Tall and Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits
Why This Recipe Works
To create a rustic buttermilk biscuit recipe that would produce extra-fluffy, moist, tender rolls with crisp, golden-brown tops, we tried lard, vegetable shortening, and butter, both separately and in combination. The biscuits made with lard or shortening were bland compared with the richly flavored all-butter biscuits. A few more tests showed that the best way to add the butter to the dough was to combine it—chilled straight from the refrigerator—with the dry ingredients in a food processor. Knowing that steam contributed to the high rise of the biscuits (moisture in the dough converts to steam in the oven, causing the biscuits to swell), we experimented with oven temperature. Five minutes at 500 degrees followed by 15 minutes at 450 degrees maximized the rise from the steam.