Is there anything better than a warm biscuit straight out of the oven? They’re the perfect addition to your morning meal, whether they are smothered in gravy, sandwiched around eggs and bacon, or simply on the side.
All too often, I find myself craving a biscuit in some form for brunch. By now, I have all of my favorite restaurants mapped out for when the craving strikes. However, getting breakfast food throughout the week can be hard when most places only serve it super early in the morning or on the weekends.
I wanted to start making biscuits from scratch at home, but didn’t know where to begin. After all, the recipe choice is what decides success or failure when it comes to a bake. So, I decided to test multiple recipes to find the best one.
Thankfully I was able to enlist the help of my husband, a seasoned food blogger, to assist with the biscuit bake-off. As always, all five recipes are made on the same day to ensure that all comparisons are as accurate as possible.
Biscuit Recipe Walkthrough
When selecting the recipes for this bake-off, we wanted to compare different types of biscuits and varying techniques. All five of the recipes selected are pretty popular online.
Using our 187k followers on Instagram, we polled our followers for their favorite biscuit recipes. Based on their feedback, we included the recipes from Paula Dean and Joanna Gaines.
We made sure to include recipes from Bon Appétit and Serious Eats, since Claire Saffitz and Kenji Lopez are two chefs that we look up to and learn so much from via their online content.
The last recipe we chose is from America’s Test Kitchen. We chose this based off of a YouTube tutorial we found. The end result looked a lot like our favorite biscuits from Bird Bird Biscuit here in Austin, so we wanted to test them out as well.
Recipe #1: BA’s Best Buttermilk Biscuits
Claire Saffitz is one of my favorite chefs to follow and learn from online. So, when I saw that she had a highly reviewed recipe on Bon Appétit, I knew I would have to test it along with the others. With 151 reviews, this recipe is one of the more highly reviewed ones out there, making it a great fit for this bake-off.
The result is a very buttery, almost pastry like biscuit that is miles ahead of the competition. While there is some dough handling involved, it is not as labor intensive as some of the others out there. For the amount of work that is required and the pay off that you get, this is a top notch option.
My one complaint with the Claire Saffitz biscuits is the size. As you can see in the photos above, they are quite small. I think they should be cut into fewer pieces, which would result in a taller and all around bigger biscuit.
Recipe #2: America’s Test Kitchen
While this recipe comes in on spot #2, it is a close second the Bon Appetit buttermilk biscuit. It is a delicious, tall, and flaky biscuit that is perfect for your next egg sandwich.
With 9 reviews online, this recipe is not one of the most popular ones out there. However, we stumbled across this recipe while browsing YouTube and knew we had to include it when we saw the finished product. I am so glad that we did!
The reason that this recipe falls to spot #2 is that they are a bit sweet for a biscuit and pretty labor intensive. The amount of rolling and folding of the dough that these biscuits need, make them a bit of a hassle.
As you can see in the photos above, I made these biscuit bigger than what the recipe called for. I made 6 instead of 9 biscuits, to ensure that the biscuits were more even in size. I could have rolled the dough out flatter to achieve more biscuits, but I did not want to over work the dough.
Recipe #3: Magnolia Table
While this recipe only has 58 reviews online, we found it to be a popular choice among our Instagram followers. It falls to spot number three on our list because I am not a huge fan of them, but my husband really likes them.
You will find that this recipe is very different from other biscuit recipes. They actually kind of taste like cornbread. For this reason you may love or hate them.
One of the many ways that this recipe differs is in the ingredient list. Joanna uses eggs and self rising flour in her recipe, which none of the others do. The change in ingredients is why the texture and flavor of these biscuits are so different.
Another reason that this recipe is different from all of the others is that all of the biscuit dough perfectly fits into a half sheet pan. With the other recipes, we had to bake in multiple batches. Being able to cook all of the biscuit dough at once is a huge win!
One thing we really liked about this recipe is Joanna’s circle method. It really simplified the dough process and allowed for minimal handling of the dough. The result is a super soft biscuit.
Recipe #4: Serious Eats Buttermilk Biscuits
Kenji Lopez is another one of our favorite chefs here in the Woodruff household. While this recipe only has 36 reviews, we wanted to try it since we like Kenji’s work.
Unfortunately, this recipe fell to spot #4 on our list. While the flavor of Kenji’s biscuits is pretty good, we found the texture and rise to be a little off.
Perhaps it is because these biscuits are cut into 4 inch rounds, which is just too big. The biscuits have no chance to rise and get super fluffy because the dough is rolled so flat to achieve so many large biscuits. If the biscuits were rolled out thicker and cut smaller, they would be much better.
One thing to note is that Kenji’s recipe and America’s Test Kitchen are very similar except for the method used for cutting out the biscuits.
Recipe #5: Paula Dean’s Biscuits
With 290 five star reviews, I expected a much better biscuit. Quite frankly, these biscuits were terrible. You’d have more luck making Pillsbury ready-to-bake biscuits.
These biscuits were dry and flat. Not only that, but the recipe does not produce near the amount it claims on the recipe card. The recipe states that it will produce 36 biscuits, but as you can see in the photo above it only makes about 14-16.
I typically try to find something that I like in every recipe, but can’t seem to find anything I liked about this recipe.
While everyone is probably looking for a different thing when it comes to biscuits, here are our thoughts on the internet’s most famous recipes.
Not all biscuits are created equal. What you will find is that most biscuit recipes are fairly similar when it comes to the ingredients used. However, much like in our cookie bake-off post, it comes down to the technique to elevate one from the pack.
Here’s what we found to be true when it comes to technique:
- Cut your biscuits into squares, not into rounds. While rounds are a more traditional shape, cutting the biscuits into squares helps to avoid repurposing scraps and over working the dough. This guarantees tall and flaky biscuits each time!
- Be sure to trim edges of squares. This allows the biscuits to rise more evenly. You’ll be able to see all of the flaky layers more easily too.
- Food processor > anything. All of the recipes that called for the use of the food processor have the right idea. There is no reason you should have to cut the butter into the flour using a fork. That is just too time consuming! A food processor will work the butter into the flour mixture in a flash.
We learned so much in this biscuit bake-off experiment. We were so inspired that my husband created what we think is probably one of the Best Air Fryer Biscuits recipes out there.
If you like this kind content, be sure to check out our other bake-off experiments:
- Our Favorite Great British Baking Show Recipes
- Finding the Best Oatmeal Cream Pie Recipe
- Pecan Pie Bake Off
- Internet Famous Pumpkin Pie Bake Off
What would you like to see for the next experiment on the blog? Let us know down in the comments below!