Biscuits are my holy grail; the thing I’ve wanted to make perfectly for years.  Decades, actually. I grew up with Bisquik biscuits which are better than those nasty things from a can, but not by much.  I’ve spent the last year trying to find the perfect recipe.  Cook’s Illustrated can usually be trusted, but frankly their recipes all disappoint.

At one point I made three versions of my recipe in one afternoon and made my neighbor Jay rate them all.  All my tweaking has paid off finally.  I now present you with my impossibly perfect biscuit recipe (let’s do a tutorial so you get them absolutely right):

Start off by mixing all the dry ingredients together.  If you have a food processor, this is much faster/easier.  If you don’t, just use a medium-sized bowl and a couple of forks.

After you’ve mixed the dry ingredients together, add the butter and shortening.  Here’s the deal: butter tastes great but makes the biscuits a bit harder.  Shortening makes the texture incredibly tender but the flavor is dull, dull, dull.  So half butter and half shortening is the perfect combination.  If you only have one or the other, so be it.  But if you have both, use them! 
Give the ingredients a few whirs in the food processor, or cut the mixture with forks until it’s got little chunks of butter/shortening throughout.
If you’re using a food processor, you’ll need to dump the ingredients into a regular bowl at this point.

Now get a measuring cup and pour in the milk.  Then crack an egg into the milk and stir it all up.
Dump the milk/egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix with a fork til it’s combined.  At this point it’s going to be very wet and globby.  Turn it out onto a floured surface. *Take your wedding ring off and put it in a good place because it’s about to get covered in dough* 

Let’s pause here to discuss kneading.  Everything I’ve read says to never knead biscuit dough.  It will get tough and yucky if you do.  So I made a batch of biscuits and kneaded half of the dough about 20 times, and just patted the other flat and cut them out.  Look what happened:
The biscuits on the left were kneaded.  The biscuits on the right were not.  Which would you rather eat? (By the way, the kneaded biscuits were also amazingly tender and soft.) So the moral of the story is to knead your dough about 20 times, adding flour as needed.  It will be tacky, but not sticky or wet.  
Pat the dough into a vaguely rectangular shape (no need for a rolling pin).

The dough should be patted out to 3/4″-1″ thick. Thin biscuits are lame!
Now you’ll need to cut them out.  If you’re lucky you’ll have a nice set of sharp biscuit cutters.  Sometimes I use heart-shaped cutters, but something with dull edges is a bad choice.  Dull edges smoosh biscuit edges shut, so your biscuits will end up flatter.  So don’t cut your biscuits out with a glass.  I don’t care if your Grandma does it this way.  You’ll be sorry! 
(If your dough is sticking to the cutter, dip the cutter in flour.  The dough will just slide off.)
Now put the biscuits on your tray and bake them at 425º.  Yep, that’s one hot oven.  If you have an airbake cookie sheet, use it.  (They’re great for biscuits but absolute crap for cookies.)  Make sure they’re nice and dark gold on the top.  Pale biscuits will still be raw inside. Ew!
Look at these!  They’re positively exploding with fluffiness! 
Now get out some honey or jam and slather up!  So divine!
2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, chilled
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
Place first four ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times. Cut in butter til mixture is crumbly (six one-second pulses). Transfer from food processor to medium-sized bowl.
Beat egg and milk together.  Stir into dry ingredients.  Turn out onto floured surface and knead  about 20 times.  Roll to 3/4″-1″ thickness and cut with 2 1/2″ biscuit cutters.
Bake at 425º for 9-11 minutes or until dark golden brown.
| Filed under Baking, Recipes, Yum

12 thoughts on “Biscuits!!!!!!

  1. I’m drooling. Of course I started weight watchers this week…
    So happy you have found biscut nirvana.


    ps. What about butter flavor shortening?

  2. What an awesome tutorial. I’ve only baked homemade biscuits a couple times and they were dry and boring, not very tasty. These look fantastic. I bought some biscuit cutters several months ago from Williams-Sonoma, but didn’t like my recipe. So now I’m set. Thanks, Jennie.

  3. My mom makes some really yummy biscuits, but I must say that yours do look so fluffy and what an exact science you have created. I think that I am going to have to try it out.

    You know that your daughter has said that you are the master cookie maker, and she also has bragged about a few other things that you make the BEST, so I am excited to have this little recipe.

  4. Thank you thank you thank you for this awesome post! We haven’t quite been able to master biscuits since moving into the land of humidity. I can’t wait to try these out!

  5. okay, those biscuits are to die for.

    i got my fruit, sorry so slacking on the notification process.

    and any gal who would get up and tell the ward that she’s the bishop AND that she hates kids is MY kind of gal. way to go jennie!

  6. Can I say that I am beyond excited to have this recipe.

    Us Brit’s are deprived of biscuits (though we call cookies biscuits). I love them.

    Now I can make my own. Yay!

    Bring on the butter and jam.

  7. I really need to try those sometime. And maybe take them to Kelly’s moms house for dinner. Because despite being a Southerner, she makes the WORST biscuits. Flat, crumbly, hard. Bad.

  8. So I made your biscuits tonight. They turnedf out great! I used half whole wheat flour (I ran out of white), and they were very yummy. I’ve never made biscuits so fluffy!
    Thanks for the recipe and instructions.

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