Thursday, January 28, 2010

Kitchen Tip

Do you make your own pie crusts, biscuits, and anything else that requires you to "cut" butter into your flour/salt/baking powder mixture?

I used to have a nifty little tool that supposedly helped cut the butter into the dry ingredients, but it never worked well for me. Nor did using two criss-crossing knives. I got to where I would cut the cold butter into very small cubes, and I would then use my hands to rub the butter into the flour. This is messy and time-consuming, and the butter gets too soft, which makes the dough not bake up as fluffy.

I learned a new trick this week. It may be old hat to you, but somebody else might like it as much as I did. Simply grate the cold butter into your dry ingredients with a cheese grater. It's that simple. Makes your baked goods turn out perfectly fluffy.

My favorite biscuit recipe:

2 cups flour - I use 100% whole wheat pastry flour, and they don't come out dry at all
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
yogurt, buttermilk, cream, or milk

Mix together dry ingredients. Grate butter into mixture, and stir with wooden spoon until evenly distributed. Add enough yogurt (or other liquid) to make a smooth dough, and knead by hand about 15 times. Roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness, cut out biscuits, and bake at 425 degrees for about 8-10 minutes. Enjoy!


  1. Grater. Never thought of that. Do you freeze the butter first then grate?

    Ricky Tan

  2. Brilliant idea, thanks for sharing. Can't wait to try it out this weekend!

  3. That is a terrific tip - one that had not even occurred to me. Thanks for sharing.

  4. awesome timing! I'm going to be making pizza scrolls on Tuesday and I need cut butter! Will do the grating thing instead

  5. Ricky,

    I use butter from the fridge, not frozen.


    would you mind sharing the recipe? It sounds yummy!!

  6. I've not made the pizza scrolls before so I hope they taste okay. It was one I got from a cooking magazine and luckily for me, it's up on the WWW so I don't have to copy it all out

    if that doesn't work, let me know and I'll type it out for you

  7. Great tip, Zsuzanna! I will have to try that for the times when my eldest, Lily, isn't willing to cut the butter in with her fingers. She is the only one with enough patience around here, to do so. ;)

  8. What a nifty idea. I will try it.

  9. great tip! I'll have to try that next time I make my apple crisp


  10. Thanks for the recipe and the grating tip. I made a small batch Saturday morning; the flavor was great but I rolled them a bit too thin. Next time I'll leave them about an inch.

  11. Hi,

    I was wondering, what about if you use margarine. How do you cut that into a biscuit recipe? I have just put it in and tried to cut it in half with a wooden spoon to chop it up fine to get the batter crumbly. Is there a better way to cut in margarine?

  12. What a great tip! Every time I make pies or biscuits I always think I really need to get one of those tools! I’ve been doing it by hand since you taught me to make pies. I’m so excited to try this! Too bad I’m just now seeing this! I don’t know how I missed this post! Lol


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