Kenzi is the Managing Editor of Food52.
Biscuit purists tend to use butter or lard for the best flavor, but you can absolutely use both. (Or either!) Here's a genius recipe that uses both -- it's a great go-to recipe for moist biscuits, every time. (The butter is used for brushing so you don't lose out on flavor.)
HalfPint is a trusted home cook.
If it's all about flavor, butter. Shortening has no flaovr. Like zilch. BUT, a butter biscuit can be heavy and dense. That's not the case with shortening. I lean towards shortening because I like fluffy tender biscuits. I'll slather the butter on later for the taste :)
Not only does vegetable shortening have no flavor, it usually contains trans fats so it's a double sin. The solution to both problems is lard. Or the way I make biscuits, half lard, half butter.
A note about trans fat: Don't be fooled by labels claiming "Zero Trans Fat" and then in tiny letters "per serving". Check the ingredient list for the words "partially hydrogenated". That's your trans fat. Under current federal law, shortening may contain over 4% trans fat and still remain legal. The consensus of the medical community is that there is no safe level of trans fat consumption.
Sam is a trusted home cook.
That goes for snack crackers and chips too...a 'serving' is 12 chips. So they can say 'no trans fats'.
Meg is a trusted home cook.
I feel that there is nothing like a lard biscuit. A friend of mine who grew up on a farm once gave me some freshly rendered lard. It made the most delicious flaky, rich, crisp biscuits. I have never had such good lard since.
OK, 2nd choice is pure butter. I use an angel biscuit recipe to get lots of fluff and lightness.
I will never use shortening ever no matter what. I come from Wisconsin (Eat Butter or Die).
Cream biscuits are also delicious. The cream is the butter and milk. Dip the made up biscuits into melted butter before baking. Have 0911 on speed dial.
Want to try bacon fat but haven't yet.
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Well played. You deserve a cookie.
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