Well hello blog world. I am back. Is anybody still out there? No. It’s okay, I am used to talking to myself.

So, I love biscuits with a capital L. I am not really going out on a culinary limb here, because really who doesn’t love biscuits? If you don’t love biscuits, I don’t trust you as a person. Period.

These biscuits are from “America’s Test Kitchen The TV Companion Cookbook 2009″. I could not find this on Amazon so I think this is the book that comes with one of the DVD sets. I borrowed/stole it from Nick’s dad, so I don’t know where he got it. I am slightly obsessed with this book at the moment, pretty much everything in it sounds and looks super tasty.

These drop biscuits were the first thing I made from this book. They are fuss free and so quick to make. There is no cubing and cutting in cold butter, no kneading and rolling, and no worrying about over handling the dough. To make these biscuits, all you need to do is combine your dry ingredients, combine your wet ingredients and then combine them together. I had these bad boys in the oven in 10 minutes. In fact, your oven will probably take longer to preheat to a stifling 475F than it will take you to prepare the biscuits.

These came out of the oven smelling of buttery deliciousness. And they tasted like it too. They had a rich butter flavor (thanks Strauss butter), and I loved the texture contrast between the golden brown crispy outside and the soft fluffy inside. They were perfect. Taste wise, I think they can rival any rolled biscuit, and texturally they are just different so it’s hard to compare.

However, I was impressed with the tenderness of these biscuits. Normally, in a rolled biscuit the ice cold butter that you cut into the flour creates steam as it melts in the hot oven and that is how you achieve the light flaky layers. There was a definite lightness to these drop biscuits, and ATK explains that they figured out the way to do this by mistake. The wet ingredients in this recipe are melted butter and buttermilk. In one trial, due to some impatience, they combined slightly cooled melted butter and cold buttermilk straight from the fridge, getting a clumpy butter-buttermilk mixture. They tried to whisk the crap out of it to get it to emulsify into a smooth liquid, but the butter was too stubborn. They decided to bake them anyway with the chunky butter. These butter clumps created steam in the biscuits and helped them rise higher and bake up fluffier than all their other trials with a smooth buttermilk mixture, mimicking what happens in a standard rolled out biscuit.

Nick’s opinion was that these were really good, but he still likes the more standard rolled out flaky biscuits that I make. He informed me that his benchmark for biscuits is Popeye’s biscuits, and he thought that Popeye’s were still better than these. I pointed out to him that it had been far too long since he had a Popeye’s biscuit to make such a statement, so I do not accept his opinion. I think that these are just as good as a Popeye’s biscuits and when you take into account the low fuss factor, they are making a play for my favorite biscuit to bake.

I served these fluffy pillows alongside a roast chicken, also courtesy of ATK, which I will post about soon.

If you are an astute reader you will notice that there are 6 biscuits in this picture:

And only 5 in this picture:

I am sure you would just assume that is because we ate one of them before taking a picture. Unfortunately, this is not true. The 6th biscuit lost it’s short life almost immediately after coming out of the oven when it gingerly slid right off the baking rack into a sink of dirty dish water. It was a sad moment. I let out a gasp that actually prompted Nick to get up from the computer to make sure I was okay. It takes a lot to get Nick to look away from the computer when he is in the zone.

Make these very soon, they do not disappoint.

Recipe after the jump.

Follow up:

Best Drop Biscuits
America’s Test Kitchen The TV Companion Cookbook 2009
page 193-95

makes 12 biscuits

  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold buttermilk
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled for 5 minutes, plus 2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing the tops of the biscuits
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 475F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Combine the cold buttermilk and 8 tablespoons of melted butter in a small bowl or measuring cup, stirring until the butter forms clumps.
  4. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined and the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Use a greased 1/4 cup dry measure or a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop to portion out level amounts of dough. Space the biscuits about 1.5 inches apart on the baking sheet. Brush them generously with the remaining melted butter.
  5. Bake until the tops are golden brown and crisp, about 13-15 minutes.