Saturday, March 27, 2010


I made biscuits twice last weekend. But the one I made Saturday was almost inedible while Sunday’s batch tasted great.

The difference was on Saturday I used four tablespoons of baking powder, instead of four teaspoons. The excessive amount of baking powder resulted in biscuits that looked great, tasted good when you first bit into them, but had a terrible metallic aftertaste. Sunday I used the correct measurement and the biscuits came out fine.

There is an interesting lesson to be learned from my mistake—and it’s not just that even experienced cooks can make silly mistakes (mistaking teaspoons for tablespoons is a classic mistake of inexperienced cooks, probably only exceeded by using salt when you should have used sugar). The recipe I was using was one by Alton Brown on the Food Network website. There were dozens of comments about the recipe and most of them were extremely positive.

About the second or third comment down, however, was very negative. It gave the biscuits a terrible rating because they had an extremely unpleasant aftertaste. I don’t think it’s hard to understand what happened. The commenter made the same mistake that I did, but blamed the recipe rather than themselves.

This is a tendency we all have, to blame others rather than ourselves, and one we all need to resist if we want to make good biscuits.

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