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Was looking through my pantry and I found some instant biscuit mix that is still good by date. When I tried making a batch of the mix, the dough did not rise at all. I made something that resemble a brick.

I was curious if I could add some double action baking powder to the mix would bring the mix back to life?

If so how much would I add? 1/4 TSP?, 1/2 TSP?

All I have on hand is double action baking powder.

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I attempted to answer your question below, but additional information would be helpful. What ingredients did you add to the mix? What temperature was it? How much did you knead the dough? Did you leave the dough sitting out before you baked the biscuits? ...The more details you provide, the better the answers you receive will be. –  Laura Sep 1 '11 at 18:07

2 Answers 2

I'm in the middle of class (school), and I don't have a ton of time to type anything out, so I'll point you in this direction:

http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/food-science/leaveners-fats-the-science-of-great-biscuits-109416

Should help, covers the science. The answer will be found, plus more!

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If the mix hasn't expired and since I don't know more specifically what ingredients you used, I suspect your biscuits didn't rise because the dough was overworked. Biscuit dough should not be handled much. (Mark Bittman's recipe says to knead the dough 10 times, no more.)

The link in mrwienerdog's answer provides some explanation for why you shouldn't handle the dough too much - basically, you need the ingredients to be just barely combined so that you get the air pockets necessary for it to rise, and overworking the dough gets rid of those.

Another factor could be ingredients other than the baking powder. I'm not sure whether you added butter, but the butter should be chilled - if it's too soft/warm, it won't create the air pockets described above and you'll end up with much flatter biscuits.

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