Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 29: Dutch Oven Biscuits

So my charcoal hunting expedition to Home Depot was a bust. They only carry Kingsford and Cowboy lump charcoal. I am going to have to make a few more stops next time I'm out.
As you can see by the title of today's post, I finally got up the nerve to try some biscuits in the DO. Cooking breads in the DO is very stressful--especially with all of you watching. I have been putting it off as long as possible. I have to say, it wasn't too bad. They weren't great, and I know I didn't have enough heat because they took to long to cook and didn't rise like they were supposed to. But I should at least get an "A" for effort, right!? I am going to spend all next week practicing my biscuits and at some point they will turn out well. I will post the pics so you can watch the progress :).

Dutch Oven Biscuits
12" dutch oven

2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
2 tsp. sugar
2/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, sugar and salt. Cut in shortening, then add the milk. Mix well. Roll out to about 3/4" thick and cut out biscuits. I used 26 coals with 8 on the bottom and 18 on top. The recipe says to cook for 10-12 minutes, but mine took longer.
The Finished Product

At least I didn't burn them! :)
What I Learned
These were more stressful than they should have been. I have totally psyched myself out. I keep telling myself that I'm just adding heat to food. It shouldn't be that hard. I think it is all in my head. I am going to make biscuits everyday until I get them right and find the perfect recipe. So stay tuned!
The Review
Well, I didn't burn them, and they were edible, so that is a plus. They didn't rise very high and they were a pretty dry, but I think that was a product of the long cooking time. They also didn't brown at all, which surprises me because of how long they cooked. Next time will be better. The first time is always the hardest! I am going to keep working on them until I get them right, so I won't grade these until I do.


  1. Good start on the biscuits Toni. Don't let us stress you out....all of us Dutch oven cooks are family ~

    Baking does take a little practice, but boy, does it pay off when it comes together. There is really nothing like popping the lid on a pot of cinnamon rolls, bread or biscuits; especially when you camping.

    Keep up the good work. I'll be cooking some biscuits with you this weekend. Now.....where did I put that honey to go on the biscuits :) !

  2. I have to agree with Pat regarding your audience. I think the reason your site has had such a surge in followers is because most all of us have either been in your position or are interested in your progress. All of us are sharing your site because we support you in your efforts. I'm willing to be most all of us have our own stories of burnt, undercooked, or ruined dishes.

    "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment." -- Jim Horning

  3. About 20 years ago, I was learning from a master. and feirst World chap. Dick Stucki. He talked about a 1/3,2/3 ruel in baking. After 1/3 of bakeing time, remove all bottom heat, bake the remaining time, 2/3. with top heat only. i.e. Baking time is 30 minutes, remove bottom heat after 10. continue to bake 20 minutes more, top head onyl.

  4. I'm about to start bisquits myself, Thanks for the info eveyone :)

  5. Toni, I'm happy to have found your blog. I'm a new DO owner and look forward to learning lots of great recipes and tips from you!

  6. No pressure! The reason I am following, is because
    1. Your stories are entertaining... whether you succeed or not. They are written in an entertaining mannor.
    2. We've all been there or will be one day.

    You are being applauded for being so aggressive with your self appointed task. I think to many's envey. Mine for sure.

  7. Toni, You are doing awesome! I'm watching your blog closely and every day. Just a suggestion on briquettes. I use exclusively Royal Oak Brand briquettes and they have never changed formulation and burn much longer than kingsford. You can pick them up at Winco foods year round or Ace hardware. Thgey run about 6.50 a 18 lb. bag. Good luck and kep cooking! I hope to meet you at the world championchip competition in March. Ill be teaching classes and you cant miss me in my flame covered outfit!

  8. Keith aka bankerlkdJanuary 29, 2010 at 9:48 PM

    Love your blog !!

    I just got my first DO In Nov for my bday - Only had the guts to use it once so far and well in Winnipeg it's hard to find Charcoal at this time of year lol - -40c here some days with the wind. Not much bbqing / outdoor cooking going on...

    Hope you do not mind but I posted a link to your blog to two popup camping forums I frequent. Popup explorer and popup portal.

    Keep it up !!


    Keith aka bankerlkd

  9. Keith--thanks for help getting the word out! Good luck cooking in those temps--I don't envy you, and I will quit complaining about 20's and 30's! :)

  10. @Ron - Thanks for the 1/3, 2/3 rule. I hadn't heard that one. I'll try that one out.

    Toni - don't let us stress you out. We're all either going through it (the 20th time for me) or have gone through it. We're here to help you too :) :) :)

  11. Thanks for all the encouragement! You guys are great! I couldn't ask for better people to cook for. I wish you could all come over for dinner! :)


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