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Rumford Baking Powder Biscuits
Recipe from the back of a Rumford Baking Powder tin
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2/3 cup shortening (I use Smart Balance)
1 1/3 cup milk
(you might need a little more milk to make it cohesive enough to shape)
- Heat oven to 425˚. If you have cast iron skillets, put about a tablespoon of shortening each in 3 10-inch skillets and place in the oven to heat while preparing the dough. I use a 10 1/2-inch, an 8 1/2-inch, and a 6-inch skillet because that's what I have. If you don't have any cast iron skillets, grease a large cookie sheet and set aside. Or, use the cast iron skillet and a cookie sheet if you haven't enough skillets.
- Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together. Cut in shortening until mixture is like coarse corn meal (if some pea-size chunks remain, that's okay). Add milk, stirring it in quickly with a fork, to form a soft dough. (If a large portion of the dough is still crumbly and not dough-like, add a tablespoon or so more of milk.
- Turn dough out onto lightly-floured surface; knead about 1/2 minute. Roll 1/2 inch thick, or slightly taller (Update: To get the height you might want to pat the dough out to about 3/4" or even 1". Also, baking them close together sort of helps them "grab hold" of something and bake up instead of out.); cut with 2-inch cutter dipped in flour (I use both a 2-inch and a 1 1/2-inch cutter). Place fairly close together in the skillets or on the cookie sheet (about 1/4" apart) (you can also brush the tops with melted butter if you like) bake about 12 minutes. Serve hot.