JoJo’s Biscuits

May 19, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: From Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Table cookbook: "It took me a year of Saturdays to get these biscuits just right. Almost every weekend for months I worked up another batch for Chip and the kids to taste and then wrote down their feedback. Biscuit after biscuit was judged to be too heavy, too light, too flat, too salty, too dry, or just... not right. I don’t entirely know what kept me going back to the mixing bowl, but something inside me was clearly determined to prevail. All those failed batches didn’t discourage me—instead each one spurred me to tweak my formula and try again the next week. Of course it helped that I had a houseful of agreeable taste testers who delivered their criticisms with kindness, and encouraged me to keep at it with the kind of enthusiasm that can only be mustered by people who really love biscuits.

I vividly remember the moment I finally nailed it, when the whole family declared simultaneously, 'This is it.' They have been our family's Saturday-morning breakfast ever since. Among the tricks I worked out along the way are the somewhat unusual addition of eggs and the way they are arranged for baking so that they all touch, both of which contribute to the moisture, lightness, and loft of these biscuits."
Food52

Food52 Review: Featured in: The 2 Ingredients to Take Your Biscuits Over the TopThe Editors

Makes: about 20 biscuits
Prep time: 1 hrs
Cook time: 20 min

Ingredients

  • 4 cups self-rising flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) salted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces or grated
  • 2 large eggs, beaten, plus 1 large egg for brushing
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, or as needed, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing
  • Strawberry jam or classic gravy, for serving
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the butter and use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the flour until the pieces are even and about the size of peas.
  2. Stir in the beaten eggs with a wooden spoon until combined. Stir in 1½ cups buttermilk until the dough comes together into a sticky mass. If it is too dry, add more buttermilk 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition, until it reaches the correct consistency. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
  3. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Scrape the dough onto a floured work surface. Use your floured hands to press it into a round roughly 14 inches across and about 1/2 inch thick.
  5. Use a floured 2 3/4- inch round cutter to cut out about 20 biscuits. If necessary, collect and pat out the scraps to cut more biscuits.
  6. Transfer the biscuits to the prepared baking sheet, arranging them so that they all are touching. In a small dish, beat together the remaining egg and 1 tablespoon buttermilk. Brush the mixture on the top of the biscuits.
  7. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly in the pan on a rack.
  8. Biscuits are best the day they are made (and ideally fresh out of the oven!). Serve with strawberry jam or gravy, if desired. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  9. NOTE: For longer storage, arrange the biscuits about 1/2 inch apart on two parchment-paper-lined baking sheets and freeze until solid. Transfer them to a zip-top plastic bag and freeze for up to 2 weeks. There is no need to thaw them before baking.

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Reviews (26) Questions (0)

26 Reviews

Sandy July 28, 2018
I have made these 3 times and they have turned out perfect EVERY time. Not too crumbly. Not dry. Light and delicious. I can split them easily and have even used for individual strawberry shortcakes. By far some of the best biscuits I have tasted and I am from the south. I make the dough the night before and chill overnight.
 
Katherine H. July 25, 2018
I’ve made these once, and they came out too crumbly to split. A biscuit that can’t be split in order to insert a cooked piece of Jimmy Dean sausage won’t make it in my Southern household. Also, the last row of biscuits fell short of the edge of my baking sheet, and they spread like pancakes! I’m so curious about these results being different from Food52’s that I’d almost try making this recipe again, but I can’t justify wasting that much butter.
 
Sharon M. July 18, 2018
I’ve made these twice , I thought I did something wrong first time weird bitter aftertaste , so, tried again <br />same problem !!<br />Any ideas ????
 
Tammy August 25, 2018
Yes! It’s the baking powder you are tasting! Same problem here.
 
Olga V. June 18, 2018
I made these twice. Once in North Carolina and once in Miami. In NC, they were good, but I thought, maybe the recipe calls for too much butter and egg. In Miami, they were terrible. Very greasy; definitely too much butter. I'm not sure if the altitude difference changed something. Not sure that I'll try this again.
 
Lisa S. June 4, 2018
I’ve made these 3 times now and they are so pretty but they are just too crumbly for us. They are dry, but they just fall apart when you try to cut into them. I wonder if it matters that I use Southern flours. I heard they are softer than others. Super pretty biscuits though!
 
Edward June 4, 2018
I've made these twice. They have a great flavor but are a bit crumbly (more so in Denver than when I baked them in Indiana). I think I might cut down on the baking powder a little. They really look beautiful though.
 
Jackie H. May 28, 2018
I was so excited to try these but just baked them and have to say I'm disappointed. Probably just a matter of preference - I actually don't care for the tender texture (too fragile) and despite the amount of butter in them, they didn't taste buttery - I think it was overpowered by the leavening. Will go back to the tried and true Ultimate Buttermilk Biscuits from Cook's Illustrated.
 
abbyarnold May 27, 2018
I have a question about the freezing instructions. Do you freeze the biscuits after they are baked, and then re-bake? If so, what are the instructions for re-heating? Thanks!
 
Alexis B. November 2, 2018
Hi abbyarnold! I cut them and then freeze them on a baking sheet raw. Once frozen, i pop them into a gallon freezer bag. When I want to bake them I bake them from raw at the same temperature (400F) as fresh, but for about 5 minutes longer. I've bake as few as two and as many as a dozen from frozen with the same spectacular results. Make sure you place them close together as you would when baking from fresh. I'm never without a bag of these in the freezer anymore. They make weekend breakfasts delightfully easy and my Southern husband very happy!
 
Lois S. May 24, 2018
What would you substitute for the self rising flour as I don't want to purchase a whole package just for this recipe
 
Hana A. May 25, 2018
Hi Lois - take a look at this handy post for making your own self-rising flour mix (as well cake flour, if you ever need it):<br /><br />https://food52.com/blog/8375-how-to-diy-cake-flour-and-self-rising-flour - let us know how it goes! :)
 
Lois S. May 25, 2018
@Hana, Thanks for the article! So why is self-rising called for and not just use more leavening and salt? Is it just a cultural thing?
 
Hana A. May 25, 2018
Hi Lois - I don't know Joanna Gaines' original motivation, since she developed this recipe; but I do know self-rising flour is very common in Southern cooking/baking. Good luck!
 
Alexis B. November 2, 2018
I've made these with "homemade" self rising flour and store bought. The homemade works, but it's worth buying a bag of self rising flour. I live in North Dakota and had to look around a bit to find some available as it isn't super common up here, but it was worth the little bit of extra effort.
 
June H. December 5, 2018
Self rising flour already has the rising ingredients. Adding more baking powder and soda is too much rider. I make biscuits with self rising flour and never add more rising ingredients. Those are to use with plain flour
 
Brenda H. May 23, 2018
Looks very much like my scone recipe only I add cranberries or blueberries
 
Hana A. May 25, 2018
Hi Brenda - I do love scones, perhaps that explains why I adore these biscuits so very much ;) Hope you try it out sometime!
 
Jim May 22, 2018
So you are going with about 3x the normal amount of leavening? I would think very salty. Also biscuits made with buttermilk and soda usually don't refrigerate well as they start working immediately
 
Hana A. May 25, 2018
Hi Jim - yes, this is definitely a different brand of biscuit! But it was also so popular among our team (and not too salty). If you're in the mood to try something new, give it a go and let us know what you think. :)
 
Tammy August 25, 2018
The baking powder flavor is overwhelming, in my opinion.
 
Tracy May 22, 2018
Paula Deen's recipe is the BEST ever. It never fails and I don't have to put eggs in it. It's easy, too!
 
Hana A. May 25, 2018
Hi Tracy - will have to try it someday, thanks for your comment!
 
Cindy May 22, 2018
Should the recipe call for self rising flour if you are using salted butter, baking soda and baking powder? This would have to be a mistake. The biscuits would come out huge and extremely salty.
 
Hana A. May 22, 2018
Hi Cindy - this recipe is correct! I was also a little skeptical going in, but if you like savory biscuits, these will be right up your alley (and they don't come out huge). <br /><br />If you're concerned about the salt, how about replacing 2 of the 3 sticks with unsalted? Let me know how it goes!
 
Alexis B. November 2, 2018
I generally only keep unsalted butter in the house as that's my preference for baking, so that's what I use in these. I think they turn out perfectly that way. That said - i did find them too savory for use in strawberry shortcake as Joanna recommends.