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What are homemade southern-style biscuits supposed to be like?

Hi all,

Growing up we were never much of a baking family and the only biscuits I ever ate were from fast food restaurants or out of a paper tube - which I enjoyed the hell out of. I wonder if some real southerners can educate me on what a proper biscuit is supposed to be like? I've had all the major FF chain versions and all the grocery store frozen varieties, and it's hard for me to see how a biscuit can be better than the one from Hardee's. Is a real southern-style biscuit anything like it? Sorry for the fast/convenience food comparisons, but I figure these are widely known examples for comparison with the real thing.

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  1. Not a southerner (though born in Georgia) but was in Virginia once, Williamsburg to be precise, and we went to a nearby restaurant famous for Virginia ham. I couldn't eat the ham, it was so salty, but the biscuits! They looked like nothing at all, sort of flat, rectangular--but the flakiest biscuits I have ever had!

    7 Replies
    1. re: kleine mocha

      That had to have been the Old Chickahominy House. Those are baking powder biscuits with no leavening, that's why they're flat. They seem to be a lot more tender than buttermilk biscuits too. My in-laws are in Virginia Beach (I live in Richmond) and we go through Williamsburg on the way there--early, so I can get breakfast at OCH, heh heh.

      Hardee's is a very good representation of a classic southern biscuit, as is Popeye's.

      1. re: MandalayVA

        Yes, I could not remember the name but that was it exactly!

        1. re: MandalayVA

          "Those are baking powder biscuits with no leavening"

          In Mississippi we consider baking powder to be leavening.

          1. re: SallyW

            I think that in the *universe* -- at least THIS one -- we consider baking powder to be leavening. ;)

              1. re: SallyW

                I don't know, I don't do the baking thing. But I do know the biscuits are not leavened. :D

            1. re: SallyW

              ahh yeh; since when is baking powder NOT a leavening? And isn't the leavening the reason why most of us use baking powder?

        2. Hardee's biscuits are not bad at all- they were originally a Southern company- they're certainly better than any canned grocery store biscuit I've ever had. They are more or less the real thing- not the absolute best version around, but quite good nonetheless. Bojangles does the best fast food biscuit for my money, though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Naco

            I've never had Bojangles or Hardee's biscuits so my vote for what I've had is Popeyes.

          2. Here's a topic very dear to me! My mother made the best buttermilk biscuits I've ever had - since she has passed away, I doubt I'll ever have biscuits this good again. She cut them out with a round biscuit cutter about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. They baked up to be about 2 inches high. They are extremely soft, flaky and tender - they pull apart in your hands when you apply hardy any pressure at all. They are not hard like hockey pucks, which is what I find a lot.

            I just did a search to see if I could find a good photo of what they look like and I found a pretty good one here: http://userealbutter.com/2009/01/04/f... Scroll down and look at the photo that is captioned: "Lots of Flakiness".

            They should be served piping hot straight from the oven -- when you pull them apart, a puff of steam should hit you in the face. They are served with butter, unless you are going to be separating them into halves and pouring milk/cream-based white country gravy over. Pull the biscuit apart, put a pat of butter inside, then replace the top and wait a minute for it to melt before eating. They are never served with honey - and they don't contain sugar as an ingredient. Sigh.

            Because of this memory, I cannot ABIDE refrigerator biscuits (Pillsbury, etc.) or biscuits I get in restaurants. Oh yeah, and my mom also left me with the same situation concerning her cornbread, but that is a different topic!

            4 Replies
            1. re: woodleyparkhound

              I agree with all of the above, except for never served with honey. If you haven't had a fresh buttermilk biscuit spread with honey butter (just butter and honey mixed together), you haven't lived. And now I'm drooling.

              1. re: thursday

                I'm a cane syrup girl, myself. halved, buttered, and drizzled with cane syrup. perfect.

              2. The best biscuit is the one topped with cream gravy and sausage/bacon/ground beef.

                Incidentally, some people swear by biscuits made from Bisquick mix.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                  My mother made those Bisquick biscuits from the recipe on the box and they are the best I have ever had. They sound exactly like the ones woodleyparkhound describes. Tender and oh so good drenched in butter

                  My people are from the South if tha t makes a difference (Canton Province that is.)

                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                    Lot's of people who have grandma's who made the best biscuits. A lot of the time they just used the recipe on the White Lily flour bag.

                    DT

                  2. Any home-made buttermilk biscuit (unless you really can't cook) beats any tube or fast food, in my opinion. They really aren't hard to make, give it a try.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: visciole

                      I don't use buttermilk in my biscuits, however lots of heavy cream and they're the best I've ever had.