Contrary to the deceptive title of this post, these biscuits aren't survival food in the classic sense, but in more of a "help mother make it through the week" sense. I don't know about you, but between homesteading, homeschooling, living off-grid and everything else that takes up precious minutes, I don't always have time to knead up a batch of fresh biscuits or rolls to accompany every meal - and really, what is dinner (or breakfast for that matter) without warm, soft homemade bread? And so, to retain at least a little bit of sanity, I make up a big ol' batch of Denver Biscuits and always have fresh, warm bread at the drop of a hat.
|Sealed and ready to put in the fridge|
|Pinched off a piece of dough to make into a roll|
|Ready to rise|
|Fresh from the oven|
|The perfect accompaniment to a hearty dinner|
Denver Biscuits are much more reminiscent of dinner rolls than they are true baking powder biscuits. The dough improves with age, so making a batch of biscuits at the beginning of the week and still having fresh rolls by the end of the week is easily achieved. I store my biscuit dough in a large ziploc bag in the fridge and just pinch off bits of dough to form enough rolls for the evening meal. Sometimes, for a quick, special weekday breakfast or afternoon tea I will roll out a chunk of dough and prepare it as Cinnamon rolls. It takes very little work and only enough time to allow the dough to rise a bit and bake.
This recipe works well with either all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour and the butter can be replaced with lard or shortening. I love the fact that these biscuits use up left-over mashed potatoes so that nothing goes to waste.
4 C milk
1 C mashed potatoes (or 1 large potato, peeled, cooked and mashed)
1/2 C water (or left-over potato water)
1 C butter
1 C sugar
3 T salt
3 T yeast
3 T baking powder
10 - 12 C flour
In a medium saucepan, heat milk, water, butter, sugar and salt. Add mashed potatoes. Cool to 110°. Pour into a mixing bowl. Add yeast, baking powder and 4 cups of flour to make a batter. Cover with a dry towel. In warm place, allow to rise until double in bulk. Stir in enough additional flour (up to 8 cups) to yield a good, soft bread dough that does not stick to the hands. Knead until smooth and elastic. Use dough immediately, or cover well and refrigerate for later use.
To make the biscuits, pinch off a piece of dough the size of an egg, form it into an oval ball and dip it in melted butter. Fit biscuits snugly against each other in a baking pan. The biscuits should be crowded a little, as they need each other for support as they rise. Let rise uncovered until very light (mine don't usually rise a lot, but they do once they are in the oven). Bake in a preheated 400° oven until the rolls are golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.
|Master Calvin helping with Cinnamon Rolls|
|In the pan|
|Ready at a moments notice|
|Tea is served!|
Fresh bread at a moments notice - these biscuits are every mothers dream!