side, you will have a size of 5 inch, since we are cutting up 4 pieces in each portion of the dough, the total size should be 5×5″. Once you are done cutting, you will see that you have fewer scraps left and both batches of biscuit cut from each portion of the dough will have a similar height and size. The scrap would make 1 piece at the most and that’s it.
- No Twisting: When cutting the biscuit, do not twist around. Press the cutter down then lift the excess dough so that you will end up with only the cut pieces. Then use a spatula to lift and move it to the try. If you are cutting it to wedges or squares, do not use a serrated knife, use tools that have smooth edge, and just the same, press the knife down to make a cut, do not cut moving back and forth like you are using a saw. The reason for this is that twisting makes the side of the biscuit seal thus preventing it from rising tall. Some people may say it doesn’t matter how you cut it, but for me I’ve tried both twisting and no twisting and the no twisting gave me a taller biscuit. It’s a simple thing to remember, but it could really make a difference in how the scone will look like after baking.
Spice It Up or Maybe Not?
I have a confession, I am not a fan of Fall spices when it comes to baked products. You know the likes of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and sometimes allspice. The most that I used in any of these is the cinnamon but only in a very small amount. They are just not my thing and that is why you don’t see any of that in here. But I know that there are some people who love them, and If you are of the spice loving person, then feel free to add some spice in the dry ingredients. Some people will say a Fall dessert or bake products is not the same without it, but in make case I prefer baked products without them. So, the choice is yours. I couldn’t suggest on how much you should add because I never used them, so again the amount will depend on how much of those flavor you like in your scones. More for stronger and less for subtle flavor.
Tips to a Successful Flaky and Light Biscuit
- Cold Ingredients: This is one of the secret to a flaky biscuit just like with scones and pie crust. Eggs, cream/milk/water should be cold not only the butter. Using cold ingredients prevents the butter from melting before the biscuits are baked, leaving it instead to melt in the oven and create a super-flaky end result.
- No Over Mixing: Handle the dough with care, slightly and gradually push it around but do not knead it too much to make the texture smooth. Stop as soon as you are able to gather it up together. With biscuits, lumps and bumps is perfectly fine, in fact, it is advisable.
- Chill or Freeze Before Baking: The dough will soften as you handle it because of the warmth of your hands, so as extra precaution, chilling it or even freezing it before baking is highly recommended for a flaky texture.
- Hot Oven – Pre-heated hot oven is recommended when baking scones or biscuits. This is important so that the biscuit could reach its fullest height and lightest crumb.
- Do not Flatten Too Much: My ideal height for biscuit or scone when cutting it is around 3/4″ -1″, this already guarantees a tall biscuit even before baking it. The additional height will happen when baking starts. To achieve this, do not flatten the dough too much when shaping it before cutting. A thin and flat biscuit will end up being hard and crispy because it will be baked in high temperature.
- No Twisting when Cutting: When using a cookie cutter, do not twist around just press the cutter down the lift the excess dough so that you will end up with only the cut pieces. Then use a spatula to lift and move it to the try. If you are cutting it to wedges or squares, do not use a serrated knife, use tools that have smooth edge, and just the same, press the knife down to make a cut, do not cut moving back and forth like you are using a saw. Twisting creates a seal on the side of the biscuit thus preventing it to rise.
- 8 ounces by weight all-purpose flour (about 1 3/4 cups) plus 1/4 cup as needed to flour the surface
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp white sugar (If you do not like it sweet, reduce sugar to 1/4 cup)
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup buttermilk ( or 1/3 cup full fat milk + 1 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar)
- Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 2 tsp milk or water to brush biscuit before baking.
- Preheat oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add Butter: Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or a large cheese grater. Add pumpkin puree and mix until it forms a coarse crumbs. Add raisins and mix.
- Buttermilk: Gradually pour buttermilk and mix everything until most of it is moist enough to make the mixture to clump together. You might NOT need to use all buttermilk, so it is important you add it gradually. STOP when you are able to form a ball out of the dough. The dough will be sticky, that’s expected.
- Knead & Cut: Transfer to a well floured surface and knead dough very gently. It helps to flour your hands as well before kneading the dough so it doesn’t stick much. The dough will be quite sticky, use the extra 1/4 cup as needed but do not add it one time. Sprinkle gradually until the dough is manageable to shape. Gather the dough and divide the dough into 2. Shape each potion into a square of 5×5-inch. Using a 2 1/2 cookie cutter, cut 8 biscuit and arrange on the baking sheets (4 biscuits per portion). Push down the cutter (do not twist) and lift the scarps leaving only the cut portion. Do not throw the scraps, gather it up and bake along with the rest of the scones, you can still make 1 biscuit from the scrap.
- Freeze: Chill in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before baking. You can also freeze it up to 3 months. Bake straight from the freezer, no need to thaw.
- Brush Top: Brush top with additional buttermilk or egg wash. This gives a nice browning. Sprinkle top with granulated sugar (optional) for extra crunch on top.
- Bake for about 15- 20 minutes or until top turned golden brown and risen. If baking a frozen biscuit straight from the oven, bake for 20 – 23 minutes or until top turned golden brown. Cool in wire rack.
Good to Know:
- Make sure to use very cold ingredients. Do not take out the ingredients (butter, milk) from the fridge unless you are ready to use it.
- Do not leave the biscuit at room temperature while pre-heating the oven. Take it out from the fridge or freezer only when you are ready to bake it.
- Do not over mix it. Knead it just enough to form it. Over mixing it will make it tough and you will not get a flaky texture.
- You can freeze the dough for 2-3 months. When you want to bake it. No need to leave in room temperature, bake directly from the freezer. You might need to add 3 more minutes in the baking time.
Makes 8 Biscuits
Other Fall Favorites:
- Cinnamon Glazed Apple Turnover (VIDEO)
- Baked Apple with Walnuts
- Mini Caramel Apple Tarts
- Homemade Apple Filling (VIDEO)
- Caramel Apple Crumb Bars
- 12 Fall Soup To Keep You Warm
- Apple Streusel Muffin (VIDEO)
- Apple Cinnamon Roll
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