I made 4 celebrity chefs' biscuit recipes, and the best were little pillows of deliciousness
- I made biscuit recipes from celebrity chefs Bobby Flay, Carla Hall, Alton Brown, and
- All of the
biscuitswere delicious, but Hall's and Brown's fell a little flat.
- Fieri's recipe, which resulted in beautiful, pillowy biscuits, was my favorite.
Biscuits are one of those rare, versatile foods that work any time of day - smothered in gravy or jelly for breakfast, used as bread for an afternoon sandwich, or whipped up as a starter for dinner.
Just as there are many ways to enjoy biscuits, there are even more ways to make them. So I decided to test four popular
Flay's buttermilk biscuits called for a coating of freshly ground black pepper
Flay's classic buttermilk-biscuit recipe called for pretty typical ingredients including extra-cold butter, flour, and buttermilk.What stood out to me most is that these biscuits are brushed in heavy cream and a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper before baking. Then, once they're out of the oven, they're coated in melted butter.
These biscuits were the quickest to make of the bunch
I started by mixing the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then I "cut" in the small pieces of extra-cold butter using my hands. Once I added the buttermilk, things quickly became a little messy. The dough was sticky and hard to remove from my fingers.
From there, I placed the dough on a floured cutting board and patted it into a rectangular shape before using a round cutter to make each biscuit.
I was worried these biscuits wouldn't have the right texture since the recipe didn't call for any folding.I placed each biscuit round on a tray lined with a silicone baking mat, then I brushed them with cream and sprinkled on black pepper.
The biscuits didn't require any resting time, so I popped them in the oven and baked them for 12 minutes.
They came out golden with good height, and I finished them off with a generous brushing of melted butter.
Flay's biscuits were the best looking
I split one open, and it had a light, fluffy texture inside with a slightly crispy exterior.I liked the little kick from the black pepper on top, and the flavor was slightly buttery. I think the dough itself could've used a bit more salt or butter for more flavor. But overall, these were pretty good.
Hall's flaky buttermilk-biscuit recipe also called for standard ingredients
For the most part, Hall's recipe required very similar ingredients to the others, with the only major difference being sugar.
Things got a little dicey when it came time to grate the butterHall's recipe said you can either use a
The recipe started off pretty simple. I just mixed together all the dry ingredients.
I put the butter in the freezer about 30 minutes before I started working on Hall's recipe, but that didn't seem to be long enough. When I started grating, the butter quickly melted in my hand and on the grater.The butter really needed to be frozen solid, and mine was mostly frozen but not completely. This meant a lot of butter ended up stuck to the grater or melted on my fingers, and I think I lost enough to impact the final result.
From there, I added in the buttermilk and the dough became very sticky. But I was able to fold it, letter-style, a few times while adding flour and using a bench scraper to lift the dough off my work surface.I cut the biscuits and placed them bottom-side up on a sheet tray lined with a silicone baking mat. Then I placed the tray in the fridge for 15 minutes before baking.
The biscuits were OK, but I think my butter mishap impacted the texture
Hall's biscuits came out of the oven with a dark-golden top and a slightly overcooked base.They also rose very little - the least of all of the recipes.
When I broke a biscuit open, it made a lovely flaky sound, revealing a very crispy exterior and soft interior.The bottom had an overdone, slightly burnt taste, but the middle and top were delicious. I think the biggest issue here was that I lost so much butter while grating it.
Another possible problem is that by placing the biscuits bottoms-up on the sheet tray - as the recipe directed - the stickier side of the dough was on the bottom, which seemed to cook too quickly and burn.
Brown's Southern-biscuit recipe had just 7 ingredients
Because Brown is so focused on the science of baking, I was nervous from the start that his biscuits would be a challenge to make.
But his short list of ingredients - many of which are kitchen staples - calmed my fears.
The recipe proved to be quick and easy
Brown's biscuit dough turned out to be simple to make, if a little messy.I started by mixing the dry ingredients in a bowl, then used my fingers to cut in the butter and shortening. I worked as quickly as possible to prevent these chilled ingredients from melting.
I was slightly concerned that all of this folding would ruin the texture from overhandling and warming up the butter.
Other than the mess, these were quick to assemble. They didn't require any proofing or chilling time, and I didn't have to brush the tops with anything prior to baking.
Brown's Southern biscuits didn't rise as much as I'd hopedThe biscuits baked up into beautifully golden rounds, although they didn't rise as much as I'd expected.
I broke one open to find a soft interior that wasn't dense despite the little rising. The exterior was also a bit flaky.
The flavor definitely tasted like a biscuit, but I thought it could use more butter.
Fieri recipe called for a little bit of cake flour
For the most part, Fieri's buttermilk biscuits had similar ingredients to the others, with the exception of swapping some of the all-purpose flour for cake flour and standard salt for sea salt.
I had to break out the food processor for this recipe
Hall offered a manual alternative to using the food processor, but Fieri's recipe only stated how to make the biscuits using this kitchen tool.
The dough was also sticky and hard to remove from the processor bowl and the blades.After making the dough, I had to fold it once and pat it out into a large rectangle before cutting it into nine rectangular biscuits.
This was the only recipe that called for rectangular biscuits rather than rounds.I gathered the pieces and placed them on a tray, then covered them and let them rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. After the biscuits rested and the oven heated to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, I brushed the biscuits with butter and sprinkled them with a generous amount of sea salt.
As I popped them in the oven, I turned the heat down to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and let them bake for 14 minutes.
Fieri's recipe produced little pillows of deliciousness
The biscuits looked fine fresh out of the oven. They were lightly golden - not as golden as the others - and lightly browned on the bottom.
They looked more like scones, so I was skeptical that they'd taste like biscuits.
As I broke one apart, I immediately noticed it was much softer than the others I tested, but it didn't crumble all over the place.It was love at first bite.
It turns out the cake flour was a game-changer because the rectangular biscuits resembled pillows inside and out.
None of these biscuits were fails, but Fieri's is my new go-to
I'd try making any of these biscuits again, but after just one bite of Fieri's biscuits, I knew they'd be my go-to.The next morning, Fieri's biscuits were the first I reached for to make a breakfast sandwich, and I'm happy to report that even though they're soft, they still held an egg and a "soysage" patty without falling apart. Read More:
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