Eric's Dutch Oven Biscuits Technique
Successfully baking something in a Dutch Oven feels great. When perfectly done biscuits are presented to your campmates, it’s not unlike having pulled a rabbit out of a hat. Getting the heat right is tricky, but here are some tips for assuring a golden brown crust instead of carbon black.
The Dutch oven functions as a miniature oven that requires a steady internal temperature of approximately 400-475 degrees Fahrenheit inside. This requires a modest pile of coals-- with no flaming material--underneath and a heaping pile of coals on the lid. It is best to raise the bottom of the oven off the coals by four to eight inches, depending on the level of the heat. If there is no fire grate, use some rocks to hold the Dutch oven off the ground. You are simulating the middle rack of your home oven, and by doing so are much less likely to incinerate the bottom of the biscuits.
Just like at home, every time the oven is opened, the heat dissipates. It's important to be disciplined in leaving the lid closed until you are aware of the lovely scent of baked biscuits. It is better to go slowly with lower temperature and longer baking time.
The biscuits in the photo are the Touch of Grace recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Pie and Pastry Bible. There are, of course, a number of recipes easily available online. What they all have in common is buttermilk and a dough with a moist, gooey consistency. The biscuits are kept separated by being rolled in flour, but are then nestled together in a contained baking pan--perfect for a Dutch oven!