Welcome to part 2 of biscuit-palooza, where a few biscuit lovers are searching for the answer to the age old question--cream or lard? During part 1 of biscuit-palooza we tested a cream biscuit recipe. This part 2 recipe falls into the lard category; these biscuits are made with butter, buttermilk, and vegetable shortening. A word about vegetable shortening, i.e., Crisco. It's weird--and scary. It's also not good for you. Still, we wanted to try it to see if shortening improved the taste. Plus all of us remember having cans of Crisco in our childhood homes, so it was a little bit of nostalgia as well.
Part 2 - Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits - Cooks Illustrated
|2 1/2||cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces), plus additional flour for work surface|
|1||tablespoon baking powder|
|1/2||teaspoon baking soda|
|1||teaspoon table salt|
|2||tablespoons vegetable shortening , cut into 1/2-inch chunks|
|8||tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), cold, lightly floured and cut into 1/8-inch slices (see illustration below)|
|2||tablespoons unsalted butter , melted|
|1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk , cold|
THE VERDICT: Delicious, flaky, biscuits. I could eat these all day long. ALL DAY. This biscuit tasted better than the first test, but was also a little more work, including rolling out dough and adding the butter and shortening by hand. A side-by-side comparison would rate these as tastier, but more difficult to make than the cream biscuit. I guess it all depends on how much time you have. If you have ten minutes, make the cream biscuits; if you have 25-30 minutes, then these are a better choice.
Stay tuned for part 3 of biscuit-palooza.
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